University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Associate (Fixed Term)

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral research associate in "Gender and household energy: female participation in designing domestic energy in India's slum rehabilitation housing" project, funded by a British Academy Knowledge Frontiers Grant, led by Dr Minna Sunikka-Blank (Architecture).

The research asks how women are currently included in the design and delivery of slum rehabilitation housing schemes in India. It adopts a gendered perspective in exploring energy use, household practices and adaptation of new technologies. Drawing from the interdisciplinary expertise of engineering and social sciences, the project aims to understand:

  • quantitative energy use, household air pollution and environmental conditions in rehabilitation housing units in Dharavi, Mumbai;
  • their female occupants' comfort, cooking and child rearing practices, needs and aspirations.

It investigates knowledge exchange between policy makers, developers, designers and female occupants focused on strategies to increase women's participation in the design process.

The research will adopt an interdisciplinary approach through collaboration between the Departments of Architecture, Geography, Engineering and Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-B), Mumbai.

We are seeking to recruit a postdoctoral research associate who will primarily:

  • design and execute the fieldwork in Dharavi, Mumbai, including:
  • comfort and indoor air measurements;
  • semi-structured interviews and focus groups with occupants as well as developers, designers and policy-makers involved in design and delivery of slum rehabilitation housing;
  • analyse these quantitative and qualitative data to produce high-quality publications (academic and policy briefs);
  • communicate effectively with project partners from a range of disciplines in Cambridge and India.

The candidate must be able to demonstrate a track record of excellence in carrying out fieldwork and translating the resulting quantitative and qualitative data into high quality publications/reports and verbal presentations. Candidates will be expected to have previous fieldwork experience in a global South urban context, ideally with experience and appropriate language skills for India, technical expertise in domestic energy sources, and qualitative research skills. The PDRA will be based in Architecture Department but needs to communicate with the team of Co-Is drawing from their experience from engineering, business studies and human geography. The PDRA will also collaborate with the PDRA in "Energy innovation for low-cost housing in India and South Africa" project, funded by a British Academy GCRF Cities and Infrastructure Grant, led by Dr Charlotte Lemanski (Geography). During fieldwork the PDRA will be supported by Indian Co-I at IIT-B, NGO 'Doctors For You' and Mumbai Metropolitan Development Authority (MMRDA).

The PDRA will work alongside a number of project partners across different academic disciplines in the UK and India so excellent interpersonal, communication and time management skills therefore are essential, and previous project management experience in interdisciplinary projects is desirable.

The project incorporates plans for a variety of outputs, including academic publications and design guidelines. This requires the PDRA to be able to write high quality academic publications together with the interdisciplinary research team and to collaborate with overseas partners on policy briefings and a preparation of an impact workshop at the end of the project. The dissemination includes a webinar and the use of social media and the PDRA is expected to take a lead in this.

The postholder will work with Dr Minna Sunikka-Blank (Department of Architecture), who should be contacted with informal enquiries about the post ( Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 12 months.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

For any further information, please contact

Please quote reference GC14373 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Further information

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