Various internship opportunities at J-PAL at the University of Cape Town

Job Summary

J-PAL at the University of Cape Town (UCT) is recruiting for various internship opportunities for 2024.

Closing date: 02 April 2024

Location: Cape Town and other locations

About J-PAL Africa

J-PAL is a global research center working to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence.

J-PAL is based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Africa office is based at the University of Cape Town (UCT) with a satellite office in Johannesburg.

A small number of staff are also based in Nairobi, Kenya and Accra, Ghana. J-PAL is a dynamic team of motivated individuals who work with a global network of academic development economists. 

About the opportunity

J-PAL Africa invites you to apply for an internship in our policy, research and education & training teams. The internships are paid, and positions can be structured as either part- or full-time. The internship location is either South Africa or remote, depending on the nationality of the intern and the needs of the team.

Policy internship: Girls Education & Empowerment Portfolio

The Girls’ Education and Empowerment Portfolio ( aims to improve the lives of adolescent girls by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence.

Our team supports governments in the design of policies and programmes targeted at adolescent girls through the careful application of global evidence to local contexts throughout West Africa.

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The successful candidate will support scoping opportunities for evidence use and generation in the gender-equity space, map potential partnerships and drive forward our agenda by crafting communications content and engagement strategies for various partners.

This internship is remote or in-person (Accra, Nairobi or Cape Town) and has a flexible start date. 

Policy internship: Digital Identification & Finance Initiative

The Digital Identification and Finance Initiative in Africa (DigiFI) ( funds experimental research to build the evidence base on the impact of digital identification and payment systems in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Our Policy team builds partnerships with governments and other stakeholders to generate and support policy-relevant research on this topic. To this end, we are seeking a highly motivated and organized intern to support our continued outreach efforts.

The successful candidate would primarily support DigiFI’s Request for Proposal process to facilitate decisions on project funding and assist its project development and evidence dissemination efforts as needed.

This internship is remote or in-person (Nairobi) and has a flexible start date. 

Research internship

J-PAL Africa implements research on labor, education, social grants, environment and energy topics ( in South Africa. Research interns will support a number of different activities including desk-based research, data analysis, assisting with fieldwork, events coordination and development of project materials.

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This internship is particularly well-suited to students currently enrolled in an Honours or Masters degree at a South African university. The research internship is in-person at our Johannesburg office and has a flexible start date.

Only those with the legal right to work either part time or full time in South Africa will be considered. J-PAL Africa cannot sponsor work visas.

Education & Training internship

The J-PAL Africa training team organizes in-person trainings, online courses and customised workshops ( for researchers, policymakers and program implementers on the design and implementation of randomized evaluations on the continent.

We also manage efforts to bring more African researchers into J-PAL’s network through the African Scholars Program ( Interns will assist with a range of activities including webinars for various audiences, knowledge management of training activities, communications products for outreach and planning for in-person courses in 2025.

This internship is remote or in-person (Nairobi or Cape Town) and has a flexible start date. 


  • A degree in Economics, Statistics, Development or related field OR studying towards a degree in these fields and in the final year.
  • For MicroMasters in Data, Economics and Design of Policy ( students: At least one completed MicroMasters course. Preference will be given to applicants with competitive MicroMasters course grades (75% and above) who have completed multiple DEDP courses (particularly Data Analysis for Social Scientists and Designing and Running Randomized Evaluations). Applicants should indicate which MicroMasters courses they have completed in their application and include a copy of their program record (available through the MicroMasters portal).
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  • Strong interest in social policy and development research. 
  • Excellent organizational skills and ability to meet strict deadlines.
  • Excellent communicator.
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Ability to speak French, in addition to English, is highly advantageous. 
  • National of a Sub-Saharan African country.

More information

We will hold a careers information event from 4 -5 pm SAST, 26 March 2024 where we will provide an overview of J-PAL and our work on the continent, study and career opportunities and further details on our available internships.

Staff members of each team offering an internship will be in attendance to describe the internship positions and answer questions from participants. You can register for the webinar here ( on or before 25 March 2024.

How to Apply

Interested individuals can apply here ( 

The application deadline for the internship is 02 April 2024

If you have questions, please reach out to Priya Nair at We look forward to receiving your applications!


  • Katlego Malope

    Katlego is a final-year student at the University of Johannesburg. Apart from bouncing molecules against each other in the Chemistry lab, she loves curating job opportunites for fellow youth. Katlego is also quite a singer!

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