Research Assistant

  • Full Time
  • Remote
  • Temporary
  • US, Remote
  • Applications have closed

Website Foundation for Inclusion

The Foundation for Inclusion (FFI) is recruiting three Research Assistants (RAs) for a four-month engagement starting in February 2021 to help collect global data on nonviolent civil resistance. These full-time, short-term positions pay $18 per hour and successful candidates will work as independent consultants. The RAs may be based anywhere in the United States but the job will require daily collaboration with a research team working mostly daytime hours in Eastern Standard Time. Candidates will need access to their own computer equipment and a full-time Internet connection because all team members will be working remotely and will need to communicate frequently.

The job is as follows. Every day, the three RAs will find, download, and review a set of texts (mostly news reports and research articles written in English) describing events related to a specific political transition in a specific time and place. Your job will be to judge whether the events meet the criteria for a particular variable, determine what the value of that variable should be, make a case for why you chose that value, and document your sources and reasoning. For example, based on your reading of the texts, you will need to determine whether a particular government changed election laws during a specific period; whether members of the former regime organized any mass demonstrations or national strikes during that period; whether a particular strike was organized by supporters or opponents of the government; and so on. You will do that for dozens of variables every day, for dozens of political transitions over the course of the four-month contract. You will also be responsible for checking or replicating the work of your colleagues (the other two RAs), as the three of you will be collectively responsible for the accuracy of the data. Other responsibilities will include drafting or revising a data-collection guide and codebook, keeping information and data organized and accessible, participating in data-validation exercises, assisting with process improvements, general desk research, and other duties as assigned.

We do not require the RAs to have specific credentials (e.g., a college degree with a particular concentration, etc.). We are looking for specific qualifications regardless of credentials. The most important qualifications are all of the following:

  • critical thinking and excellent judgment with regard to the evaluation of evidence;
    experience with systematic desk research, the development of datasets, or data cleaning, manipulation, and analysis;
  • familiarity with the topic (civil resistance, nonviolence, political transitions, peace and conflict, or democratization);
  • the ability to work constructively in and as a team, as well as independently, with little supervision;
  • full-time access to a computer and the Internet;
  • basic computer and Internet-navigation skills; and
    knowledge of Google Sheets, Google Docs, web search engines, and common office software.

In addition to the qualifications above, at least one of the candidates will have some data-science skills, such as experience with R or Python (and associated IDEs), data visualization, JavaScript visualization libraries, dashboard development, scraping algorithms (rvest, Beautiful Soup), events data, or text mining / natural-language processing. (Please apply even if you lack these data-science skills; not all of the RAs will need them.)

Experience with LexisNexis or online archival research is a bonus. We are particularly interested in receiving applications from individuals from under-represented groups in peacebuilding and nonviolent action scholarship and from candidates with a demonstrated capacity for systems thinking, design thinking, integrity, and kindness.

To apply, please send a brief cover letter and a résumé or CV (all in a single PDF) to [email protected] Your cover letter  (please site PCDN as the source of the posting) should describe the ways you are qualified to do the work described above and mention any specific examples of relevant work and experience. If selected as a finalist, you will be given a brief exercise to demonstrate your abilities. We encourage interested parties to apply soon, no later than January 28, 2021, as applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until all three RAs are selected.

The Foundation for Inclusion is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt/501(c)(3) organization based in Washington, D.C., whose mission is to enable changemakers and innovators to solve the world’s most complex problems systemically by helping them uncover and address root causes.

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