RESEARCH ASSOCIATE – Saving Brains Study

Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR) – LEAD seeks a Research Associate for an upcoming study in Tamil Nadu.

IFMR LEAD is an India based non-profit research organisation. Through our rigorous research efforts, we provide practitioners and decision-makers scientific evidence to devise effective solutions for pressing development challenges in South Asia. Our work addresses vital socio-economic objectives to foster the growth of individuals, low-income households, and small enterprises. We collaborate with leading academics, development specialists, government agencies, and industry experts for research design, implementation and dissemination, in areas that are integral to accelerate the socio-economic and financial development of poor households.

Project Description:

Objective: The aim of the project is to evaluate the effect of the addition of two new components to the existing outreach of ICTC services in the physical and mental growth and health of children between the age group of zero to three-years.
Study design: Mixed methods (RCT and qualitative)
Population: Children from the rural areas of Tamil Nadu aged between 0-3 years.
Study Period: July 2017- March 2019
Study: The project will be implemented in select districts of Tamil Nadu. The study will be implemented in the form of a randomized control group with information on proper child rearing practices and importance of early stimulation and learning being provided to the treatment group and the regular outreach provided to the control. Information will be disseminated through an already well-established network of Anganwadis belonging to ICDS in collaboration with Village Health Nurses. The Anganwadis will be expected to visit each individual household in their jurisdiction (40-50 households) with a zero to three-year old once a month and will utilize tabs allotted to them to collect and provide information. As a part of the study, parents of the infants involved in the study will receive updates and information through mobile devices. Positive role models from among the fathers will be identified and an incentive provided to interact with other fathers so as to influence them to take up the recommended activities. Fathers will be encouraged to come in for the regular weighing and assessing the attainment of developmental milestones of their children. The study will last for approximately 24 months.

Key Responsibilities

•      Hire, train, and manage survey, qualitative researchers and implementation teams in collaboration with the Field Manager.
•      Oversee daily data collection activities and ensure adherence to data quality protocols, including data quality audits and frequency checks.
•      Help with the design of the questionnaires.
•      Keep close contact and support the work of the qualitative researchers within the project and Anganwadi workers in study.
•      Perform data management and data analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data and communicate results to PIs.
•      Regularly communicate updates and troubleshooting challenges with the Research Manager and PIs.
•      Liaise with Government officials at state, district and local levels as necessary. Work in close coordination with other stakeholders as Panchayat members, mothers groups, mobile service providers etc.
•      Conduct focus groups and semi structured interviews with households as required in project design.
•      Represent IFMR at state and national conferences.

Qualifications and Skills

•      Master’s degree in Health Economics/Health Policy/Public Health, Development Studies etc.
•      Previous experience in development research and managing field teams or work in developing countries is preferred. Previous experience in working with Government projects is an value addition.
•      Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
•      Excellent management and organizational skills.
•      Flexible, self-motivated, detail orientated, and able to manage multiple tasks efficiently.
•      Fluency in both English and Tamil.
•      Familiarity with Quantitative and qualitative software packages (e.g. SPSS, STATA, R, NVIVO, Atlas TI).

Compensation: IFMR Lead provides a highly competitive salary in the industry along with benefits package.

Estimated Start Date: June 2018

Location: Tamil Nadu, India

To Apply
Please send a resume, cover letter, and writing sample to Additionally, please answer the below questions
1. Are you currently working or ready to relocate to Tamil Nadu?
2. What kind of relevant research experience you have in the Public Health sector?
3. What is your Current CTC?
4. What is your Expected CTC?
Please indicate in the subject line that you are applying for the Research Associate – Saving Brains Study . Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interviews.