Research Fellow, Financial Well-being and Social Protection

Chennai, Kolkata, New Delhi
Posted 2 months ago

Type: Full-time 

Employer: LEAD at Krea University

Salary: Competitive and Commensurate with qualifications and experience 

Location: New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata

About LEAD at Krea University:

LEAD is an action-oriented research centre of IFMR Society (a not-for-profit society registered under the Societies Act), that leverages the power of research, innovation, and co-creation to solve complex and pressing challenges in development. LEAD has strategic oversight and brand support from Krea University (sponsored by IFMR Society) to enable synergies between academia and the research centre. LEAD is a collaborative hub that brings experts from diverse disciplines and sectors together to develop innovative solutions by harnessing innovation, technology and analytics. 

About the Position: 

LEAD at Krea University has been playing a principal role in financial inclusion for many years under different banners, but with the same enthusiasm, rigour, and intellectual curiosity. Thinking about the future, LEAD is positioning itself to expand its role and thought leadership in the sector. For this purpose, we are actively seeking a motivated, organised, and self-driven Research Fellow who will assist the Financial Inclusion Vertical Head in leading, designing, and implementing LEAD’s research agenda in this sector. 

We are looking for a professional with a strong quantitative background in economics/social sciences and proven experience and expertise in impact evaluations/assessments. The Research Fellow will have superior research and analytical skills, will be an excellent writer, and will be
uncompromising with respect to research quality and thoroughness.

In terms of thematic expertise, the candidate will ideally have demonstrated experience in sectors such as financial inclusion, livelihoods development, social protection, agri-finance, and gender. The person will be a strategic thinker that is capable to connect the dots across themes and issues and will also be able to manage and execute research projects in time, within budget, and keeping the highest standards of work.

In the short term, the Research Fellow will play a leading role in an ongoing large-scale of a project that LEAD is implementing in various geographies. She or he will lead and mentor research staffs and work in close collaboration with senior team members to co-develop new research ideas, supervise research projects, and expand the team’s project portfolio. In the long-run, the Research Fellow will support the Vertical Team Anchor to develop and expand the team’s research agenda and grow the team’s research portfolio, with the opportunity of leading/pursuing other research opportunities.

Key Responsibilities:

Evaluation, Research, and Learning 

  • Leads the development and implementation of the project’s impact evaluation, formulating and testing research hypotheses through rigorous quantitative analysis. 
  • Leads the analysis of research results and the development of research outputs, based on primary data analysis. 
  • Ensures that sampling frameworks, survey instruments, and the collected data are complete, accurate and comprehensive. 
  • Is accountable for data analysis and visualisation related to the project. 
  • Works with Vertical Heads and LEAD’s Principal Economist to execute the team’s research agenda and develop new research projects 
  • Contribute to developing and framing the team strategy for the upcoming 1-3 years along with the Vertical Head and LEAD’s Principal Economist. 

Stakeholder Management

  • Develops and maintains a good working relationship with partner/donor organisations. 
  • Keeps an open channel for communication with partner/donor organisations and policy makers. 
  • Presents research/project findings to partner organisations and larger audiences through workshops/conferences. 

Project Management 

  • Supports the project manager to develop and update the project plan, assigning tasks to complete the same, and ensures compliance with project requirements. 
  • When safe to do so, conducts monthly field visits to assess progress on the project and gather first-hand insights and feedback on the same. Contributes to the hiring process of project related positions. 
  • Contributes to reviewing sub-grantees deliverables.



  • Ph.D. in Economics, Development Economics, Development Studies, finance or related disciplines. 
  • A minimum of 3 years in progressively more responsible positions in research, monitoring and evaluation, or implementation in the development sector, preferably in financial inclusion. 
  • At least 4 years of experience in applied research and experimental methods (including PhD). 
  • Evaluation expert, with in-depth knowledge and experience implementing social science research methods, especially experimental research. 
  • Demonstrated ability to develop research and evaluation plans, sampling frameworks and to implement them.  
  • Good knowledge of current developments in development economics in India and south Asia, including one or more of the following: financial inclusion, social protection systems, agrifinance, livelihoods, gender.  
  • Comfortable with both in-person and remote data collection methods. 
  • Experience in conducting in-depth systematic review and synthesis of research. 
  • Independent worker; takes initiative to lead and manage multiple tasks and propose solutions. 
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills. 
  • Capacity to keep an organised and structured work style in a fast-paced environment.  


  • Substantive experience and knowledge of socio-economic issues, which results in the exclusion of various groups, such as women, migrants, indigenous groups, from the financial sector and the ability to generate strategies to address these issues. 
  • Good track record of academic and non-academic publications. 
  • Excellent writing skills and adaptability to work on academic as well as non-academic literature.

Key Attributes 

  • Ability to demonstrate sensitivity to cultural differences and gender issues, as well as commitment to equal opportunities. 
  • Ability to demonstrate an openness and willingness to learn.    
  • Ability to adapt quickly to changing environments and work with multiple stakeholders.  
  • Strong interpersonal skills, and willingness to interact with a wide range of individuals from Research Associates, Research Managers, etc. to academics, donors, research institutions, etc.

Deadline: Applications are being accepted until the position is filled. Please collate your resume, cover letter and a writing sample and apply in the form here.

Note: We are an equal opportunity employer and all candidates will be considered for employment. However, due to the large volume of applications we receive, we are unable to contact each candidate individually regarding the status of their application. Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted for interview purposes.

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