Zolberg IRC Fellowships: Informing Humanitarian Action with Data

  • Spring
  • Anywhere
  • This position has been filled

The Zolberg Institute is pleased to open applications to join the Spring 2019 cohort of Zolberg – IRC Fellows. The deadline to apply is December 31, 2018. Please submit a cover letter, CV and three work samples (writing and/or design portfolio) as one single PDF to Cayce Pack <packc@newschool.edu> with the position for which you are applying clearly in the subject line. 

Team: Information Technology (IT), Applications team

Project aim: The Product and Project Management functions of the IT Applications team are working to standardize and solidify the organization’s use of data to improve program delivery. In particular OTIS (the IRC’s Awards Management application) and Operations Scorecards (the KPI tracking tool for Operations) can be better leveraged to surface key data to drive improvements in IRC programming.

The fellow would work with this team on three main areas: 1) user research to identify areas of improvement within the systems to reduce user error and improve data quality; 2) documenting user best practices and creating rough user guidance; 3) recommending improvements for OTIS and Operations Scorecards to improve user experience; and 4) developing ways to better analyze and share data, such as through data visualizations, presentations, and reports.

The fellow will have opportunities to interact with IRC colleagues around the world, learning about their daily work and how data and information can be used to better meet their needs. They will also have the opportunity to feed into high-level reports that drive management decision-making, and potentially, opportunities to present their findings in high-level fora.


    • User research report
    • Set of guidelines and best practices for users
    • Recommendations for improved system design in data presentation
  • New forms of presenting data, such as visualizations, reports, and/or presentations

Potential travel involved: TBD

Student skills sought: Research methodologies; quantitative and qualitative data analysis; user research; behavioral science; information management; knowledge of Power BI and French language skills a plus

IRC Staff mentors: Samuel Grigsby and Mae Rouhani

As with all Zolberg IRC Fellowships, Fellows will have the opportunity to work on research, policy communications, and applied innovation projects in areas like migration & protection, education in emergencies, and creative applications of technology or finance to solve grand humanitarian challenges.

Fellows will benefit from the mentorship of the Zolberg leadership—humanitarian professionals from the UNHCR and UNICEF— and the opportunity to work alongside specialists at the New York headquarters of the International Rescue Committee.

Fellows will develop discrete skills (human centered design, behavioral science, machine learning) with the potential for travel and field work to IRC’s 25 domestic offices and 30+ country programs. Fellows will participate in regular knowledge exchange with the Zolberg Institute community. Fellows will also gain access to the ever-growing Zolberg Fellows alumni network, with opportunities to present on work, gain collaborations and connections, and project funding.

This is an excellent opportunity for early career scholars, future humanitarian leaders, transdisciplinary designers, and others to bridge theory and practice and turn ideas into action.

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