RA opportunity in the area of reproductive health

Project: Understanding women’s abortion and abortion-related decision-making in India: A Mixed-Methods Study [PhD project]

Lead Researcher: Ms. Rishita Nandagiri, PhD candidate; LSE.

Post Title: Research Assistant

Project Summary: Despite the legality of abortion in India, of the 6.4 million induced abortions performed every year, it is estimated that 3.6 million (56%) are unsafe. Women’s abortion decision-making processes and care-seeking trajectories remain under-studied, and the role of practitioners and providers in women access to safe abortion services has received scant attention.

To inform future interventions and analyse the current abortion policies in India, in-depth research is necessary. This current mixed-methods study forms PhD fieldwork for a doctoral candidate at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

There are three phases to the project: Pilot Study (November 2016-December 2016), Fieldwork Site 1 (January 2017- March 2017), and Fieldwork Site 2 (April 2017-June 2017).

Post and Recruitment Overview: There are two research assistant positions available. The duties and qualifications apply for both positions, and successful candidates will work together as part of a team with the lead researcher. The positions are initially for November 2016 – December 2016, with scope for extension into January 2017 (pilot study). A monthly stipend will be paid, and additional costs and related expenses for the project duration (if any) can be discussed.

Due to the sensitive nature of the research, female applicants are preferred for the two posts. Fluency in English and Kannada is essential. The pilot study is based in Bengaluru (Bangalore), with field sites likely to be in Mysore and Tumkur districts.  Candidates willing to travel/relocate to the field sites (January 2017-July 2017) are ideal, but for outstanding candidates this can be negotiated.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for a one day (paid) training. The final selection of candidates will take into account experience, knowledge, and skills as observed during the training period. Successful candidates will receive extensive training on research methodologies and the research project’s data collection tools and protocols prior to fieldwork. The successful candidates will also receive training on data management, and research ethics.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Ensure that data are collected and recorded in a timely, reliable, and efficient manner.
  • Work closely with the lead researcher to liaise with community leaders, administrators, and other stakeholders to identify and recruit research participants.
  • Support the lead researcher during in-depth interviews (note-taking, translation).
  • Support the lead researcher with administration of the survey instrument (note-taking, translation).
  • Work with the lead researcher to transcribe, and translate in-depth interviews into English.
  • Perform other related tasks as necessary (organisation and logistics).

Essential Qualifications

  • Degree in Sociology, Gender Studies, Public Health, Community Health, or related discipline.
  • Experience with interviewing people in community/clinical settings, and experience or interest in qualitative research.
  • Fluency in English, and written and oral Kannada. Other languages (South Indian, in particular) would be preferred.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and protect sensitive information.
  • Comfortable with Microsoft Office
  • Strong organisational and time-management skills.

Desired Qualifications

  • Previous research experience will be an advantage.
  • Experience in Sexual and Reproductive Health- or related- fields.
  • Ability and willingness to travel.


Interested candidates are invited to submit their CV, up to two references, a brief note about relevant experience and interest in the project, and contact details on or before 27/10/2016 to the following e-mail address: rishitanandagiri@gmail.com.

Only short listed applicants will be invited for training. Selected applicants should be available to take up the appointment immediately.


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