Job Opportunity for Program Associate at FAST in New Delhi

Website FAST - India

Position: Program Associate

Location: New Delhi, India

About Foundation for Advancing Science and Technology (FAST India)

The world is increasingly moving towards an innovation economy, driven by exponential progress in science and technology (S&T) and the growth of vibrant ecosystems to commercialize research. To be a global leader in science and technology, India needs to be at the forefront of research: the creation of new science & technology knowledge (research) and its translation to economic and social goods. The Government of India has recently announced multiple new interventions and structures in the science and technology ecosystem including setting up of a National Research Foundation with a budget allocation of INR 50,000 crores over 5 years, and working to improve Ease of Doing Research which have opened up various avenues for initiating large-scale change.

The Foundation for Advancing Science and Technology (FAST India) is a non-profit institution of excellence dedicated to build capacity and advance policy solutions that foster scientific enquiry and research, and facilitate the creation, dissemination, and translation of new scientific knowledge. The Foundation will work with all stakeholders to develop and strengthen the science ecosystem in India in order to advance scientific research and its translation into economic value and social good. The Foundation also aspires to be a thought-leader in the space of science in India and set the narrative for science in the country by creating change akin to the economic reforms of 1991 for the Science and Technology ecosystem. FAST India will have five key verticals: Policy Reforms, Government Engagement and Support, Capacity Building for Institutions, Engaging with the Corporate Sector, and Science Communications (flagship event,

FAST India is backed by Ashish Dhawan, a private equity investor turned philanthropist and Varun Aggarwal, who has been a successful tech startup and researcher. Varun is passionate about building science for India and has written books on the science ecosystem of India and redefining tech in India through deeptech and AI. He believes that India needs to be a pioneer in scientific research to have sustainable social and economic progress. Ashish Dhawan is the chairperson of Ashoka University, a leading liberal arts university in India, and Central Square Foundation, and is passionate about promoting science and technology in India.

FAST India receives guidance from its panel of advisors that comprises Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Kris Gopalakrishnan, Thomas Barlow, Dr. Swaminathan Sivaram, Samir K. Brahmachari, Sanjay Sarma, Luis Miranda, Venkatesh Narayanamurti,  Vijay Chandru and Gagandeep Kang.

FAST India is led by Jayant Krishna as its CEO, a senior professional with many years of diverse work experience in the tech industry, Government and nonprofits. He earlier played a pivotal role in the Prime Minister’s Skill India Mission as the CEO and COO of the National Skill Development Corporation. He was also the Group CEO, UK-India Business Council, and had worked in leadership roles with the Tata group for over two decades.

Position Summary

We are looking to hire an exceptional Program Associate(PA) to join the team in an exciting time of organisational growth and development. This role will require working closely with the organisation leaders, across all verticals of FAST India, to place India at the forefront of global innovation through the creation of science and technology research and its translation into social and commercial applications. Overall, the PM will provide intellectual and execution support, aligned with FAST India’s missions, goals and targets.

Linked with its mission, FAST India has already signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with the Office of Principal Scientific Adviser to Government of India and Capacity Building Commission, Government of India for collaboration on projects in the science and technology ecosystem. FAST India would enter into more such MoUs with relevant stakeholders.

This is a high-energy, entrepreneurial role and a great opportunity for those who enjoy working in a start-up environment and care deeply about the impact sector. This role includes working with senior stakeholders and engaging with them on strategic projects to enhance the science and technology ecosystem in India.

Roles and Responsibilities

The key responsibilities of the PA include, but are not limited to:

  • Assist with the framing of policies, structures, and processes that help bring efficiency in scientific R&D financing and dismantling regulatory barriers to innovation and science entrepreneurship in India
  • Support the leadership team with research and insight, recommending an appropriate approach for diverse policy questions
  • Engage in primary and secondary research, speak with experts and synthesize data from multiple data points
  • Develop and help implement programs and projects with institutions in the ecosystem, private sector, and consolidate best practice for change
  • Take on diverse operational tasks to ensure organizational success
  • Assist the leadership team with creating and maintaining deep engagement with top leaders, funders and experts
  • Aid the development and implementation of capacity building programs by primarily engaging with institutions, companies and quasi-governmental bodies
  • Work closely with the India Science Festival team to make it the leading science event in India and the world

Required Qualifications, Skills and Abilities

  • Postgraduate or Undergraduate degree in a relevant subject from a top tier institution. While there is no preference for a particular major, we expect to see high degree of intellectual curiosity, sophistication and execution rigor
  • 1 to 4 years years of work experience in a challenging/high growth environment
  • Entrepreneurial self-starter, passion for science and technology, and desire to develop and strengthen the science ecosystem in India
  • High intellectual vitality, the desire to continuously learn, read, and engage on a variety of topics.
  • While the person may only have a basic understanding of science and technology, we highly value the willingness to learn
  • Excellent analytical, critical thinking, planning and organizational skills with high attention to detail, accuracy, professionalism, and deadlines
  • Strong communication, writing, interpersonal, and stakeholder-facing skills including great presentation and facilitation skills

Desired Qualities

  • Drive to excel in every aspect of work with high level of innovation and strong perseverance
  • Ability to take initiative and develop solutions quickly and effectively
  • Ability to understand and consider organizational culture and change
  • Ability to function and interact in a professional level capacity to sustain the mission, culture and best interests of the organization
  • Ability to adapt and exhibit confidence in a highly evolving, agile, and fast paced work environment
  • High level of discretion in maintaining confidentiality of sensitive materials and issues
  • Operating style suited to working in a small-organization setting, where teamwork and resourcefulness are highly valued


Remuneration will be competitive with Indian philanthropy pay scales and with organizations working with a similar mandate.


Interested candidates should fill out the application form

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