SMC seeks a Research Assistant

Call for Research Assistant

Microsoft Research (MSR) is looking for a Research Assistant for its Social Media Collective in the New England lab, based in Cambridge,Massachusetts. The Social Media Collective consists of Nancy Baym, danah boyd, Kate Crawford, Megan Finn, and Mary L. Gray, as well as faculty visitors and Ph.D. interns.  An appropriate candidate will be both passionate and knowledgeable about social media, have strong writing and organization skills, and have experience working on research projects.  Minimal qualifications are a BA or equivalent degree in a social science discipline and some qualitative research training. 

Job responsibilities will include producing literature reviews, coding ethnographic data, editing manuscripts, and organizing events.  The RA will also get to collaborate on ongoing research and, while publication is not a guarantee, the RA will be encouraged to co-author papers while at MSR. The RAship will require 40 hours per week on site in Cambridge, MA.  It is a 1-year only contractor position, paid hourly with flexible daytime hours. The start date will likely be in September.  

This position is ideal for scholars who are applying to PhD programs in Communication, Media Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, Information Studies, and related fields who want to get involved with research before entering a graduate program.  Current New England-based MA/PhD students are welcome to apply provided they can commit to 40 hours of on-site work per week.  

To apply, please send an email to Nancy Baym ( with the subject “RA Application” and include the following:

 – 1-page personal statement, including a description of research experience, interests, and professional goals

– CV or resume

– Writing sample (preferably a literature review or a scholarly-styled article)

– Links to online presence (e.g., blog, homepage, Twitter, journalistic endeavors, etc.)  

– The names and emails of two recommenders

We will begin reviewing applications on September 11 and continue doing so until we find an appropriate candidate.

2 thoughts on “SMC seeks a Research Assistant

  1. Hello! I learned yesterday night of this position opening and would be very interested in applying. However, I’m not a New England-based student. Is it opened to people not currently living and studying in the US? I did study at Bates College, ME, years ago, but went back to Switzerland for my post-grad studies.

    Besides, I’m already a PhD candidate in Media & Communication studies, actually about to finish her dissertation. However, this would be a great opportunity for me to return to the US and continue working on topics that fall within my field of research (socio-anthropology of technology uses) and that I really wish to further investigate, so I was wondering if you would also consider such profile or if you’ll restrict your choice to Bachelor/Master students.

    I thank you very much for this information!

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