Research Associate

Organisation:  IFMR

Apply By:  01 Aug . 2017

Location:  Chennai(Tamil Nadu)

Research Associate
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Project: The Impact of Access to Finance in Rural Tamil Nadu

IFMR LEAD seeks a Research Associate for its project on Impact Evaluation of Access to Finance through Rural Banking Channels in Tamil Nadu, India. The research project is being conducted in collaboration with Prof. Rohini Pande from Harvard University and Erica Field from Duke University.

IFMR LEAD is an India-based research organisation housed at Institute of Financial Management and Research (IFMR). IFMR LEAD conducts high-quality, scalable research and evidence-based outreach to promote inclusive and sustainable development in India and other Low and Middle Income Countries. IFMR is a not-for profit society established in 1970 and is head quartered in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. IFMR Lead has extensive experience in designing and implementing large-scale impact evaluations which comprise of quantitative, qualitative and mixed method approaches. IFMR LEAD’s focus areas include Financial Inclusion, MSME and Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure and Governance, Environment and Climate Change, Public Health, Agriculture, and Data Analytics.

Project Description:

Together with our partner organization KGFS (Kshetriya Grameen Financial Services), a rural financial services provider in Tamil Nadu, this study aims to achieve an in-depth understanding of the impact of using rural bank branches to provide comprehensive financial services. The results of such a study will help shape the development of financial instruments targeted at the poor and, in addition, will inform policy on financial inclusion both in India and globally. Previous studies of microfinance, which focused on microcredit, have not found large effects on poverty alleviation. In contrast, non-experimental evaluations of rural bank branches in India report significant poverty reduction. The intervention at the heart of this study provides a unique opportunity to undertake a rigorous experimental evaluation of the impacts of bank branch expansion in rural areas at both the household and village level. Using a randomized controlled trial we evaluate a financial service delivery model that uses bank branches in villages to provide a full range of credit, savings, and insurance services to entire communities.

Job Description:

Research Associates are at the heart of our work. They independently supervise various research projects on behalf of our partners. IFMR is currently hiring Research Associates for the above mentioned project. The field work/data collection for the project is complete and the Research Associate is required to work largely on data analysis and cleaning using the data collected from different rounds of survey across several components.

Key responsibilities:

Research Associates work closely with academic researchers and other field staff to perform a variety tasks including, but not limited to:

  • Conducting data management and analysis of large primary datasets collected from the field across various survey components using Stata software.
  • Conducting quantitative and qualitative research and supporting the research team based at Evidence for Policy and Design (EPoD), Harvard University, Cambridge as and when required.
  • Designing survey questionnaires, conducting qualitative research, running pilot exercises, refining study design and surveying instruments, as and when required.
  • Managing teams: Recruiting, training, and supervising both field-based and data operations teams consisting of project assistants, field managers, field-based surveyors, data entry operators and other field and office staff
  • Maintaining relationship with partner financial institution at both headquarters and field levels
  • Maintaining relationship with partner academic institutions
  • Ensuring quality of data during data collection and assisting with data cleaning
  • Identifying and collecting useful administrative data
  • Disseminating preliminary and final research results through publications, conferences, and/or innovative methods such as podcasts or blog articles

Qualifications and Skills

  • Masters’ degree in economics, social sciences, or other international development-related field required
  • Fluency in English required
  • Previous experience in development research preferred
  • Familiarity with statistical analysis package Stata required
  • Flexibility and ability to deal with uncertainty. Adaptability to project needs and schedules.
  • Experience and maturity in relationship management
  • Ability to work independently
  • Willingness to travel required


IFMR LEAD provides a highly competitive salary in the industry.


Chennai, India


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