Research Assistant/Research Associate at the India Institute

London (Greater) (GB)
£34,502 - £42,592 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
17 Jan 2023
End of advertisement period
06 Feb 2023
Contract Type
Full Time

Job description

The King’s India Institute at King’s College London invites applications for a Research Assistant (Masters level) or Research Associate (PhD level) in trade and business and economics.

The post will be based in the research team of Dr Sunil Mitra Kumar (King’s India Institute) and Dr Kamini Gupta (King’s Business School) at KCL’s Strand Campus in central London as part of a 3-year project Enablers and Obstacles for UK-India Trade: Banks and Diasporas (UKIT- ENOB) funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and Indian Council of Social Science Research.

UKIT-ENOB aims to understand key enablers and obstacles to UK-India trade from the perspective of small export-oriented firms in India. Key project collaborators also include India-based Primary Investigator Dr Prateek Gupta (IIM, Bangalore) as well as non-academic partner FICCI UK. The project focuses on understanding macro questions surrounding UK-India trade (in particular, ongoing negotiations around signing an FTA) as well as focusing specifically on the role of small Indian export-oriented manufacturing firms by gathering primary data on handwoven carpet manufacturing firms, as well as primary data on UK-based buyers.

The project is now in its second year, and the post-holder will contribute to research, project management, and impact creation under the guidance of Drs Kumar and Gupta. They will collaborate with various stakeholders as necessary to further these aims. Specifically, the postholder will be expected to: conduct interviews with UK-based buyers of Indian carpet exports, co-write project outputs including policy notes and journal articles and OpEds, assist in analysing data (depending on expertise, this could include qualitative and/or quantitative data). They will also co-lead and co-create an impact strategy, and lead on day to day project-management involving event planning (seminars, roundtables, panel discussions) in coordination with project partners, besides assisting with updating the project website.

The King’s India Institute is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion, and has a vibrant, friendly and international research culture focused on contributing to a public understanding of contemporary India through empirical research, events and outreach activities, and partnerships with academic and non-academic partners in India and internationally. As part of the School of Global Affairs, the Institute includes a vibrant PhD community of around 20 students and anchors the MSc Global Affairs which has approximately 70 students, a core group of faculty, and associate members of faculty across the social sciences, arts and humanities, and law at King’s.

The King’ Business School (KBS) is a diverse community committed to high quality research and teaching. Guided by its four research values: rigour, relevance, inclusion and innovation; members of faculty conduct research that combines rigorous scholarly insight with practical and relevant impact around the biggest problems being faced by organizations today. KBS runs highly successful undergraduate and post-graduate programs in management attracting students from across 80 different countries, including an active PhD community.

The postholder will form part of a group of academics in the department, and will have opportunities for professional development or pursue their own ideas within the themes of the project.

The post will be responsible to Dr Sunil Mitra Kumar. For questions or further information, please email

The position starts in April 2023 and will be offered on a full-time, fixed term contract for up to one year. The latest possible end date for this post is 30 April 2024.

Key responsibilities

  • Assist in analysing data (depending on expertise, this could include qualitative and/or quantitative data) and conducting interviews with UK-based buyers of Indian exports, particularly products made by small manufacturing firms.
  • Co-write project outputs including policy notes and journal articles and OpEds.
  • Co-lead and co-create an impact strategy involving key stakeholders (policy-makers, industry figures, academics)
  • Lead on day to day project-management involving event planning (seminars, roundtables, panel discussions) in coordination with project partners FICCI UK and Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIM-B)
  • Assist with updating the project website
  • Contribute positively to an inclusive, diverse and collegial working environment.

The post-holder at postdoctoral level would additionally be required to

  • Co-author journal articles using data collected as part of the project
  • Lead on analysing data (interviews and survey data) and creating data summaries for dissemination in the form of policy briefs and OpEds.

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.

Skills, knowledge, and experience

Essential criteria

1.       Masters in economics, business, development, or a related area of social sciences

2.       Knowledge of and/or interest in international trade and in particular UK-India trade

3.       Strong writing skills, including the ability to create narratives that convey complex concepts in non-technical language. Doing so independently, and with the willingness to incorporate feedback. (Grade 5)

4.       Ability to work independently and as part of a team

5.       Ability to plan and organize events and outreach and create impact

6.       Proficient with and experienced in at least one of qualitative or quantitative methods. For instance, planning, conducting and analysing interviews (qualitative) or handling survey data and regression modelling (quantitative)

7.       Ability to communicate to non-specialist audiences via blogs and opinion pieces, and peer-reviewed journal articles.

8.       Project management skills requiring managing multiple parts of the overall project such as data collection, seminar series, and impact work across different timelines

9.       PhD in economics, business, development, or a related area of social sciences (Grade 6)

10.    Evidence of ability to publish peer-reviewed papers in internationally recognised journals (Grade 6)

11.    Evidence of ability to independently conduct research and write up findings. (Grade 6)


Desirable criteria 

1.       Knowledge of one or more of small business economics, trade economics, supply chains, small business credit, social networks, network analysis

2.       Demonstrable experience of working on impact, knowledge exchange, and/or public engagement in the context of the social sciences

3.       Experience in conducting interviews, and/or surveys, and/or questionnaire design


Please note for candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting award of their PhDs, the appointment will be made at Grade 5, spine point 30 with the title of Research Assistant. Upon confirmation of the award of the PhD, the job title will become Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6.

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