PDRI-DevLab Predoctoral Research Program

Applications will reopen in early 2025

Program Information

Launched in 2022, the PDRI-DevLab predoctoral research program supports outstanding young scholars from low- and middle-income countries with interests in international development and potential for success in an academic career in the social sciences.

The program provides exceptional young scholars with an opportunity to work at Penn as full-time staff. Selected candidates work with leading faculty on a variety of international development research projects, invest in their technical research skills, enroll in classes, and become part of the international development research community at Penn.

While at Penn, predocs receive ongoing mentorship from Penn faculty, including advice and support on PhD applications. We expect individuals to work in this role for 1-2 years, before starting PhD level studies in the social sciences, or moving into applied social science careers.

Current Predoctoral Fellows

Jitender Swami

Before coming to Penn, Jitender Swami worked as an Academic (Research & Teaching) Associate at the Indian Institute of Management Amritsar in the Department of Economics. Previously, he was a Writing Urban India Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, India, and a Research Intern at Hyderabad Urban Lab.

Jitender has a Masters in Development Studies from the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad and a Bachelors in Economics from the Central University of Karnataka. His interests lie in engaging with and contributing to academic research, especially the kind that strongly influences development policy and improves individual and collective human experiences.


Rethis Gansey

Before coming to Penn, Rethis worked at the Africa Institute for Research in Economics and Social Sciences (AIRESS) in Rabat, and previously served at the National Institute of Statistics and Demography (INStaD-Benin). Rethis has a Master’s in Economic Analysis and Public Polocy from Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, a Master’s in Development Economics from the University of Paris, Dauphine, and a Bachelor’s degree in Applied States from the University of Parakou.





Research Fellow Alumni

Takondwa (TK) Moyo
Takondwa has a Master of Science in Policy Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, and a Bachelor of Science from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources. TK primarily supported research projects on conservation and human trafficking.