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Research Assistant (UMass Boston)

Company: UMass Boston
Location: Boston, MA

Research Assistant

Job no: 507548
Position Type: Staff Full Time
Campus: UMass Boston
Department: Ctr for Social Devel & Ed
Pay Grade: 27
Date opened: 18 Mar 2021 Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: 01 Apr 2021 Eastern Daylight Time

General Summary: 

The Research Assistant (RA) for the Center for Social Development and Education (CSDE) will provide project coordination and research support for exciting and dynamic research and program evaluation related to youth with intellectual disabilities. The RA will work with a team of researchers on projects focusing on peer social relationships, attitudes and perceptions of disability, social inclusion of students with disabilities in schools, and social and emotional learning in inclusive extracurricular activities. Under the supervision of the Director of Program Evaluation, and as part of the larger evaluation research team, the RA will oversee and coordinate the daily operations of one or more projects and assist in study design and data collection. The RA will also be expected to help prepare written reports, conference presentations, and journal articles summarizing study findings. For more information about the CSDE please visit: www.umb.edu/csde.

Examples of Duties: 

  • Oversee and coordinate the daily operations of one or more research objectives on a large, multi-objective research study;
  • Conduct literature searches to develop hypotheses and study variables;
  • Develop research protocols and methodologies for data collection, in collaboration with other members of the research team;
  • Coordinate and monitor the administration of online surveys, program surveys online in Qualtrics;
  • Oversee and manage data collection occurring at the individual, school, and state levels, including utilizing computer software (e.g., SPPS, Qualtrics) or developing systems to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of study operations and data management;
  • Monitor and review data collection, data entry, informed consent procedures, and related activities to ensure compliance with Institutional Review Board (IRB);
  • With oversight from the Director of Program Evaluation, and in collaboration with other members of the evaluation research team, conduct site visits/observations at schools and/or conduct in-person or telephone/virtual interviews with school staff, students with and without disabilities, and parents;
  • Coordinate and conduct qualitative data analysis, including entering and coding open-ended responses on surveys, and coding and analyzing transcripts from interviews or focus groups;
  • Coordinate and conduct intermediate and complex quantitative data analysis, such as analysis of variance (ANOVA), chi-square, regression analyses, etc.;
  • In collaboration with Director of Program Evaluation, write up study findings and collaborate on written products for a variety of venues, including articles for journal publications, conferences, and national organizations;
  • Collaborate in making presentations at meetings, conferences, and webinars;
  • Establish and maintain communication and collaboration with partners, including schools and states;
  • In collaboration with Director of Program Evaluation, select and train new Research Assistants, Graduate Research Assistants, and/or interns;
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology or Sociology, or a related field, is required. Coursework in basic and intermediate research methodology and quantitative statistics, and a minimum of one year of previous experience as a Research Assistant is required. A thesis presenting original research is also required, and can be substituted for the one year of previous Research Assistant experience. Experience using statistical programs, particularly SPSS, for performing intermediate-level quantitative data analysis independently is required. Excellent writing skills at the level expected for publishing articles is also required.  The incumbent will be required to travel locally to schools, and may be required to travel nationally. 

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree is preferred.
  • More than one year of experience as a Research Assistant is highly desired.
  • Experience with scale development or measurement design is highly desired.
  • Intermediate to advanced statistical skills using SPSS
  • Experience with qualitative research methods and software, such as Atlas.ti or NVivo, is preferred.
  • Experience with fieldwork or data collected through observation is preferred.
  • Authorship on a peer-reviewed journal article or experience presenting at a conference is preferred. 

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Exemplary writing skills and familiarity with writing styles common for academics and policy makers as target audiences;
  • Demonstrated excellent quantitative analysis skills;
  • Demonstrated understanding and use of intermediate-level statistical analysis and statistical concepts;
  • Demonstrated understanding and use of qualitative methodologies
  • Demonstrated competency working independently and as a member of a team;
  • Ability to collaborate and oversee completion of tasks;
  • Ability to manage multiple competing project deadlines;
  • Strong interpersonal, organizational and problem-solving skills.

Application Instructions: 

Please apply online with the following:

  1. resume
  2. cover letter
  3. writing sample (thesis, capstone, research paper)
  4. list of three professional references.

Review of candidates will begin following the application closing date. 

Only Internal candidates in the Professional Staff Bargaining Unit will be considered during the first 10 business days of the posting.  All other candidates will be considered after that period. 

Salary Ranges for the appropriate Pay Grade can be found at the following link: 

Salary Ranges

This is a grant-funded position with a current end date of September 30, 2021, subject to renewal contingent on funding and university needs. This is a non-exempt position.

All official salary offers must be approved by Human Resources.

Applications close: 01 Apr 2021 Eastern Daylight Time