Senior Research Associate, MSME & Entrepreneurship

Chennai, New Delhi
Posted 4 months ago

Employer: LEAD at Krea University 

Contract type: Full-time

Remuneration: Competitive and commensurate with skills and experience

Deadline: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled 

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.

About the Position

The Senior Research Associate (SRA) will be responsible for collaborating, supporting and leading the growth and implementation of LEAD’s research agenda specific to its MSME and Entrepreneurship vertical. The chosen candidate should have a robust understanding of the development sector landscape.  The candidate should particularly be able to connect dots across themes and issues (for example gender, social protection, environment, entrepreneurship, health et al). The person will be a thinker and will help execute research projects on time, within budget, while maintaining the quality of work.

The SRA will have excellent communication skills (both verbal and written) and will be able to present the team’s research to various stakeholders and in various national and, possibly, international platforms through a wide range of mediums. Demonstrated experience conducting applied and experimental research (including conducting and designing evaluations) is essential and a strong understanding of Financial Inclusion, MSME, Fintech is highly desirable. 

Main Responsibilities

  • Be accountable for and provide substantial inputs into project design and implementation
  • Maintain a positive and constructive relationship with LEAD’s stakeholders/partners and contribute to growing such a network as required
  • Provide and be accountable for the development of new research ideas, and proposals. Monitor recent and relevant sector trends and develop plans to expand LEAD’s research agenda
  • As required liaise with policymakers, regulators, and academia to identify gaps for action research and support the establishment of partnerships to expand the projects portfolio of LEAD
  • Be accountable, proactively contribute to, and lead the development of policy briefs, blog posts and other publications to consolidate LEAD’s thought leadership in the sector
  • Contribute to capacity building activities within LEAD
  • Strong quantitative skills, including competency with STATA/R/Python

Background and Qualifications


  • Master’s degree in Economics, Finance, Management, Development Studies, Public Policy and other related disciplines

 Desirable Qualifications and Experiences

  • Candidates with 1-3 years of experience post graduation from premier management and other social science institutions are encouraged to apply
  • Proven analytical skills, need to be comfortable working with quantitative data using econometric methods; good understanding of NSSO, NFHS, Census, and other environmental /socio-economic data sets preferred 
  • 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 and Health
  • Working experience and knowledge of socio-economic issues, which contributes to the exclusion of various marginalised groups from the financial sector and the ability to generate strategies to address the same required 
  • Keen to develop research and evaluation plans, sampling frameworks and implement the same
  • Capacity to maintain an organized and structured work style in a fast-paced environment
  • Guide and support the development and implementation of the quality benchmarks and assurances in research projects
  • Keen sense of understanding donor needs, and convert ideas to successful initiatives
  • Consolidate and disseminate “lessons learned”, promote an inter-sectoral exchange of knowledge

Key Competencies / Attributes

  • Independent worker; takes initiative to lead and manage multiple tasks and propose solutions with minimal supervision
  • Ability to work in multiple teams and on multiple projects simultaneously and collaboratively 
  • Motivated to travel to work across various places in India including remote locations
  • Ability to work in a multicultural environment
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English
  • Strong interpersonal skills, and willingness to interact with a wide range of individuals ranging from State and Central government officials, donors, research think tanks, banks, etc. bankers and financial regulators

Application Instructions

  • Deadline: applications are being accepted and reviewed until the position is filled.
  • To apply, please send your resume and a cover letter to mentioning the position “Senior Research Associate, MSME” in the subject line.

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