Research Associate – Air Pollution and Health Project

Research Associate – Air Pollution and Health Project

Location: New Delhi, India

Job Description

Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) at the Center for International Development at Harvard University has been partnering with India’s Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR), to implement a series of research projects focused on development policy in India. Both IFMR and EPoD are dedicated to using rigorous evidence to address challenging questions at the intersection of economic development and public policy. Our cutting-edge research examines questions related to governance, financial inclusion, livelihoods, gender, and sustainable development, drawing from a network of expert academics with expertise in India and around the world.

EPoD India at IFMR is collaborating with the Energy Policy Institute of Chicago (EPIC) to study the impact of air pollution on health outcomes in Delhi. Using low-cost, portable sensors, we have generated heat maps that identify pollution hotspots and spatiotemporal patterns of pollution within Delhi. The key objective of the study is to use this granular air quality data to estimate local health impacts of pollution levels using monthly/weekly/daily data on respiratory diseases from primary health centres such as dispensaries and Mohalla clinics under the Delhi government. We are working with the Health Ministry to better understand existing health datasets.

The position requires a self-starting candidate who can conduct in-depth interviews and scoping activities with partner organizations, manage field activities and coordinate field staff for the execution of surveys and data collection, and support with high quality cleaning and rigorous analysis of both primary and secondary data.  The selected candidate will have the opportunity to join a team of leading economists and public policy experts from Harvard University, and Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) at IFMR LEAD and EPIC to work on cutting-edge development research and gain first-hand experience working with policy partners, implementing surveys and field experiments, and conducting rigorous data analysis.  S/he will be based in New Delhi, with travel to other parts of the country.

Key Responsibilities:

  1. Oversee the day-to-day implementation of field-based research (scoping, surveying, project implementation) – including the management of field personnel, procurement, budgets, and reporting for the project
  2. Assist in the design and field-testing of survey instruments; procurement of supplies, development and oversight of field and quality control protocols; recruitment, training, and leading of field staff; and coordination with local partners
  3. Seek out and collect administrative data from policy partners and government agencies
  4. Conduct data cleaning, manipulation, and analysis using multiple primary and secondary data sources for several EPoD-affiliated policy research projects
  5. Review and report on academic literature of requested topics in support of policy briefs and research projects
  6. Contribute to analysis and writing of policy briefs for various government partners and case studies on project components
  7. Manage day-to-day relationships with national, state, and lower-level government officials and other potential partners (academics, policy organizations, NGOs, etc.) as requested
  8. Provide appropriate inputs for project management (budgets, reports, etc.) for IFMR in India and for program monitoring and reporting to the management hub at Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) at Harvard
  9. Others, as required

Basic Qualifications: Bachelor's candidates with at least 2 years of experience in data-based research, preferably in economics, engineering or a related field. Strong interest in public policy and economic development in low-income countries. Excellent oral and written English and Hindi communication skills and proficiency in Stata and the Microsoft Office suite. Mature, self-directed individual with ability to balance multiple tasks and prioritize effectively to meet deadlines, providing high-quality output, in a fast-paced working environment.

Preferred Qualifications: Master's degree in economics, policy, engineering or related field and experience in Stata is highly desired. Candidate should have strong interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to engage with policy partners of various levels.

How to Apply: If you are interested in this position, please email at with the subject line "Research Associate: Air Pollution and Health", your CV, academic transcript, and a statement of interest.


See also: India