IIHS seeks Research Associates to join its vibrant intellectual environment within the Academics and Research programme. IIHS is increasingly recognized 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.
About the PEAK project
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: http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk/projects?ref=ES/P011055/1
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.
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.
Activities and Tasks
Responsibilities would include, but not be limited to, the following:
- Assisting with primary and secondary research related to the GCRF-PEAK project on Urban Infrastructure and Governance;
- Carrying out literature surveys of existing work on the planning, development and governance of mega-infrastructure across different scales with a particular focus on the development of urban corridors in the Indian context, and in regions of the Global South;
- Collating existing secondary data through plans, reports, financial documents, and other relevant sources on the planning of large infrastructure projects (particularly industrial corridors) in the Indian context across national, state, and city scales;
- Collecting primary data on infrastructure development and planning in the Bengaluru metropolitan region, focusing especially on the development of the Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor;
- Providing writing assistance on reports, academic papers and other outputs as part of the project;
- Involvement with other related research and practice projects with the proposed School of Governance and Policy, and the Academics and Research team at IIHS;
- Providing support to other IIHS activities including academics, research, training, practice and operations;
- Participating in all activities of Institution-building at IIHS; carrying out tasks as assigned by IIHS; and travelling on IIHS work within or outside the country as needed.
Structure and Reporting
The Research Associate will report to the Senior Consultant – Academics & Research at IIHS and will be required to collaborate effectively with a diverse group of internal teams and external individuals/organisations, and students.
Applicants should have a Master’s degree (or higher) in a relevant field such as (but not limited to) urban planning, law, urban politics, urban sociology, development studies, public policy studies, urban studies, or economic geography; with 3-5 years of work experience on urban and regional governance and planning.
Candidates with a basic knowledge of GIS or experience working with spatial datasets; experience in leading or being part of field research projects in Indian cities; and working knowledge of Kannada and/or Tamil would be at an advantage.
This is a contractual position for an initial term of 11 months, renewable on mutual consent. This offer is on an exclusive basis, which implies that other professional assignments (whether compensated or not) that bear a potential conflict of interest with IIHS cannot be undertaken.
The search will remain open until the position is filled.
This position is based in Bengaluru and may entail travel to other locations in India.
Review and Assessment
The role and performance of the incumbent shall be subject to normal review and assessment systems at IIHS.
IIHS is an equal opportunity employer that encourages women, people with disabilities and those from economically and socially excluded communities with the requisite skills and qualifications to apply for positions.
Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need any clarifications while filling the online application form.
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