Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Postdoctoral Associate, Local Innovation Group

Sociotechnical Systems Research Center

The Local Innovation Group, an interdisciplinary research group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sociotechnical Systems Research Center, is recruiting a Postdoctoral Associate to join a sponsored research project focused on strengthening the capacity of Central American universities to engage in collaborative research, inclusive innovation, and entrepreneurship focused on addressing regionally relevant development challenges. Working with the Local Innovation Group’s director and co-PI of the project, the postdoc will lead and supervise mixed methods evaluation research into the project’s Learning Questions, research questions that the project implementing team and sponsor (USAID’s Innovation, Technology, and Research division/Research hub) seek to answer by the project’s end in June 2026. These questions investigate key intermediate outcomes of the project’s pilot interventions in a Guatemalan university, the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG), and seek to identify causal mechanisms and contextual factors that are contributing to bringing about these outcomes. Answering these Learning Questions will enable the project to identify what aspects of its approach are working well and what key factors must be considered as the project seeks to replicate its model beyond Guatemala. The postdoc will join the project’s Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL) team, and will collaborate with team members based both at the Local Innovation Group at MIT and at UVG in Guatemala City.

Job Requirements

REQUIRED: Ph.D. in the social sciences, specifically the evaluation sciences and/or in a social science field involving mixed-methods causal research (interdisciplinary training a plus). Preference for use of systems-informed approaches to understanding causality, mixed-methods approaches, and subject matter experience in capacity-building interventions. Demonstrated rigor in research design and the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data; proven ability to generate findings from data and communicate findings clearly, including a proven publication record (scholarly papers and short-format outputs, such as learning briefs, policy briefs, evaluation reports, etc.); self-motivation, the ability to work both independently and collaboratively. PREFERRED: The ability to conduct research in Spanish is strongly preferred.

The position will require occasional international travel to the partner university in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

Application material should include a cover letter describing your past research work, research skills and current research focus, future career goals, and how they fit with this position; a CV; and the names and contact information for three references. This may be uploaded as a single PDF on the MIT job site in the resume field and should also be emailed directly (with ASPIRE Postdoc Application in the subject line) to Elizabeth Hoffecker at: Employment is contingent on work authorization and completion of satisfactory background check.

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