JOB POST: Research Associates @ Project 39-A, NLU Delhi: Apply by Aug 15


The National Law University, Delhi (“University”) through Project 39A is seeking to engage on a contractual basis, two (2) Associate (Research). Project 39A is undertaking two research projects on (a) examining the challenges of the Indian legal aid system and (b) torture and medico-legal practices in India’s criminal justice system.

Along with the respective Programme Head, the Associate (Research) will be responsible for designing and implementing either one of the aforementioned projects along with other research tasks.

About Project 39A

Project 39A draws inspiration from Article 39-A in the Indian Constitution on equal justice and signals the broadening of our work on the criminal justice system in India. We undertake litigation, research and outreach relating to forensics, torture, legal aid, forensic psychiatry and death penalty (for more information on Project 39A, visit this site).

Project 39A is headed by the Executive Director, Dr. Anup Surendranath (Assistant Professor of Law, National Law University Delhi) and has 15 full-time Research Associates involved in litigation, mitigation, research and public outreach.

About the project on torture:

The project aims to move towards the elimination of custodial torture by carrying out empirical and qualitative research in at least 3 states. The project is interested in unravelling the nature of custodial violence and in questioning its perpetrators, given its impact on the quality of evidence and influence on judicial outcomes.

Custodial violence in investigative processes lies within a complex web of police, judicial and executive failures that leads to collection and reliance on botched or faulty evidence, affecting the strength of convictions as well. The project intends to rely on interviews with prisoners, former police officers, prison officials, and persons who have been acquitted, as a method of documenting narratives and collecting data.

About the project on the Indian legal aid system

The project is aimed at reviewing the legal aid system in India’s criminal justice system and make appropriate recommendations for a more effective legal aid system, where required. The project will evaluate legal aid mechanisms, study the infrastructural support provided to legal aid lawyers and conduct interviews with stakeholders such as legal aid lawyers, members of legal aid bodies, judges and prisoners.

Consultations with Bar Associations and legal aid authorities at the district court and High Court level regarding the adoption of minimum safeguards and performance assessment for legal aid cases will also be undertaken.

  1. Contribute to developing and implementing the framework for the respective research projects;
  2. Undertake fieldwork for the purposes of the respective projects, including observing trials, interviewing prisoners, police personnel and functionaries in various State and District Legal Services Authorities;
  3. Engage with various central and state agencies involved in the administration of the Indian criminal justice system;
  4. Collate, analyse and publish findings of the fieldwork;
  5. Present the work of Project 39A at appropriate fora;
  6. Participate in and contribute to the overall research efforts at Project 39A
  7. Undertake administrative or any other work that may be necessary to further the aims of Project 39A.
  1. Graduate with an LL.B. degree;
  2. Apart from English, proficiency in at least one Indian language is mandatory;
  3. Graduate with LL.M. degree in aspects of public law relevant to the research projects is preferable;
  4. Two years of experience in legal research is preferable.

Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience and will be in the range of Rs. 50,000 – 60,000 per month. Exceptions may be made commensurate with the experience.

Application Process

Interested persons may send their résumé and a brief statement outlining the likely contributions to our work. The statement of purpose must not exceed 750 words. Please email your résumé and statement of purpose to

The subject of the email should be “Project 39A – Application for Associate (Research) – <Preferred research project>.” Interested persons who wish to apply for both the research projects need to make two separate applications.


Applications must reach us no later than midnight of 15th August, 2018. Applications received after this date will not be considered. Shortlisted candidates shall be informed about the next round in the selection process via email.

  1. Project 39A ensures access to legal representation for prisoners regardless of the offence.
  2. National Law University, Delhi is an equal opportunity employer.
  3. National Law University, Delhi reserves the right to conduct interviews and not fill these positions.
  4. National Law University, Delhi is unable to cover the costs of travel and accommodation for attending the selection interviews.
  5. The position shall be paid under the grants received by Project 39A, National Law University, Delhi.


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