Senior Research Associate/Research Associate (Environment & Governance Portfolio) - Inclusion Economics India Centre at IFMR

Employer: Inclusion Economics India Centre at IFMR
Location: Shillong, India
Start Dates: June 2024
Length of Commitment: At least one year

Principal Investigators for Environment Projects:

Who We Are:                                                                          

Inclusion Economics India Centre is a policy-engaged research initiative affiliated with Inclusion Economics at Yale University, founded and based out of the Yale Economic Growth Center and MacMillan Center. Inclusion Economics India Centre is based at, and accountable to, the Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR) Society.

Drawing upon economics, political science, and related fields, we conduct cutting-edge research to understand how policy can promote inclusive, accountable economies and societies. Our core research focuses on gender as it relates to labor economics and broader economic empowerment; political economy and governance; education and environmental economics. Our core research in the Environment & Governance portfolio focuses on understanding how to strengthen Payment for Ecosystem Services to reduce deforestation and improve carbon sequestration and water conservation.

We also aim to build a culture of evidence and increase data literacy in the public sector, strengthening leaders’ ability to identify and implement evidence-informed policies. Throughout the research life cycle, we engage closely with policy counterparts to ensure we address questions of immediate relevance, and we regularly communicate data-driven insights with policy counterparts and the general public.

The Role:

We are looking for a Senior Research Associate/Research Associate to support a field-based research project investigating the impact of a payment for ecosystem services program in Meghalaya for individuals and communities on improving forest conservation. Specifically, the research team is seeking a full-time Senior Research Associate/Research Associate who will (a) work closely with our on-ground implementation and government partners to execute the research study; (b) train and monitor grassroots implementation in community outreach techniques; (c ) work with the government of Meghalaya’s GIS team to analyze their GIS data and plan a randomized rollout of interventions and (c) plan, collect, clean and analyze data from communities, households enrolled in our study.

The Senior Research Associate/Research Associate will be based in Shillong, Meghalaya, where the study is located. It is an excellent opportunity for someone interested in a career in academic research, whether at a university or a research/policy think tank. This position requires a self-starting candidate, who enjoys working on cutting-edge research that informs policy. The candidate will have a unique opportunity to drive efforts to ensure that government policy priorities inform the research agenda and vice versa. The candidate will also conduct in-depth interviews and scoping activities, engage with government stakeholders, manage field activities, and coordinate field staff for the execution of primary data collection activities across Meghalaya. She/he will support high-quality cleaning and rigorous analysis of both primary and secondary data, and work with a team of leading economists and public policy experts from top universities across the world and the Inclusion Economics India Centre. 


Senior Research Associate/Research Associate  works closely with Research Managers & Principal Investigators who guide and supervise them in their various tasks and work closely with field staff to perform a variety of tasks including, but not limited to:

  • Oversee the day-to-day implementation of field-based research (scoping, surveying, project implementation) – including the management of field personnel, and reporting for the project
  • Support research professors in ensuring all field and data activities are in compliance with IRB and field safety protocols
  • Identify and manage threats to the research design with support from Research Managers and Principal Investigators
  • Assist in the design and field-testing of survey instruments (paper and digital) and develop and implement appropriate structures and systems for a larger randomized intervention, including the procurement of supplies; development and oversight of field and quality control protocols; recruitment, training, and leading of field staff; and coordination with local partners
  • Seek out and collect administrative data from policy partners and government agencies
  • Conduct data cleaning, manipulation, and analysis using multiple primary and secondary data sources
  • Review and report on academic literature of requested topics in support of policy briefs and research projects
  • Contribute to analysis and writing of policy briefs for various government partners and case studies on Inclusion Economics India project components
  • Support the Research Manager to manage day-to-day relationships with national, state, and district/block/gram panchayat government officials and other potential partners (academics, policy organizations, NGOs, etc.) as requested
  • Others, as required

Basic Qualifications:

  • A Bachelor’s/Master’s degree in economics, social sciences, public policy, environment, or related fields
  • 2 to 4 years of experience in field research/data collection in international development or related field
  • Fluency and excellent communication skills (verbal and written) in English and Hindi
  • Strong potential/familiarity in setting up primary data collection
  • Proven analytical skills
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, Stata
  • Excellent management and organizational skills along with strong quantitative skills
  • Flexible, self-motivating, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently, and team player
  • Ability to work independently and in rural field locations

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in economics or related field and experience in Stata/R/Python/QGIS is highly desired
  • Candidate should have strong interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to engage with policy partners of various levels
  • Candidate should have knowledge of at least one of the local language, Khasi/Jaintia/Garo
  • Familiarity with randomized controlled trials preferred
  • Experience working with large datasets, GIS data, etc. strongly preferred.

How to Apply:

If you are interested in this position, please fill out our Screening Questionnaire; you will be asked to upload a single PDF containing your CV, cover letter, and academic transcripts.  Label your file “Last name, First name – Senior Research Associate/Research Associate, Environment_Governance”.

To view other open positions, visit the Inclusion Economics Opportunities page. We encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds, particularly women, people of color and other marginalized communities which have historically been underrepresented in the field of economics.