UPDATE: LAST CALL, Friends!! The SMC position for a full-time Pre-doctoral Research Assistant closes Monday, April 3, 5pm EDT!

Apply here: https://aka.ms/msrne-sts/predoc-apply

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

NOTE: Unfortunately, applicants must be eligible to work in the U.S. to accept the position.

The Microsoft Research Social Media Collective, based at the Cambridge, MA lab location, consists of Nancy Baym, danah boyd, Tarleton Gillespie, and Mary L. Gray, as well as postdoctoral researchers, faculty visitors, and Ph.D. interns affiliated with MSR New England. We are looking for our next contingent, full-time pre-doctoral research assistant (aka ‘the predoc’) to work on topics and projects that explore sociotechnical systems and their consequences. 

An appropriate candidate will be a self-starter who is excited and knowledgeable about studying the social and cultural implications of technologies. Strong skills in writing, organization and academic research are essential, as are time-management and multi-tasking. Minimal qualifications are a BA or equivalent degree in a humanities or social science discipline and some qualitative research training. A master’s degree is preferred but we also consider candidates with a bachelor’s degree and substantial, relevant research experience. 

Job responsibilities will include: 

– Sourcing and curating relevant literature and research materials 
– Developing literature reviews and/or creating and managing annotated bibliographies 
– Coding ethnographic and interview data 
– Copyediting manuscripts 
– Working with academic journals on themed sections 
– Assisting with research project data management and event organization 

The predoc will also have opportunities to collaborate on ongoing projects. While publishing is not expected, the predoc may have the opportunity to co-author papers while at MSR. This contingent full-time position will be adopting Microsoft’s Hybrid Work policies, where employees can now work from home up to 50 percent of the time. It is a 12-month contract position with a possible option for an extension. Microsoft works with contracting services that typically offer flexible scheduling and healthcare benefit options. The start date will ideally be on or soon before June 1, although flexibility may be possible for the right candidate. 

This position is ideal for emerging scholars planning to apply to PhD programs in Communication, Media Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, Information Studies, History, Philosophy, STS and Critical Data Studies, or related fields who want to develop their research skills and area expertise before entering a graduate program. Current New England-based MA/PhD students are welcome to apply provided they can commit to 40 hours of work per week. 

To apply, please upload materials to the following link: 


Include the following items in your application:

  • One-page (single-spaced) personal statement, including a description of research experience and training, interests, and professional goals (citations are not included in the page count)
  • CV or resume 
  • Writing sample (preferably a literature review or a scholarly-styled article or seminar paper illustrating your approach to citing a range of literatures) 
  • Links to public online presence (e.g., blog, homepage, journalistic endeavors, etc.) 
  • The names and email addresses of two recommenders able to submit a letter upon request–at least one of whom was your instructor-of-record at your last institution

 Be sure to include your last name in file names of all documents you upload. 

Applications are due on April 3 (Monday at 5pm Eastern Time). Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. 

All applicants will be notified of our final decision no later than May 1 (Monday at 5pm, Eastern Time). 

The selected candidate will be expected to begin onboarding to the position, no later than June 15, 2023.

Apply here, starting 1 March: https://aka.ms/msrne-sts/predoc-apply

Please feel free to ask questions about the position in the blog comments or send an email to Mary (mLg@microsoft.com) with the subject line “Predoc App 2023” (if you don’t use this subject line, we won’t see your query).