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Research project in London and Chicago to develop and fit hierarchical models for development economics in Stan!

Rachael Meager at the London School of Economics and Dean Karlan at Northwestern University write:

We are seeking a Research Assistant skilled in R programming and the production of R packages.

The successful applicant will have experience creating R packages accessible on github or CRAN, and ideally will have experience working with Rstan. The main goal of this position is to create R packages to allow users to run Rstan models for Bayesian hierarchical evidence aggregation, including models on CDFs, sets of quantiles, and tailored parametric aggregation models as in Meager (2016) ( Ideally the resulting package will keep RStan “under the hood” with minimal user input, as in rstanarm. Further work on this project is likely to involve programming functions to allow users to run models to predict individual heterogeneity in treatment effects conditional on covariates in a hierarchical setting, potentially using ensemble methods such as Bayesian additive regression trees. Part of this work may involve developing and testing new statistical methodology. We aim to create comprehensively-tested packages that alert users when the underlying routines may have performed poorly. The application of our project is situated in development economics with a focus on understanding the potentially heterogeneous effects of the BRAC Graduation program to alleviate poverty.

The ideal candidate will have the right to work in the UK, and able to make weekly trips to London to meet with the research team. However a remote arrangement may be possible for the right candidate, and for those without the right to work in the UK, hiring can be done through Northwestern University. The start date is flexible but we aim to hire by the middle of March 2018.

The ideal candidate would commit 20-30 hours a week on a contracting basis, although the exact commitment is flexible. Pay rate is negotiable and commensurate with academic research positions and the candidate’s experience. Formally, the position is on a casual basis, but our working arrangement is also flexible with the option to work a number of hours corresponding to full-time, part time or casual. A 6-12 month commitment is ideal, with the option to extend pending satisfactory performance and funding availability, but a shorter commitment can be negotiated. Applications will be evaluated beginning immediately until the position is filled.

Please send your applications via email, attaching your CV and the links to any relevant packages or repositories, with the subject line “R programmer job” to and cc and

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