Senior Research Associate, Small, Growing Businesses and Employment

New Delhi
Posted 1 month ago

Type: Full-time
Employer: LEAD at Krea University
Location: New Delhi
Reporting To: Project Manager
Salary: Commensurate With Qualifications and Experience

About LEAD at Krea University:

LEAD, an action-oriented research centre of IFMR Society (a not-for-profit society registered under the Societies Act), 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:

We are looking for a professional with a comprehensive understanding of the social impact landscape, and who is capable of connecting the dots across themes and issues (for example MSMEs, public policy, gender, social protection, environment, entrepreneurship, health etc.). The successful candidate will be able to execute research projects in time (often tight timelines), within budget, and ensure the highest standards of quality of work with minimal supervision. In the short term, she or he will be associated with a couple of high-value ongoing projects, and will simultaneously contribute to the development of the team’s project pipeline.


  • Be accountable for and provide substantial inputs into project design and implementation
  • Ability to develop and implement quality benchmarks and assurances in research projects 
  • Write study reports and create other knowledge product deliverables set as part of the project design
  • Maintain a positive, constructive, and co-creative relationship with LEAD’s stakeholders and partners as well as contribute to growing such a network as required
  • Provide and be accountable for the development of new research ideas, and proposals. Provide thought leadership and monitor recent and relevant sector trends and develop plans on ways to expand the practice group’s research agenda
  • Be accountable, proactively contribute to, and lead the development of policy briefs, blog posts and other publications to consolidate LEAD’s thought leadership in this sector
  • Contribute to capacity-building activities within LEAD
  • Work in multiple teams and on multiple projects simultaneously and collaboratively
  • Travel to work across various remote places in India


  • Prior experience in working with government, multilateral/bilateral institutions, development finance institutions, impact investors, etc. 
  • Prior experience of working in research/advisory roles at think tanks, academic research centres, and development consulting firms
  • Prior experience in conducting quantitative and/or qualitative research
  • Prior experience of writing reports for key donors, available in the public domain
  • Post-graduation (in economics, development studies, management, public policy, or related field)
  • Minimum of 3 years of research experience after post-graduation. (Non-research experience will not be counted)
  • Excellent knowledge of current developments in inclusive finance and banking, including one or more of the following: microfinance, social protection schemes (DBTs, G2P), digital financial services and fintech, branchless banking, MSMEs, gender, ESG, health
  • Working experience and knowledge of socio-economic issues, which results in the exclusion of various groups, such as women, migrants, and tribal groups, from the financial sector and the ability to generate strategies to address those issues
  • Proven analytical skills, including, specifically, working with quantitative data; good understanding of NSSO, NFHS, Census, CMIE and other socio-economic data sets
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and formatting and presentation skills, with proficiency in MS Office suite

Other Attributes:

  • Ability to demonstrate sensitivity to cultural differences and gender issues, as well as the commitment to equal opportunities
  • Knowledge of any other language (other than the mother tongue) will be an added advantage
  • Ability to demonstrate an openness and willingness to learn
  • Ability to adapt quickly to changing environments and work with multiple stakeholders. Ability to communicate effectively to everyone from research associates to vertical heads internally and with external stakeholders like academics, donors, and research institutions
  • Capacity to maintain an organized and structured work style in a fast-paced environment

Application Instructions: 
Applications are being accepted until the position is filled. Please collate your resume, cover letter and writing sample in one PDF and apply in the form here. Women candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

Note: 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.