Research Associates

IIHS seeks Research Associates to join its vibrant intellectual environment within the Academics and Research programme. IIHS is increasingly recognised in India and internationally as a significant node in urban research and practice on the global South. Its promotion of inter-disciplinary pedagogy, on-the-ground learning, an excellent library on various aspects of the urban, and a convivial place for research make it an ideal location for scholarship.

This call is associated with the PEAK (Prediction and projection, Emergent urbanism, Adopted knowledge, Knowledge exchange) consortium, funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), UK.

Led by the University of Oxford, and in partnership with IIHS, Peking University and the University of Cape Town, the PEAK consortium has identified four overarching themes of urban dynamics – Prediction, Emergence, Adoption and Knowledge. Researchers will work across natural sciences (including mathematics, medicine, transport and engineering), the social sciences (including anthropology, development, migration) and humanities (including law, history). The PEAK framework synthesises traditional urban studies disciplines with emergent new urban sciences in a programme of research and capacity building across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. PEAK is grounded in the logic of urban complexity to develop an array of disciplinary perspectives that will address the challenges of the 21st century city. More details on the PEAK consortium are available here.

The focus of the PEAK project is particularly on developing a new cohort of interdisciplinary urban researchers, and therefore offers multiple opportunities for young scholars to develop research, teaching, and writing skills. Opportunities exist for individual scholarship, collaborative work with scholars at partner institutions including the University of Oxford and the University of Cape Town, as well as potential travel to partner institutions through summer schools and internships.

Infrastructure and Governance
IIHS seeks applications for a Research Associate to join a 4-year research project on Bengaluru’s economy. This research project focuses broadly on issues of urban and regional infrastructure planning and governance. We are particularly interested in candidates whose work engages with the development of mega infrastructure projects in urban regions, urban and regional governance questions, and urban politics. This research will focus on the process of infrastructure development within cities as well as across city regions, particularly looking at the Bengaluru Metropolitan Region, and the Bengaluru-Chennai corridor.

Through this work, we intend to examine not only the planning and governance processes that make such projects possible, but also examine aspects such as financing, land transformation, and economic impacts of these mega-infrastructure projects. We will study the different state and non-state stakeholders, such as private sector consultants, international development agencies, real estate developers, and citizens’ groups involved in the process; and the networks that enable such development.

The Research Associate will be part of the process of expanding ongoing research at IIHS on urban governance, infrastructure development and urban politics. New research in this area will seek to build knowledge on how mega infrastructure is being built, and by whom, particularly focusing on the role of private/non-state actors. Field work will be in the greater Bengaluru metropolitan region. Comparative work with other urban regions in India will also be encouraged.

Urban Economy and Employment
IHS seeks applications for a Research Associate to join a 4-year research project on Bengaluru’s economy. This research project focuses broadly on how cities in developing countries can generate equitable growth trajectories and broad-based employment opportunities with decent wages in light of “premature deindustrialisation” (Rodrik 2016) and persistent informality (Chen 2012). By focusing on manufacturing enterprises in Bengaluru, a megacity with a substantial services-based economy, we propose to address the following questions. Is formal manufacturing moving further away from the city, as land prices escalate and due to demands for better environmental management within city boundaries? What implications does this have for employment opportunities in the city of Bengaluru? In addressing this question, we will also attempt to build a new base of evidence about enterprises along the formal-informal continuum at the city scale.

We seek a person who is interested in issues of urban economic development and employment in Indian cities. We are particularly interested in candidates who are interested in experimenting with empirical and mixed methods – such as integrating spatial datasets and exploiting alternative sources for economic data besides primary surveys – for example the relationship between land use change and industrialization transformation, an analysis that includes but also goes beyond conventional data bases.

Land Economy and Urban Finance
IIHS seeks applications for a Research Associate to join a 4-year research project on Bengaluru’s land economy.

India’s cities and their regions are made up of complex economic relationships and produce a diverse range of spatial and social economic outcomes. The relationships, spaces and outcomes visible in India’s cities, are often difficult to understand using economic theories and concepts, which draw on Euro-American development experiences. A key factor structuring the complexity of urban economies is the question of land – and the diversity of social, economic and financial relations that depend on land, land value and land use.

We are looking for a person interested in studying the city and its economy (urban and periurban areas) from the perspective of land & real estate – and land based financing. Candidates with a research interest and practice experience in land & real estate markets, urban land development through public-private partnerships, land-based urban financing and land governance are encouraged to apply.

Public Policy
IIHS is seeking a Research Associate interested in working across sectors in urban planning, social policy, economic development/livelihoods and housing. The person will support current projects on urban health observatories, home-based workers and social protection, as well as incremental growth and rental housing.

Urban Observatory
IIHS seeks applications for a Research Associate to join an initiative to develop an observatory on Bengaluru city. This will be developed as part of a 4-year research project focusing on the economy, infrastructure, public health, energy, land, and spatial modeling. The urban observatory aims to collect various layers of quantitative and spatial data at the city scale, and develop an interactive online platform through which these can be made available to researchers and practitioners working on Bengaluru city.

We seek a person who is interested in urban data and its applications, and has expertise either in data science, database architecture, or in data design and communication. Ideal candidates will be able to experiment and come up with new ideas about developing or exploiting novel data sources. Candidates should come with a familiarity with existing public data sources at the national scale such as the Census, the National Sample Surveys, the National Family Health Survey, as well as data at the city scale such as those regarding infrastructure use and access, land use and property or housing prices, the master plan, etc.

For more information about the posts and how to apply, visit the IIHS website.