Join the Team

We are a research lab at William & Mary's Global Research Institute of over 25 faculty and staff with a track record of successfully managing more than 60 grants and contracts worth more than $40 million over the last 13 years. We are economists, political scientists, computational geographers, developers, program evaluators, policy analysts, media and communications professionals, and more.

Student Opportunities

Full-time Positions

Announcement: AidData Summer Fellows Program Transition

About Working at AidData

For questions, please contact Any positions listed below that are active in the William & Mary Employment Opportunities portal are open and receiving applications. Submitted applications are assessed to short-list individuals for interview. Please note that due to the volume of applications, we are unable to give applicants individual status updates; candidates invited for an interview will be notified.

Student Opportunities

Opportunities for internships and research assistantships at AidData for undergraduate, graduate students and recent graduates will be posted below as available.

For updates on future opportunities, check this page regularly and follow us on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn

To sign up for the Global Research Digest, a weekly newsletter of research-related events and student opportunities published by the Global Research Institute, please email Meghan Haslam at To see all student opportunities with other projects at the Institute, please visit here.

GeoQuery Student Research Assistantships

GeoQuery, a research project at AidData, is accepting applications on a rolling basis for William & Mary students to work as research assistants. The lab has three teams—GeoData, GeoBoundaries, and GeoDev—each with different activities and required qualifications as described below.

Please note that applications to the lab are assessed once a semester, and you may not hear back on your application until the end of the semester in which you applied. Only current William & Mary students are eligible to apply.

To apply, fill out the online application here. For questions, please contact


GeoQuery relies on students to help us identify the best datasets to distribute to our researchers through the platform. This position does not require any research or background experience, and is intended for freshmen to junior students looking to become involved in research. The focus and responsibility of the GeoData research team is to gather, research, and prepare (or create!) datasets that can be used in potential research projects, both here at William & Mary and in academia more broadly. These datasets are collected to be incorporated into the public GeoQuery platform, which is used by thousands of individuals from hundreds of organizations to facilitate research and policymaking. Students who participate in this program will be able to gain a foundation in working in research, and have the opportunity to gain recognition in research papers and academic briefs.


Did you know we're not sure where some cities, counties, districts, or even state borders are around the world? It’s true! The focus and responsibility of the GeoBoundaries research team is to collect and prepare better, more accurate subnational boundaries of countries across the globe for use in research and the GeoQuery platform. This position is intended for sophomores, juniors, and seniors looking to get involved in research focused in international relations and geospatial studies, and requires experience and/or relevant coursework in geospatial analysis; specifically, GIS 201 - Introduction to GIS (formerly listed as INTR 204).The boundaries will be accessible by researchers and students who may desire to use the information for their own research and projects. Students on this team may be able to (a) receive COLL 400 course credit through independent research in the Data Science Program; (b) receive formal credit as a contributor to the GeoBoundaries project in published materials (i.e., if you create the best boundaries known for Mexico, every researcher using it will be citing you); and (c) be competitive for Data Science Fellowships.

Read about the GeoBoundaries team's work so far here.


R&D makes GeoQuery work. Have machine learning skills? Web development? Python? Want to help the other teams work better, solve text-mining problems, keep our website working, or work on other applied computational projects? GeoDev is for you. This position requires knowledge and/or relevant coursework in computer science and computer programming; specifically CS 141 or DATA 141, as well as basic GIS skills (GIS 201 - Introduction to GIS, formerly listed as INTR 204). It is also recommended that you have previous experience working with JavaScript or other web-based technologies. The focus and responsibility of the GeoDev research team is to provide technical assistance to the GeoBoundaries and GeoData teams by debugging code, solving programming problems, improving the GeoQuery website, and deriving new code to solve applied research problems. Students who participate in this program will be able to gain experience in applying computer science knowledge in a research environment, and will have the opportunity to gain recognition in research papers and other career opportunities. Students on this team may be able to: (a) receive COLL 400 course credit through independent research in the Data Science Program; (b) receive formal credit as a creator of new software packages, R or Python scripts; and (c) be competitive for Data Science Fellowships.

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Full-time Positions

Headquartered in Williamsburg, Virginia at William & Mary, the second oldest college in the U.S. and a cutting-edge research university, AidData offers competitive compensation and a generous benefits package for full-time positions, including comprehensive health, dental, and life insurance; retirement; gym access; tuition waiver program; flexible work schedule; and more.

For updates on future opportunities, please check this page regularly and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.  

Deputy Director of Research, Policy Analysis Unit

AidData is seeking a Deputy Director of Research to support its Policy Analysis Unit (PAU) by overseeing research design and peer review processes; managing the development of survey questionnaires and interview protocols; leading internal statistical code reviews; ensuring that PAU research outputs meet high standards of social scientific rigor and reproducibility; identifying approaches to more effectively and efficiently collect data; and collaborating with program staff and the Director of the PAU to ensure that AidData produces policy research which meets or exceeds the expectations of its target audiences. Depending on qualifications, the successful applicant may hold an affiliate appointment as research faculty in the appropriate social science department and/or interdisciplinary program at William and Mary.

This position is located at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. This is a full-time position, and salary is commensurate with experience in the U14 range (see Salary Structure for University Employees). Applications for this position close at 11:59 PM on March 18th, 2019.

Required Qualifications

  • An advanced degree in economics, political science, public policy, statistics, or a related field
  • Significant to extensive years of experience designing, implementing, and publishing policy-relevant international development research
  • Significant to extensive years of experience writing, managing, and reviewing reusable and well-annotated code in STATA and/or R
  • Demonstrated expertise in quantitative and qualitative social science research methods, including small-n case selection and study design, survey design and sampling, process tracing, cross-sectional and panel data analysis, the experimental and quasi-experimental tools of causal inference, and statistical power analysis
  • Demonstrated ability to design protocols to guide data collection and research with human subjects, including familiarity with Institutional Review Board (or the equivalent) procedures.
  • A track record of publishing rigorous, peer-reviewed social science research in a reproducible manner (i.e. making data and statistical code publicly available to enable independent, third party replication)
  • Demonstrated willingness and ability to learn and employ new methods and tools, as needed.
  • Strong and effective interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to interact professionally with a diverse group of clients, partners, students, staff, and faculty
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively in a demanding and complex work environment, to carry out assignments in a timely manner, and to adapt to changing situations and priorities
  • Ability to work closely and effectively with researchers and program staff from a variety of disciplines and professional backgrounds

Preferred Qualifications

  • A doctoral degree in economics, political science, public policy, statistics, or a related field
  • Demonstrated experience managing or mentoring research analysts and statistical programmers
  • Demonstrated experience producing high-quality publications for policy audiences under tight time and budget constraints
  • Demonstrated experience with the design, fielding, and analysis of large-scale surveys, as well as familiarity with protocols for appropriate management of personally identifiable information.
  • Demonstrated experience with designing effective interview protocols, conducting key informant interviews and focus groups, and efficiently processing and analyzing large amounts of unstructured, qualitative data (e.g.,interview transcripts).
  • Familiarity with and interest in machine learning, web scraping, text mining, network analysis, and spatial statistics
  • Proficiency and interest in Python, SQL, Git, and GIS
  • Experience working with large development finance and development outcome datasets
  • Familiarity with non-traditional sources of financing for development (e.g., blended finance, philanthropic giving, corporate social responsibility, trilateral cooperation, national budgets).

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

The College of William & Mary values diversity and invites applications from underrepresented groups who will enrich the research, teaching and service missions of the university. The College is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and encourages applications from women, minorities, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities.

Special Application Instructions

For more details and to apply, please visit the position listing at the William & Mary Employment Opportunities portal. There, click Apply for this Job to apply with your resume/curriculum vitae, cover letter, and a writing sample in the “Other Documents” field in the Applicant Documents Tab.

Please note: This position has been reopened—all previous applications are still under consideration and do not need to reapply. All applications for this position must be made through the portal; we are unable to consider any application materials received by email. Applications cannot be updated once submitted, but must be withdrawn and a new application submitted for consideration.

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Announcement: AidData Summer Fellows Program Transition

Thanks to the generous support of the Robert and Susan Trice International Fellowship Endowment and the Freeman-Asia Award, the AidData Summer Fellows program (2013-2017) has now transitioned to the Global Research Institute Summer Fellows Program. The Global Research Institute, a hub for interdisciplinary research on real-world issues, will continue to provide William & Mary students with hands-on international experiential learning opportunities through the new program.

To learn more, visit the Summer Fellows Program page at the Global Research Institute's site. 2019 Summer Fellow Placement Opportunities are now open for applications. For questions, please contact the Assistant Director of Programs for the Global Research Institute, Rebecca Latourell, at

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Working at AidData

At AidData you will join world-class development professionals in solving challenging development questions, working together with colleagues from diverse disciplines including economics, computer science, geography, public health, environmental studies and political science.

AidData is a learning organization, so in addition to helping your colleagues get smarter, you will gain first-hand experience in cutting-edge approaches to data and development. As a member of a research lab you will be exposed to randomized control trials, customized coding systems, geospatial impact evaluations, elite surveys, and policy uptake initiatives.

We prioritize impact and collaboration, and you will be empowered with the tools, training, and flexibility you need to pursue projects that will allow you to leverage your strengths and interests. Whether on a walking meeting to discuss a next-gen field experiment with the World Bank or the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation or debating your annual March Madness bracket over lunch on the porch by the magnolia tree, your colleagues will be an invaluable source of ideas, learning, and fun.

Williamsburg and the surrounding areas offer a tremendous quality of life. Staff enjoy short commutes (for some of the team, less than five minutes!); extensive rivers, woods, and trails for outdoor recreation; and great colleagues who after work play on a community volleyball team, host trivia nights at local craft breweries, and organize book clubs and restaurant explorations.

For our full-time positions: as an employee of William & Mary, you will be afforded competitive compensation and benefits, including comprehensive health, dental, and life insurance, retirement, and gym access. You will also receive an annual tuition reimbursement of more than $5,000, allowing AidData employees to take up to four William & Mary classes each calendar year free of charge.

In addition to updating skills through coursework, professional development is encouraged and facilitated through interaction with policymakers and established academics, development field work with local partners, and one-on-one mentoring with senior members of AidData.

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