Postdoctoral Associate

Stanford University

Stanford, CA, US


The Stanford Program on Water, Health & Development seeks a motivated, independent researcher to contribute to the design and execution of applied research on the sources, models, and impacts of funding and financing for infrastructure in low- and middle-income countries. The position will be based at Stanford University, and will be supervised by Prof. Jenna Davis (Director, Stanford Program on Water, Health & Development) and Dr. Ashby Monk (Executive Director of Stanford’s Global Projects Center).

The Program on Water, Health & Development was created in 2011 to facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations among Stanford researchers working on these issues in low- and middle-income countries. Our goals are to strengthen the scientific basis for decision-making in the water and sanitation sector; enhance capacity within developing countries for sustainable water supply and wastewater management; provide unique training and learning opportunities for faculty and students at Stanford and partner institutions; and improve the health and well-being of households in some of the world?s poorest countries. The Global Projects Center is an interdisciplinary research center that advances understanding of the financing, development, and governance of critical infrastructure worldwide.


The Postdoctoral Associate will be responsible for co-designing and leading applied research related to water and energy infrastructure financing in low- and middle-income countries, with particular emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa. Early-stage research objectives include assessing risk profiles, information asymmetries, and business processes that underlie public, private, and philanthropic financing decisions, and how particular financing strategies shape outcomes for both institutional development and service delivery. The results of this work will form the basis for designing and testing innovative financing mechanisms, in partnership with our network of funding and practitioner organizations.

The initial appointment has a duration of 12 months, with the potential for extension contingent on performance. The Postdoctoral Associate will also have the opportunity to pursue additional partnerships and research ideas through the Program on Water, Health & Development, Global Projects Center, and their partners.

Required qualifications:

  • PhD in finance, economics, public policy, political science, planning or a related field.
  • Relevant research and/or professional experience in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Interest in applied research that informs decision-making and program design.
  • Demonstrated excellence in written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to synthesize research findings for diverse audiences, including non-academic audiences.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Experience with designing and conducting case-based research, including comparative case analysis.
  • Familiarity/experience with quasi-experimental research designs.
  • Experience with/interest in the design and/or governance of financial organizations, particularly those invested in low- and middle-income countries.
  • On-the-ground experience in developing countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as some background in water sector investment, are helpful but not required.

To apply:

Please submit the following materials in a single zip file to [email protected]. Please include WHD POSTDOC in the subject of your message.

  • CV of no more than 5 pages
  • 1000-word summary of your relevant research experience and interest in the position
  • A sample of published research
  • Optional: a sample of writing authored specifically for non-academic audiences

Stanford University is committed to equal opportunity in employment, and we are especially eager to identify qualified minority and women applicants. More information on the Program on Water, Health & Development can be found at More information on the Global Projects Center can be found at