Research Associate, MSME

Employer: LEAD at Krea University

Location: Chennai

Assignment type: Full-time position

Salary: Commensurate with qualifications and experience

About Krea University

Krea University is an emerging liberal arts institution offering multidisciplinary undergraduate programs which equip students to find their niche in the fluid, interconnected world of development. ‘Krea’ means an action-oriented approach in Sanskrit. The world-class University is home to the School of Interwoven Arts and Sciences (SIAS), IFMR Graduate School of Business and LEAD.

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 Role

The Research Associate (RA) will be engaged in the project from the designing and implementation of data collection phase through to the data management. Depending on the type of research project and the skillset of the research associate, the role will entail field based or office-based work, or a combination of both. The RAs work closely with academic researchers and other senior staff to perform a variety of tasks including: designing survey questionnaires, managing survey teams, negotiating contracts with survey firms, collecting secondary data from published sources and government institutions, checking and analyzing data, coordinating with local program partners, working with data sets, cleaning and running checks to spot errors, and generally preparing data for analysis. The RA will have to conduct relevant statistical and econometric analysis using the data collected. 

About the Project

The MSME and Entrepreneurship vertical at Lead at Krea University is looking for a motivated and dynamic Research Associate to work in cross-cutting themes around financial access to women home-based businesses, COVID’s impact on micro enterprises, and digital transformation in rural artisanal clusters. 

Key Responsibilities of the Position:


  • Literature reviews
  • Identify and understand research questions
  • Designing surveys questionnaires
  • Conducting Qualitative and Quantitative Research
  • Assisting RM in study design and survey instruments

Field Supervision

  • Supervise field staff in relation to data collection and other support activities.
  • Ensure appropriate structures and reporting mechanisms are in place to effectively collect good quality data.
  • Troubleshooting and crisis management in field data collection. Keep the reporting manager informed about the situation.


  • Effectively communicate to different stakeholders – written and verbal – i.e. to Principal Investigator, Survey Teams, SRAs, Research Manager, Partners.
  • Keep senior staff informed on all relevant changes/developments in the project.

Partner Management

  • Develop and maintain a good working relationship with partner organizations – field level and management level.

Data Management and Analysis

  • Ensuring encryption and safe storage of data; confidentiality measures are in place and working.
  • Work with raw datasets, proficient in data cleaning and presenting summary stats.
  • Collect data from published secondary sources like NSSO, NFHS, Census, or relevant government institutions.
  • Undertake data cleaning and preparing data for analysis.
  • Undertaking statistical and econometric data analysis using relevant data software like SPSS, STATA, etc.


  • Write reports, blogs on the project they are working on.
  • Provide up to date summaries of project they are working on for website and other promotional activity.

Background and Qualifications:


  • Bachelors in Economics, Environmental Economics/Policy, Development Studies, or related field is mandatory. Masters from similar discipline will be preferred.
  • Familiarity with statistical analysis packages (e.g. Stata, R), basic data (NSSO, NFHS, Census and other environmental/socio-economic indicators) preferred.

Work Experience

  • Previous experience in development research or work in developing countries is strongly preferred.
  • Experience and maturity in relationship management and ability to work within tight deadlines expected.

Key Competencies / Attributes

  • Fluency in English required; fluency in another Indian language is strongly preferred
  • Excellent writing and analysis skills
  • Flexibility and ability to deal with uncertainty. Adaptability to project needs and schedules
  • Ability to work independently, to be well organized and detail oriented
  • Flexible to travel and relocate to a remote location 

Application Instructions

  • Deadline: Applications are being accepted and reviewed until the position is filled.
  • To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter, and writing sample.
  • Please direct queries and applications to the title “Research Associate – MSME” in the subject line.