Centre for Experimental Social Sciences

CESS Nuffield – FLAME University

What we do

CESS Nuffield – FLAME University is a collaboration between Nuffield College in the University of Oxford and FLAME University designed to conduct and promote lab and lab-in-the-field experiments in India.

Nuffield College in the University of Oxford started its own Centre for Experimental Social Sciences in 2008 and we joined the CESS network in 2016, with counterparts at both Nuffield College and the Universidad de Santiago de Chile.
At  FLAME University, the Centre pursues three objectives:

  •  Conducting social science experiments and publishing the knowledge created;
  •  Building an international research community by partnering with academics working in the US, Europe, and elsewhere;
  •  Promoting social-science experimentation in India.

Our lab features 30 Dell laptop computers for mobile experiments and 20 traditional lab stations with a similar interactive feel as the CESS labs in Oxford and Santiago, Chile. Based in Pune, India’s university town, we have access to students at 12 universities locally.

Why choose Us?
Why choose Us?

A unique feature of CESS Nuffield – FLAME University is our capacity to run high-quality lab-in-the-field experiments in a wide array of settings in India with diverse subject pools. We aim to work with non-student subject pools such as people living in tribal villages and low-income housing, school teachers and principals, factory workers, working women, laborers, and construction workers. This mobile lab allows researchers to move closer to policy-relevant questions by studying subjects who face the researcher’s question of interest in normal life, along with games designed to mimic the context in which they make decisions.

CESS Nuffield - FLAME University also works closely with local and international partners to translate research ideas into actionable designs suited for the unique environment of developing countries. Leveraging its expertise in experimental methods and its cultural fluency in India, CESS Nuffield - FLAME University is a one-stop hub for adapting ambitious projects to complex settings.

While the Centre welcomes proposals to use the lab for academic research on any topic and from any social science (or related field), we encourage the following: cooperation, trust, behavior change, behavioral economics, and law & economics. We also welcome researchers with interest in running lab-in- the-field studies in applied policy contexts such as gender and competition, water and sanitation, health and nutrition, policing, and livelihoods.

Our Team


Sharon Barnhardt

Director & PI for Economics and Public Policy
PhD, Harvard University
Nix Maxwell

Pavan Mamidi

Co-Director & PI for Law, Management, and Sociology
DPhil, University of Oxford
Josh Clark

Andrés L. Parrado

Research Manager
B.A. Princeton University

Shardul Vaidya

Research Associate
B.Tech., - Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay.

Vijeta Pamnani

Executive Assistant
B.A., Pune University


Nix Maxwell

Shimul Bijoor

Environmental Studies & Design
B.A. candidate
Languages: Hindi, Konkani, Marathi
Josh Clark

Tanay Gokhale

Environmental Studies & Economics
B.A. candidate
Languages: Hindi, Marathi, French

Datta Sai Gouravelly

Finance & Economics
B.A. candidate
Languages: Hindi, Tamil, Telugu

Navneeth JK

Economics & Mathematics
B.A. candidate
Languages: Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu

Maitreyi Menon

Economics & Public Policy
B.A. candidate
Languages: Hindi

Tirtha Patel

Mathematics & Environmental Science
B.Sc. candidate
Languages: Hindi, Gujarati

Pallavi Rajankar

Psychology & Environmental Studies
B.A. candidate
Languages: Hindi, Spanish

Saumya Sampath

Digital Marketing & International Studies
B.A. candidate
Languages: Hindi, Punjabi, Marathi, Spanish


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Get in Touch with us

Toll-free 1-800-209-4567