Consultant–Urban Informatics Lab

Posted 2 years ago

About the Urban Informatics Lab

The Urban Informatics Laboratory (UIL) at IIHS carries out research and analysis on India’s urbanization using primary and secondary data. The Lab specialises in developing new methods to study and understand urban patterns, particularly in the context of data-scarce environments. It innovates in data creation, collection and organisation, as well as in bringing in diverse methods for urban problem-solving.

Further, it applies its learnings through research, policy, and practice projects across multiple thematic areas such as employment, economic development, social protection, food systems, land markets, housing, environmental sustainability, health, and inequality. The Lab also offers capacity building, teaching and training on urban data analysis for a range of learners across levels.

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Job Description

The UIL is seeking candidates who are interested in building a portfolio of individual and collective work on solving urban problems using data analysis. The Consultant – UIL will join a team with diverse disciplinary backgrounds in areas such as data and statistical analysis, economics, urban planning, software engineering, and public policy, and will work with the team on multiple research and practice projects, as well as on teaching, training and capacity building. This is a full-time position located in the Urban Informatics Lab.

The position will involve providing analytical support for IIHS research and practice projects, and for teaching quantitative research methods. The selected candidate will work with secondary data sets from various sources such as the Census, NSSO, Economic Census, Annual Survey of Industries, National Family Health Survey, as well as geo-spatial data from multiple sources. S/he will also assist in primary data collection through surveys, and will work on projects related to economic development, urban demographic trends across various scales, land markets, and urban food systems, amongst others.

Activities and Tasks

Responsibilities would include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Anchoring and managing research and practice projects, including designing the choice of methods, the data collection and the analysis plan, as well as working towards research or practice outputs such as reports or papers;
  • Proposing and executing quantitative solutions to various problems across IIHS research and practice projects, applying quantitative methodologies as well as developing new and innovative methodologies to build a deeper understanding of urban India;
  • Assisting with writing proposals for new projects and helping expand the UIL project portfolio;
  • Consolidating the existing work of the Lab and supporting outward-facing communication of the Lab’s work;
  • Teaching particular aspects of quantitative research methods or data visualisation for IIHS’ teaching and training programs;
  • Working on converting insights from UIL projects into written outputs for a variety of audiences, such as journal articles, commentary pieces, reports, policy papers and briefs, shorter articles for popular media, etc.;
  • Providing support in project management and other IIHS activities including academics, research, training, practice, operations and others;
  • 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 and when needed.

Structure and Reporting

The Consultant – Urban Informatics Lab (UIL) will report to the Senior Consultant/ Lead – UIL at IIHS and will be required to collaborate effectively with a diverse group of internal teams and external individuals/ organiSations, and students.

Person Specification

We are looking for a bright and enthusiastic person who is keen on working with us to build their own work, as well as to build out a team of analysts who will over time have a solid body of work on urban data analysis.

The ideal candidate would have a demonstrable track record of using data analysis or quantitative modelling methods for urban problems in any of the following domains: economic development, inequality, housing, land, transportation, environmental sustainability, urban planning, infrastructure, services, and so on.

S/he should have experience with one or more of the following methods: regression analysis, spatial statistics/econometrics, machine learning, complex systems and networks, agent-based models and other simulation techniques. The candidate should be comfortable with innovating to solve urban problems in a data scarce environment. S/he should also be comfortable working in a dynamic, interdisciplinary environment and should be able to manage multiple projects and deadlines.

Applicants should have:

  • A Master’s or PhD in a relevant field including urban planning, data science, public policy, economics, mathematics, statistics, development studies with a core focus on Data Analysis;
  • At least 8 years of professional experience in any domain of urban data analysis (or 2-4 years of professional experience with a PhD);
  • A demonstrated track record in any urban domain using quantitative methods; or experience leading surveys in the Indian urban context;
  • Familiarity with Indian public datasets: Census, NSS / PLFS, IHDS, NFHS, CMIE;
  • Proficiency in Excel/ STATA/ R/ SPSS;
  • Experience in designing quantitative sample surveys and doing statistical analysis on survey data would be an advantage;
  • GIS and coding skills would be an added advantage;
  • Familiarity with design software would be an advantage;
  • Should be comfortable working with inter-disciplinary teams;
  • Teaching experience would be an added advantage.

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.

Diversity Policy

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 [email protected] if you need any clarifications while filling the online application form.

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Job CategoryEarth Science, Geo-informatics, RS and GIS

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