The Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA), headquartered at the University of California, Berkeley, seeks an outstanding Postdoctoral Scholar (postdoc) for its Psychology and Economics of Poverty (PEP) Initiative. In collaboration with the PEP Co-Scientific Directors, Drs. Supreet Kaur (Economics) and Mahesh Srinivasan (Psychology), the postdoc will primarily engage in planning and carrying out original interdisciplinary research on the psychology and economics of poverty. The research project/s will focus on cognitive and behavioral effects of poverty and will serve to hone the research agenda for CEGA’s growing PEP initiative. To further inform this research, the postdoc will conduct an in-depth review of the literature at the intersection of psychology and economics, outlining key findings, knowledge gaps and promising avenues for further research. 

Key Responsibilities

In collaboration with the Co-Scientific Directors, the postdoc will help conceptualize and conduct research focused on how poverty affects cognition, decision-making, health, and early childhood development outcomes. Some potential lines of inquiry may include: 1) how poverty impacts cognitive load, decision-making, social cognition, mental health, aspirations, or economic and/or health outcomes; 2) belief formation, the relevance of belief-based utility, effective adaptations to poverty, and the role of the "psychological immune system" 3) the psychological consequences of resource stability or volatility, 4) the influence of cultural context and social norms on outcomes related to the above topics. To establish a framework for exploring emerging domains of interest in research on poverty, the postdoc will also undertake a thorough review of relevant economics and psychology literature. 

The postdoc will be encouraged to pursue his or her own research agenda with mentorship from Kaur and Srinivasan. Other key postdoc responsibilities include facilitating the monthly PEP reading group and presentation sessions, which provides a space for students and faculty to discuss original research in psychology and economics on the causes and consequences of poverty, and helping to organize an annual PEP research convening. These activities focus on conceptual foundations, project design and methodology, and results interpretation of research on the psychology and economics of poverty.   

Required Qualification

  • A PhD (or equivalent) in Psychology, Economics, Public Policy, or a related field.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Solid understanding of behavioral economics and psychology research. Focus on global development a plus. 
  • 1-3 years experience conducting empirical field research (including supervising data collection and cleaning activities at field sites) or lab research 
  • 1-3 years experience and competency with statistical software packages such as R, STATA, SAS, and ability to render accurate statistical analysis
  • Experience designing and implementing data collection instruments;
  • Solid understanding of causal inference in applied micro-econometrics, research design and program evaluation
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills, with the ability to translate complex scientific findings into accessible, non-technical language (via publications or professional presentations)
  • Ability to work well with teams, and communicate effectively with colleagues and faculty.
  • Ability to interact with individuals at all levels in a fast-paced environment, with a high level of professionalism and confidentiality
  • Experience working with decision-makers in multilateral, developing country government, and research institutions to identify promising academic research opportunities a plus

Application Requirements

This is a one-year full-time position with possibility for extension. Salary range is commensurate with experience. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning June 8, 2020 and the application deadline is June 12, 2020. The anticipated start date of the position is September 1, 2020. To apply, include your most recently updated Curriculum Vitae (required), a cover letter (required), and list three professional references (required) to the Psychology and Economics of Poverty Postdoc Submittable page

Center for Effective Global Action