Note: The following job has been posted on the UW Human Resources system. The
job is posted on the UW employment web page:
Select "Start your job search", and then enter Requisition 132549.
Applications are due by May 19, 2016.
Research Coordinator, Digital Financial Services
Computer Science & Engineering
University of Washington
As part of a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)-funded project in Digital
Financial Services, the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at
University of Washington is seeking a Research Coordinator. The Digital
Financial Services (DFS) Research Group was formed to investigate technologies
that will improve the ability of banks and mobile operators to deploy digital
financial products that reach the poor. The research group is led by Professor
Richard Anderson and includes Professors Yoshi Kohno, Franziska Roesner, and
Kurtis Heimerl in Computer Science & Engineering, and Professor Josh
Blumenstock in the Information School.
The project aims to develop and deploy technological solutions to specific
challenges that impede the introductions and wide scale deployment of these
financial products. Low profitability, lack of client demand, and the outright
failure of many DFS launches can be traced back to difficult barriers and
frictions that hinder the business model and scalability of DFS systems.
Challenges that have been identified include fraud and cyberattacks, network
failures, the proximity payments user experience, managing identity and
on-boarding, the lack of analytics for product development and risk scoring,
agent management, and financial education for end users.
The Research Coordinator will support and coordinate with a group of four
faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, a postdoctoral fellow, external
visitors, and departmental fiscal staff. The group's activities will include
assessing the usability and security of financial technologies, developing
tools to support introduction of financial products, managing financial
services data sets, and conducting technology assessments. The group will be
producing a series of research reports in addition to developing prototype
technologies for field deployment.
The Research Coordinator will be responsible for group coordination, managing
external partnerships, supporting evaluation studies, creating a communication
strategy, managing publications, and communications including grant- and
report-writing. This position will not be responsible for financial tracking
Reporting to Professor Richard Anderson, this position will be responsible for
Research Group Coordination
* Provide overall coordination of the research team. Ensure effective
and efficient team functioning.
* Manage team communication, provide regular study updates.
* Coordinate research team meetings to be held on a regular and
as-needed basis including coordinating scheduling, creating and carrying out
agendas, preparing meeting documents, and creating and maintaining related
* Act as a change agent in developing and implementing process change
within the research team.
* Prepare human subjects applications for product testing; responsible
to ensure that the DFS research program is consistent with ethical standards
and other regulations.
* Develop forms, questionnaires, and procedures for collecting and
summarizing observations and data.
* Oversee the communications strategy for the group. Develop and
implement goals, priorities, and approaches that will showcase the group's work
and promote the results of the project to provide technological solutions for
improving the deployment of digital financial products for the poor.
* Maintain the group's website, update content, write new content, and
solicit submissions from others.
* Prepare research reports and progress reports. Write administrative
reports for funding agencies, primarily for the Bill and Melinda Gates
Foundation. Assist in writing the annual report.
* Prepare presentations and manuscripts for peer-review publication.
* Play a major role in preparing grant applications and submissions,
including literature review, drafting background and methodological content,
budget justifications, draft of grant figures and tables, completion of grant
submission forms, and copy editing.
External & Third-Party Relations
* Act as a liaison between the DFS group, program partners, research
study sites, funding agencies, and other relevant administrative departments
* Maintain communications with external partners.
* Track research of external researchers and organization that is
relevant to the group's activities.
* Bachelor's degree in international development, economics, public
policy, or related area AND at least two years of applicable experience.
* Excellent verbal and written communication skills; capable of
producing high-quality written documents.
* Fluency in English
* Strong project management skills; demonstrated success managing
* Three months' experience working on a global development project
while living in a developing country.
* Ability to effectively bridge communication between technical
research staff at UW, funding staff at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and
* Computer proficiency with intermediate skills or higher in MS Word,
Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Google docs.
* Master's degree in international development, economics, public
policy, or related area.
* Project experience with mobile banking or microfinance.
The position may involve international travel, possibly one or two
international trips per year.
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