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Wednesday, January 15, 2020


Centre for Civil Society (CCS) is looking for an Associate Director (Research) based in New Delhi to lead research initiatives on structural reforms in education, regulatory barriers to livelihoods and entrepreneurship, and quality of governance.

About Centre for Civil Society

CCS is an independent think tank based in New Delhi studying structural public policy challenges in India and advocating market-based reform ideas to solve these problems. Our work in education, livelihood, and policy training promotes choice and accountability across private and public sectors. To translate policy into practice, we engage with policy and opinion leaders through research, pilot projects and advocacy.

Over the last many years, CCS’ research team has built a reputation for shining light on the dark recesses of governance: collecting and analysing data through primary surveys, ethnographic studies, public datasets and administrative data, and RTI applications, compiling legal and legislative analysis; testing the validity of innovative governance tools through pilot projects; and proposing a redesign of existing regulatory frameworks.

Examples of our research outputs

  1. In 2019 we studied the regulatory interface between government and private schools by analysing administrative data on licensing, fee regulation and inspections to understand the challenges of starting and operating private schools in northern India.
  2. In 2019, we developed a quality of regulation checklist and are assembling a dataset to measure the volume and complexity of regulation across India.
  3. In 2018 we examined the ground realities of the ease of doing business effort at the state level in Delhi producing 7 distinct papers using a combination of primary surveys, time and motion studies and investigative journalism.
  4. To test if the government was living up to its promise of including street vendors in urban planning and governance, we conducted a deep study of the implementation of the Street Vendors Act in 2017 and 2019 using case law analysis, analysis of state-level data and stakeholder interviews.
  5. We have conducted multiple pilot projects to test the design and application of vouchers for school and skill education, inclusive education using 25% RTE reserved seats, school quality improvement mechanisms etc.
  6. Over the years, we have produced over 150 research papers on the challenges facing micro, small and medium entrepreneurs and issues in education governance using observational studies and primary data collection.

Role profile

The Associate Director (Research) will lead data-driven research initiatives and deliver different types of research output. She will lead and manage high-quality teams oriented towards delivery and impact. She will partner with our advocacy team to effectively disseminate outputs from our research to elected representatives, policymakers, media and other important stakeholders. She will also write funding proposals and manage commitments to donors.

Researchers at CCS have sharp analytical and critical thinking abilities, and curiosity about the interplay between government, citizens, markets and civil society. An ideal team member is energetic, proactive, able to work independently and collaboratively as needed, and possesses both integrity and the humility to seek advice when needed.

Key responsibilities

  • Execute research agenda on education reforms and regulatory barriers to entrepreneurship:
    • Identify knowledge gaps and develop research questions/projects.
    • Ensure research is carried out within defined timelines across multiple projects including:
      • Directing research design and overseeing the implementation.
      • Quality assurance of data collection and analysis.
      • Building relationships with external service providers and researchers.
      • Troubleshooting.
    • Build a journal publication pipeline and ensure research output meets the rigour and relevance for publication in leading journals.
    • Write opinion pieces and commentaries on research undertaken and contemporary issues for newspapers, journals and other relevant publications.
    • Supervise managers/senior managers and associates on particular initiatives.
  • Represent CCS in external forums and present research outputs

Candidate qualifications

Experience and Education

  • At least an MA/MSc in Economics/Statistics/Political Science/Political Economy/Public Policy (PhD is a bonus).
  • 10-12 years of experience:
    • At least 5 years in a research role with a think tank or research institution.
    • At least 5 years of experience managing teams and leading projects.
    • Ability to develop and oversee project budgets, set priorities, plan timelines and meet deadlines, and hire and manage teams.
  • Proficiency and experience in at least three of the following research skills:
    • Running primary surveys (questionnaire design), response coding, and analysis of quantitative responses.
    • Working with datasets (eg. NSSO, CMIE’s household data or Government of India’s U-DISE raw data)
    • Working with government administrative data (IT system logs, inspection reports, grievance logs, etc)
    • Conducting case studies, using ethnographic research methods.
  • Proficiency in using R and LaTex (Python programming skills are a bonus)
  • Should have published reports, and op-eds and in recognised journal(s) on issues relating to structural reforms, governance, education, and/or doing business in India.


  • Analyzing complex qualitative and quantitative data, crafting possible solutions, and recommending actions.
  • Knowledge of a wide range of research methodologies and techniques, including qualitative and quantitative approaches.
  • Proficiency in high-quality succinct error-free writing in English.
  • Networking with leading researchers in India and around the world.
  • Communicating research content effectively, both orally and in writing, in English, to government partners, policy influencers, team members, researchers, partner organisations and donors.
  • Processing vast amounts of information and generating useful insights quickly and
  • Up to date knowledge of the Indian policy process and political landscape.


Candidates who are qualified should apply using this link. Applicants must attach an updated CV, a cover letter, at least 2 publications (solo or co-authored), and 2 references. Selected candidates will be called for interviews. Qualified candidates should apply on this link.

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