A PhD Candidate at Stanford is Hiring a Tamil Nadu Based Research Associate

Research Project

PhD candidate in Sociology at Stanford University is looking for a research associate (RA) for an upcoming research trip to Tamil Nadu. Anna’s research focuses on sanitation infrastructure construction and use in rural areas.

Her work uses qualitative methods (and basic quantitative analysis of existing census and health data) to investigate the reasons why individuals and families living in rural areas (a) build latrines in their home and (b) use this infrastructure.

By examining variation in recent public sanitation programs, her research explores how social norms change.

This research project is in the initial stages, and Anna is looking to hire a RA to help with exploratory research in Tamil Nadu. Anna will conduct informational interviews in Chennai and in two districts in Tamil Nadu.

She will also conduct pilot interviews in rural areas.

This is a great opportunity for undergraduates and recent graduates who are interested in field research, research methods, rural development, policy interventions and public health. 

Main Responsibilities

The RA’s main responsibilities will be to help the researcher set up and conduct informational interviews in Tamil. Anna plans to talk with officials in two district officials and rural residents. She plans to conduct around 10 pilot interviews in villages.

Districts will be selected based on data analysis, and Trichy, Thanjavur, Pudokkotai, Perambular, and Ariyalur are being considered. Candidates that have connections in these districts are preferred, and the RA’s preferences and connections will be taken into account when selecting districts.


RA must be very outgoing, flexible, curious and enjoying talking to people. The RA must be based in Tamil Nadu willing to travel to rural areas.

He or she must speak Tamil and be able to communicate in English (written and spoken).

Woman preferred.

Time Commitment

Anna plans to conduct this preliminary research in January-March 2015, preferably 2/2-16/2.

The exact timing is flexible depending on the RA’s availability.

A minimum of two weeks (10 working days) commitment is needed, but more is preferred. Please specify availability in response email.

Benefits & Compensation

RA will gain experience with field research, especially interview methods.

RA will receive a stipend, in addition to reimbursement for all travel expenses (travel, room, board etc.).

Email a short note describing background, qualifications, salary requirement, and availability to Anna ([email protected]). Candidates will be notified of application status within one week.


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