Millennium Challenge Corporation Science & Technology Fellowship
building knowledge, advancing development

Duties

As a Science & Technology Fellow, you will serve across various teams in MCC’s Washington, DC office to help address some of today’s most compelling development challenges. Your duties will be dependent on your individual expertise and capacity and may include, but are not limited to:

  • Conduct research, survey existing best practices and generate knowledge to enhance project implementation and assessment
  • Measure and compare social and economic benefits of new and existing projects
  • Assist MCC and its partner countries to enhance the use of technology in development projects
  • Develop new approaches to building sustainable public-private partnerships in MCC partner countries
  • Work with monitoring and evaluations team to address questions beyond standard M&E activities
  • Conduct cross-compact evaluation and identify opportunities to improve efficiency
  • Provide MCC with recommendations to build the capacity of partner countries.

Minimum Qualifications

  • U.S. citizenship required (dual citizenship from the U.S. and another country is acceptable)
  • Ability to pass necessary security clearances
  • Hold an advanced degree in any of the following:
    • Social and Behavioral sciences
    • Medical and Health sciences
    • Engineering disciplines
    • Biological, Physical or Earth sciences
    • Computational sciences and Mathematics
    • Supply Chain or other Business disciplines
  • Willingness to travel internationally on an as needed basis

Desired Qualifications

  • Solid scientific and/or technical credentials
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, and the ability to engage with both scientific and non-scientific audiences
  • Capacity to assess complex problems and offer effective solutions and implementation
  • Integrity, good judgment, flexibility and leadership qualities
  • Ability to work alone or in teams
  • PhD, or PhD candidate or equivalent preferred

Compensation and Benefits

The 2013 Fellowship will begin in January. The Fellowships run 6-12 months. Please indicate your preference in your application. The fellowship is full-time (40+ hours per week) with an annual salary of $55,000-$75,000. As a fellow, you will be an employee of ASU. ASU offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes paid vacation, sick leave and holidays; health, vision, dental, disability and life insurance packages; and employee discounts. Travel to Washington, D.C. will be covered, but relocation expenses will not be paid.

Mentorship Program

Each Fellow will be paired with a mentor within MCC as well as at least one leadership mentor from academia, the development community, and/or the private sector. Mentors will be selected based on Fellows’ individual goals and interests. All leadership mentors will be at the top of their respective fields and will support Fellows and help them expand their professional networks.

Sample Projects

Below is a set of eight sample projects that may be assigned to MCC Science & Technology Fellows. None, some or all of these projects may be assigned. Applicants should NOT base their qualifications for the fellowship on these examples, but rather reference these examples when considering how their skill set might be utilized during the fellowship.

Private Sector Strategy

The mandate of the MCC Private Sector Strategy includes evaluating opportunities for MCC to leverage private sector funding and expertise. Fellows may review MCC's Private Sector Strategy and experience, research private sector assessment and measurement tools employed by other donor institutions and develop new methodologies for MCC to evaluate the outcomes and benefits of projects.

Micro Grids - Electricity

Fellows may review the approaches to delivering energy to under-served populations taking into consideration the needs of the end users, the range of current and emerging micro grid technologies, business models (e.g. ownership, delivery, pricing), supporting policies, and other factors.

Cost & Schedule Assessment

Large-scale infrastructure projects are often particularly susceptible to changes in cost and time-to-completion. Fellows may evaluate and propose metrics for tracking and benchmarking performance over time. This assignment would include collecting, reviewing and analyzing data related to existing and proposed projects, project lifecycles, and changes and develop hypotheses of key drivers for cost/schedule changes. Fellows may also be asked to propose revised metrics for assessment and reporting.

COST/BENEFIT OF ROAD SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS

MCC currently has significant investments in road construction and rehabilitation which include safety considerations. However, it is difficult to measure the marginal return on potential increases in safety standards. Fellows may be asked to conduct a thorough literature review comparing international approaches to estimating long term benefits of improved road safety related to traffic and accident data, design criteria, and institutional initiatives, among other factors.

POLICY REFORM INDICATORS

Infrastructure improvements are essential to enhancing delivery of essential amenities including clean water, sanitation and electricity. Many developing countries are saddled with institutional constraints that limit the sustainability and expansion of these services. Many of MCC’s projects include activities targeting policy, institutional and regulatory reform. Fellows may assist MCC to develop additional rigorous methods to monitor progress and evaluate the outcomes of institutional and policy-focused activities in the water/sanitation and energy sectors, and propose refined metrics to track and benchmark performance over time.

WATER/SANITATION IMPACT ANALYSIS

One third of all MCC’s country grants include significant water and sanitation projects. These projects are rigorously assessed against multiple criteria, including economic and environmental impacts. Fellows may conduct a meta-analysis of MCC’s economic rate of return, evaluations and research agenda across all MCC’s water/sanitation projects for a publication on lessons learned, best practices, recommended modifications to MCC’s ex-ante assessments, etc.

EDUCATION, HEALTH & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT OUTCOME LITERATURE REVIEW

Best practices in education, health & community development (EHCD) are established in countless scholarly publication. However, much of this scholarly work is cataloged and articulated in ways that are of limited use to practitioners. Fellows may create an annotated database of literature on evidence of impacts of EHCD interventions, the database would describe specific variables and the quality of studies.

AGRICULTURE AND LESSONS LEARNED FROM FARMER TRAINING IMPACT EVALUATIONS

MCC has recently released findings from its first five impact evaluations in farmer training. These evaluations and their findings are highlighting the need to test common assumptions and approaches and proactively correct course where appropriate on active compacts. Related to this, fellows may conduct analysis and review of best practices and assumptions used by both the development community and private sector agribusinesses related to farmer behavior change and adoption of new and improved technologies.