Program Research Lead- Research and Data Specialist

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Who we are and what we do?

WRI India, an independent charity legally registered as the India Resources Trust, provides objective information and practical proposals to foster environmentally sound and socially equitable development. WRI India’s mission is to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth’s environment and its capacity to provide for the needs and aspirations of current and future generations. Through research, analysis, and recommendations, WRI India puts ideas into action to build transformative solutions to protect the earth, promote livelihoods, and enhance human well-being.
We are inspired by and associated with World Resources Institute (WRI), a global research organization. Currently over 250 researchers are working with WRI India in our offices at Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

Job Overview

You will help create a culture of research excellence and ensure WRI India produces high-quality research that contributes to organizational goals.

All WRI-branded knowledge products are required to go through a rigorous peer- review process, involving both internal and external experts, to help ensure quality, accuracy, institutional coherence, and a lack of bias in our research. WRI measures the success of publications regarding the quality of research and it's impact in the world in ways that support our mission.

As part of WRI India’s Research Data and Innovation (RDI) team, you will help lead the peer review process for WRI India publications and data products. You will also guide staff working on research and data analysis at different stages of their work, help develop and provide research training and ensure ethical research and data practices. You will work with RDI colleagues and program teams to integrate research, data and evidence into country and program strategies and policy work and strengthen the integration of gender and social equity considerations in WRI India research publications. In partnership with WRI programs, you will also advise and collaborate in proposal development and research projects.

Job Requirements

You will have experience working on applied, interdisciplinary and policy-relevant research. You will have knowledge and methodological expertise on data for development and policy, such as Indian national statistics, administrative/ public data, geo-spatial satellite data, ‘big data.’ We are looking for people with a demonstrated commitment to equitable, inclusive and sustainable development and research experience or interests relevant to WRI program areas – Cities, Climate and Climate Resilience, Energy, Sustainable Landscapes and Restoration.

The RDI Lead/ Research and Data specialist will use expert judgment to review, help strengthen and approve WRI India publications following WRI standards for research integrity, relevance, ethical research practice and clear research communication. You will support and guide programs and research teams at multiple stages of the research process, including research design and planning, data analysis and interpretation. You will support learning and collaboration across WRI India, and help teams develop links between implementation, learning and evidence.

About your Role

This is a full-time position in WRI India’s Research Data and Innovation (RDI) team, with the following responsibilities:

  • Support RDI to foster a culture of research excellence across the organization. Help strengthen integration between WRI research and strategic goals and priorities, in particular equity in research, policy work and practice.
  • Strengthen WRI India capacity to conduct high-quality, policy-relevant research by providing guidance on research design, methodology, data analysis and interpretation and communication/sharing of findings.
  • Engage with and build partnerships with academia, peer research organizations and external subject matter experts to introduce diverse perspectives and new/ modern knowledge on WRI issues and strengthen WRI research outputs.
  • Ensure that all WRI India-branded knowledge products meet WRI quality standards and are relevant to context, policy and action.
  • In partnership with WRI Programs and Centers, collaborate in and lead specific research projects

How your day will unfold:

  • Ensure that WRI India-branded knowledge products meet WRI’s quality standards (50% of time)
  • As part of WRI’s RDI team, help oversee the peer review process for WRI India branded publications and data products
  • Review WRI India publications to determine whether they meet WRI research standards and approve them for publication
  • Provide constructive feedback to authors on research design, methods, data and evidence and research communication that is fit for intended audiences—including policymakers, businesses, civil society organizations, multilateral development organizations, peers and partners —and 'aligned' with institutional goals.
  • Help implement WRI’s human subjects' protocols and framework for responsible data practices in India
  • Assist research staff in identifying external experts who can provide objective, relevant reviews of drafts.
  • Foster a culture of openness to feedback (20% of time)
  • Support and work with program and institutional colleagues to systematically integrate research, learning and evidence-generation into program planning.
  • Ensure program staff understand WRI’s research standards and review process, and broader issues of research integrity
  • Help create a learning culture where constructive criticism and candor are valued and staff feel empowered to ask questions and discuss failures
  • Foster/facilitate research collaborations and partnerships with academia, peer research organizations and external experts
  • Organize a regular series of early research seminars to provide early feedback to researchers, connect the dots across programs, and foster a culture.

Strengthen WRI India’s capacity to conduct high-quality actionable research (30% of time) aligned with WRI’s mission and strategy

  • Provide guidance and support to program staff on how to produce high-quality work, including research design, data interpretation, analytical issues, and effective writing
  • Help ensure the substantive integration of Gender and Social Equity questions in WRI Research and Data Analysis
  • Support and advise programs on data-related questions, and on integrating analysis of socio-economic and human development data into their work
  • Review large grants and contribute to research and data-related components of fundraising proposals
  • Collaborate in and support specific research and data projects with WRI programs
  • Identify skills and knowledge gaps, and contribute to RDI research training to address those gaps. Participate in hiring research-related staff

Qualification and Requirements we seek:

  • Ph.D. in a social or natural sciences discipline relevant to environment or development or in fields such as economics, geography, sociology; development, urban or environmental planning, natural resources management, public policy
  • Demonstrated knowledge of a range of research methods, quantitative and/or qualitative, and experience with multi-disciplinary and applied/ problem-focused research. Expertise in geo-spatial data and analysis preferred
  • 7+ years of relevant experience in conducting policy-relevant research related to environment and/or development and at least 2+ years overseeing junior researchers.
  • Ability to mentor, guide and support research teams with different levels of research experience, give constructive feedback and clearly explain the reasoning behind decisions
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work in a collegial and collaborative fashion in a fast-growing and diverse, multi-national organization.
  • A commitment to inclusion, diversity and equity within WRI India, and fostering a supportive, respectful and open work culture.
  • A strong understanding of critical environmental and development challenges in India, a natural curiosity and interest in keeping current with the latest research, data and evidence and policies relevant to WRI India’s mission and work.
  • Excellent oral and written English skills
  • Patience, persistence and willingness to stand up for quality under pressure.

Salary & Benefits: INR 2100000 to INR 2500000 CTC Per Annum

Salary shall be commensurate with experience and skills. WRI offers a generous and comprehensive benefits package.

Location: Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai India

Duration: 1 year as term hire (extendable based on performance and project requirements)

List of Documents to be attached:

  • Cover letter explaining how your academic background and skills meet the requirements of this position.
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Writing samples

How to Apply

Submission of a cover letter and CV/resume is required. Final candidates will be invited to provide a rapid review of a sample draft.

Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered.

Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted for interview purpose.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) @WRI India

WRI India values and promotes diversity, equity and inclusion across all areas of our work and workforce. Integrating these values into our actions fosters a progressive and collaborative culture and can also enhance our impact. It is our responsibility to create a welcoming working environment for people of diverse cultures, backgrounds and experience to learn together. We are responsible for fostering a safe and inclusive workplace where questions, concerns and information about diversity, equity and inclusion are part of our ongoing dialogue and development.

Learn more about WRI India’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Click Here

People-centric to the core:

We keep our people at the centre of everything we do - from a welcoming work environment to benefits and a culture that encourages staff to stay healthy, happy, engaged, and growing.

Some of the non-monetary benefits that our staff get:

Health benefits: We cover health insurance for you and your loved ones for up to INR 8 lakhs

Term Insurance: Our term insurance policy covers life coverage of 50 lakhs per staffmember

Employee Assistance program: Promoting mental well-being and supporting staff in achieving a satisfying work-life balance

Health & Nutrition: Personalized diet recommendation from a certified dietitian based on the physical health condition and lifestyle

Flexible work schedule: Alternative work arrangements for all who are eligible by nature of their job

Learning culture: Workshops and trainings to empower staff, encourage new learning opportunities

Rest and Recharge weeks: We encourage staff to take time off to rest, rejuvenate, upskill, and pursue their interests.

Our leave policy: Avail personal time off at 36 per year, along with public holidays, maternity, paternity, and adoption leaves.

Click here to know more about our benefits Careers | WRI INDIA (

Equal employment @WRI India

We believe in equal employment, it is our policy to recruit, and provide opportunities for advancement in all job classifications without regard to caste, religion, sex, age, marital status, sexual preference, parental status, or disability.