Research Assistant Application

Shorenstein Center Student Research Assistants

 Current Openings 

Race and Technology Research Assistant



This is an open call for a Harvard University graduate student responsible for quantitative data research gathering in support of original qualitative research and writing related to Black voter engagement and Black technoculture. 

The primary focus will be on collecting information and data directly related to Black voter behavior, patterns, and online discourse during the 2020 national US presidential election cycle and specific down ballot races. Some historical sourcing and data collection as it pertains to Black voter behavior and patterns may also be required. The Research Assistant will work with the associate director of research and senior researcher at the Tech and Social Change Project. 

Position Details

Appointment is for Fall 2022/Spring 2023 (October-April)

Time commitment: 20 hours total, to be completed no later than April 2023

Compensation: $25/hour, Harvard students only

Skills and Qualifications

  • Self-motivation and a high level of responsibility to complete tasks in a timely manner and make significant progress without direct supervision.
  •  Strong verbal and written communication skills
  •  Developed research skills
  •  Flexibility in adjusting to new work related requirements as they arise, capped at 20 hours total for project


  •  Handle confidential and sensitive data requests with integrity.
  •  Prepare data and information for project
  •  Assist in conducting qualitative research based on pre-existing sources and data sets
  •  Perform other duties as assigned.

Specific Tasks

  1. Compile and complete lists of BiPOC candidates in the 2022 midterms– Congress and state-wide offices
    1. Using Ballotpedia, Press, and any discoverable lists of candidates, RA will generate new lists and complete preexisting lists of 2022 Candidates, national and state, by Race and Party, i.e. Asian American Democrats, Black Republicans etc
    2. RA will also find preexisting lists of BiPOC elected officials as needed. 
  2. Race & Tech Policy review (platform & regulatory)
    1. RA will work with our preliminary lists of policy, both regulatory and platform TOS, which deal explicitly with race, gender and sexual orientation language
  3. Black & POC television news figures
    1. Continue pre-existing work on tracking Black/POC pundits and commentators across news focused media outlets (eg MSNBC; CNN; Fox)

How to Apply

Email Lauren Faz at with your CV and paragraph of interest by November 4, 2022.

Paid Research Assistant Position: Study Emotional Wellbeing Among Early Childhood Education Staff

(Ideal for Education, Psychology, and/or Public Policy students)

Date posted: 26 July 2022

Professor Jennifer S. Lerner is the Thornton F. Bradshaw Professor of Public Policy, Management and Decision Science at the Harvard Kennedy School. She holds academic appointments in Harvard’s Kennedy School, Department of Psychology, and Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences. Drawing insights from psychology, economics, and neuroscience, her research examines emotion and decision making. Across all areas, her work aims to expand the evidentiary base for designing policies that maximize human wellbeing.


Dr. Lerner’s lab is seeking an undergraduate (part-time) research assistant. This student—under the supervision of Mr. Andrew Epifanio, Research Project Manager—will work with Dr. Lerner and her team on a project studying emotional wellbeing among early childhood education staff.


The undergraduate research assistant will assist in the following areas:

  • Cleaning and coding qualitative data responses
  • Proofreading various study materials and measures
  • Fielding questions about study implementation from sites
  • Tracking study participation, communication to participants, and other data
  • Summarizing results and preparing them for presentation
  • Providing support with outreach to study participants as needed
  • Completing other duties as assigned

Required qualifications:

  • Ability to devote 8-10 hours per week during the academic year
  • Interest in psychology and human wellbeing
  • Strong academic performance in psychology, education, and/or related fields
  • Excellent organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills
  • Demonstrated reliability and capability in teamwork
  • Must be a current undergraduate student at Harvard College

Desired qualifications:

  • Interest in childhood education
  • Programming skills

Compensation: $20 per hour

Federal Work-Study is welcome but not required.

Application Guidelines:
Prepare one PDF document containing all of these: (a) a resume; (b) an unofficial college transcript; and (c) a brief cover letter addressed to Professor Jennifer Lerner. Send the PDF document to Andrew Epifanio at the following address:

Review of applications begins immediately and will take place on a rolling basis.

Content Management and Social Media Research Assistant Positions

The Shorenstein Center is looking for students to gain practical experience working in web content creation and social media management. These two positions will work directly with the center’s core Communications and Events team, focused on two particular channels of the center’s communications outputs. 

Commentary Blog Research and Editorial Assistant: 

The Shorenstein Center is launching a new “expert commentary” section on its website this fall, which will be a central place for center affiliates (faculty, staff, fellows, and alumni fellows) to publish short explainers and expert commentary on issues relating to media and the information ecosystem. The student research & editorial assistant will work closely with the Shorenstein Center’s Communications Manager (in her role as Editor-in-Chief of the blog) to monitor the news for topical hooks, research members of the Shorenstein Center community with expertise in relevant areas, solicit pieces, do interviews for q&a style articles, and post new articles to the website. They may also help with writing excerpts/blurbs about new pieces for the Shorenstein Center newsletter, and keeping a database of potential authors and their areas of expertise up to date. 

Social Media Research and Production Assistant: 

The Shorenstein Center engages directly with its core external audiences of journalists and policy makers primarily through email and social media channels.  We are looking for a very digital-savvy, creative Research & Production Assistant to join the team to help monitor our current social media channels, create native content (posts, graphics, and short video clips), and maintain a regular cadence of scheduled posts about our work and upcoming events, as well as helping the Communications team with launch campaigns for new publications and other research products. This person may also help with media monitoring and tracking interviews and other media hits for Shorenstein Center affiliated faculty, fellows, and staff. 

Successful applicants for both roles will have an interest in media, technology, and/or public policy relating to the information ecosystem, be highly organized, reliable, and able to work independently between regular check-ins with the manager and team, and have excellent written and verbal communication skills. Students with experience in communications, digital media, and/or journalism are encouraged to apply, but we also encourage applications from people without this direct experience, but an excitement to learn from and be part of a collegial communications team.  

We are hoping to fill both positions for the full academic year. RAs may work up to 20 hours per week, but we expect the average workload to be approximately 10-12 hours/week. 

Pay: $22/hour 

To apply for either role, please fill out this form by Monday, October 17, 2022. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. 

Goldsmith Awards Research Assistants

The Shorenstein Center is looking to hire two Research Assistants to work with the Communications & Events team on a project researching and documenting the public policy impact of past honorees of the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting. 

The Goldsmith Prize has been given annually by the Center since 1992 (this is its 30th anniversary year!) to investigative reporting that has had an impact on U.S. public policy, the practice of politics, or the conduct of government in the United States. Past winners include the 2004 Boston Globe Spotlight investigation into clergy sex abuse, an undercover investigation into private prisons, and the investigative series that brought the extremely high rates of maternal mortality in the U.S. to national attention. The prize seeks to honor both national investigations from major media outlets as well as dogged local reporting from small newspapers making a real difference in their communities. 

The Goldsmith Awards Research Assistants will work to:

  • Build out the archive of past winners and finalists on the awards’ new website,
  • Do research into the long-term impact of winners over the past 30 years. This will include research in newspaper archives and congressional and state legislative records, as well as through primary source outreach and interviews.
  • Write up impact narratives to post on past winner pages on the Goldsmith Awards site.
  • Collaborate with the Shorenstein Center’s Communications and Events team to produce 30th Anniversary content about the prize’s impact for the 2023 awards ceremony in March.

Ideal candidates will have: 

  • Experience doing archival research (historical and/or journalistic a plus!),
  • Experience preparing content for web and/or video production (no video editing experience needed),
  • Excellent writing skills
  • Comfort cold-calling/emailing and doing interviews over phone or zoom

We are hoping to fill both positions for the full academic year. RAs may work up to 20 hours per week, but we expect the average weekly workload to be 10-15 hours, varying over the course of the year.

Pay: $22/hour

To apply, please fill out this form by Monday, October 17, 2022. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.