The Research Director will foster a culture of research excellence and ensure high quality research across WRI India’s offices in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru. He or she will work closely with WRI’s Global Science and Research (S&R) team, leading the peer review process for WRI-branded knowledge products in India, mentoring staff, developing and providing training, and ensuring that WRI’s strategies are evidence-based and contribute to achieving WRI’s goals.
All WRI-branded knowledge products pass through a rigorous, centralized 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 in terms of the quality of research and its ability to drive change in the world in ways that support our mission.
The successful candidate will derive satisfaction from helping others to succeed. They will have strong analytical skills, cross-disciplinary experience, and a passion for environment and development issues. He or she will use expert judgment to approve publications and will stand up for quality against resistance. The successful candidate must ensure ethical /good practice of maintaining confidentiality of the review process, and be objective and constructive in scrutiny and the effective supervision of plagiarism and malpractices.
This is a full-time position and has following primary functions:
- Create a strong culture of research excellence across the organization, working closely with the WRI India CEO Office Director and the Global Science and Research team;
- Ensure that all WRI India-branded knowledge products meet WRI’s quality standards and are designed to deliver actionable results; and
- Strengthen WRI India’s capacity to conduct high-quality, actionable research by providing guidance on research design, data interpretation, analytical issues, and effective writing.
- Build partnerships with academia and external subject matter experts to bring in all-round perspectives within WRI India publications and research outputs.
Key Responsibilities :
Create a strong culture of research excellence
- Ensure that the links between research and outcomes are understood by all program staff and pursued as an integral part of strategies to drive sustainable outcomes.
- Foster a learning culture where constructive criticism and candor are highly valued and staff feel empowered to speak up and discuss failures.
- Work with the India Director to ensure organizational incentives are aligned with promoting high-quality research.
- Ensure that all WRI India-branded knowledge products meet WRI’s quality standards and are designed to deliver actionable results
- Work with the WRI India CEO and the Global Science & Research team to oversee the peer review process for WRI India-branded publications.
- Provide early feedback to authors on research design and the provision of robust evidence that is fit for key audiences—including policymakers, businesses, multilateral development organizations—and coherent with other research and publications at WRI.
- Review WRI India publications to determine whether they meet WRI’s research standards and approve them for publication.
- Assist research staff to identify external experts who can provide objective, relevant reviews of drafts.
Strengthen WRI India’s capacity to conduct high-quality actionable research
- Provide support to program staff on how to produce high-quality work, including research design, data interpretation, analytical issues, and effective writing.
- Identify skills gaps and contribute to the development of S&R research training modules to address those gaps.
- Instigate a regular series of early research seminars to provide early feedback to researchers, connect the dots across programs, and foster a culture of openness to feedback.
- Participate in hiring of research-focused staff by providing support to staff on research design, data interpretation, analytical issues, and effective writing.
- Contribute to research components of fundraising proposals.
- Track record of producing and overseeing high-quality research.
- Strategic thinking, strong planning and managerial skills.
- Demonstrated knowledge of specific research methods, quantitative or qualitative, and ability to communicate those methods clearly to diverse colleagues.
- Sound judgment and the ability to uphold high quality standards. Strong sense of skepticism and the ability to diagnose and articulate weaknesses in research.
- Demonstrated ability to mentor staff and give constructive feedback and clearly explain the reasoning behind decisions.
- Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work in a fast-paced environment in a collegial fashion as part of a small, collaborative team.
- International experience strongly preferred.
- Natural curiosity and interest in keeping current with the latest science and policies relevant to WRI India’s work.
- Excellent communication and writing skills in English.
- Patience and persistence and willingness to stand up for quality under pressure.
- Ph.D. in a discipline related to environment or development, with strong methodological skills in social sciences, natural sciences, urban planning or related fields.
- Minimum of ten years of experience in conducting policy research related to environment and/or development and at least five-years overseeing junior researchers.
- Proven track record of conducting and overseeing research that translates into policy and practice.
- Experience of mixed methods and cross disciplinary/interdisciplinary approaches.