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Rihan Najib

  • Bengaluru, Karnataka
  • +91 9986892972

Researcher. Copy-Editor. Facilitator.


I am a creative, hardworking individual who is committed to the tasks I take up. I enjoy challenges and believe in taking risks in order to learn more and learn better. I bring to the table my skills as a researcher who is both curious and capable, as a workshop facilitator who is both a pedagogue and a convener, and finally, that of a writer who fulfills the roles of editor and mentor. 

Work History

Jun 2014Present

Research Assistant, Word Lab

Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Bengaluru

The Word Lab is the editorial team at IIHS that has been set up to systematize a regular flow of publications as well as manage IIHS' public knowledge platforms. As part of the Word Lab, I played a key role in the following functions:

  1. Editorial interventions: Proofreading, documenting, copy-editing, editing, and standardizing publications at IIHS, which involved research papers, conference proceedings, policy briefs, project reports, blog posts, as well as outreach and publicity documents. 
  2. Course development and pedagogy :  Developed content for and co-taught the following workshops:
    1. Workshop on Writing for Digital Media - Jun 5-6, 2015
    2. Workshop on Op-Ed  Writing - Feb 27, 2015
    3. Workshop on Basic Writing and Editing Skills - Dec 16, 2014
  3. Event curation and programming: Co-wrote the fundraising and programming proposal for CityScripts - An Urban Writings Festival, planned for Feb 2016. 
  4. Mentoring : Initiated and helmed a weekly writing circle at IIHS with the aim to systematically improve writing and self-editing skills within the IIHS community. 
  5. Process development: As one of the earliest members of the team, I was involved with setting up processes and ensuring workflow within the team. 
Aug 2013Present

Research Assistant, Urban Practitioners' Programme

Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Bengaluru

The Urban Practitioners’ Programme (UPP) is a continuing education and capacity building programme. As part of UPP, I have anchored, coordinated and developed content for a diverse range of interdisciplinary teaching programmes in the following areas of research and practice:

  1. Visual Media and Urban Theory
  2. Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction 
  3. Affordable Housing Policy
  4. Community Engagement 
  5. Urban Studies
Jun 2014Dec 2014

Research Projects

Rockefeller – IIHS Urban India Policy Support Partnership 2012-2014 

This partnership seeks to leverage the potential for urban transformation in India by exploring cross-sectoral themes and areas of potential policy and programme interventions. Under this partnership, I was involved in producing the following teaching outputs:

  1. Case study on Ooty : Understanding urbanization in an ecologically sensitive area
  2. Short film on the deteriorating air quality in urban areas. 
Mar 2014Present

Events Curated and Organized

For IIHS, IHS Trust, Sangam House, Sandbox Collective, IFA and others
  1. One of the founding members of 'Anubhava', the performing arts and culture platform at IIHS. I'm responsible for the commissioning, curating and managing the public-facing performances and events, as well as collaborating with organizations such as the Sandbox Collective and IFA for joint events. 
  2. Curated and managed 'Courting Risk - Gender, Public Space and Freedom' for the Institute for Human Settlements Trust in March 2015. The 3 day festival included theatre performances, film screenings, and a workshop, as well as featured artists and collectives such as Maya Rao, Maraa and Prakruthi Kala Thanda. 
  3. Assisted with the following festivals:
    1. Lekhana 2015 : Narratives of Violence, Sangam House's annual literary weekend - Jan 16-18, 2015 
    2. Opa | City - Gender. Space. Intersections, an installation and workshop by Vani Subramanian - Mar 14-23, 2014


Aug 2008May 2013

Integrated Master of Arts in Development Studies (Minor: English Studies)

Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai
  • Graduated with a CGPA of 8.83/10.
  • Was among the top five students in the Development Studies batch.  
  • Masters dissertation- The Shifting Trajectories of State Welfarism : A Study of Kerala
    • Completed under the guidance of Prof. Binitha V. Thampi.
    • Charted the shifts in Kerala's welfarism and analyzed how it has restructured citizenship.
Aug 2011Dec 2011

Exchange Semester, Masters in European and World Politics

Hochschule Bremen, Germany
  • One among the three students handpicked from the batch for the exchange programme. 
  • Completed a semester of the Masters programme in European and World Politics. Studied the internal functioning of the European Union and its role in world politics. 
  • Completed a research internship with Prof Winfried Osthorst, which appraised India's climate change adaptation and mitigation strategy. The research findings were discussed in the course 'Climate Change in Comparative Perspective'


Creative Writing

  • Awarded the Toto-Sangam House Residency Fellowship for Emerging Writers in 2015.
  • Short-listed for the Toto Award for Creative Writing in English in 2014. Long-listed for the same in 2015. 
  • Have been published in places such as the Himal Southasian, the Hindu, the Hindu Businessline and the Chennai-based lifestyle magazine, Taxi. 
  • Edited the annual publication of a writing collective, Them Pretentious Basterds in 2012 and 2013.
  • Have won many prizes at the inter-collegiate level for creative writing. 


  • Founding member and lead actor of 'Nomad Players', the theatre collective of the Dept. of Humanities and Social Science at IIT-M. 
  • Have won several prizes at the inter-collegiate level for mono-acting.
  • Have received newspaper mentions in the Hindu, the Deccan Chronicle and the Times of India for performances.