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Senior Research Associate

Position Deleted on 7/12/2013. This position is no longer an active posting on HigherEdJobs.
Cambridge, MA
Admin - Laboratory and Research
Full Time

School/Unit: Harvard Kennedy School

Duties & Responsibilities
The Transparency Policy Project ( of the Harvard Kennedy School's Ash Center seeks a Senior Research Associate to help advance a research effort to document and understand the potential and limitations of crowd-sourced transparency platforms to help solve public problems.

Peer-provided information systems - or crowd-sourced transparency - are familiar to anyone who has browsed book, movie, and hotel reviews from Amazon, Netflix, and TripAdvisor. A number of interesting projects have attempted to address public problems with this approach of using digital technology to collect information and experiences from large numbers of users in order to create a better public sense of reality. Here are just a few examples from diverse problem areas: In natural disasters, researchers at MIT have teamed up with volunteers in Japan to monitor radiation in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear accident, In the arena of health, one of the older efforts is and there are other efforts like in the United States. One of the most famous of these is Ushahidi, and there are many other crowd sourced election monitoring efforts such as 866-our-vote and my own The US government operates several large and important complaint and early warning reporting mechanisms such as the FDA adverse events drug database and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's credit card complaint database (

We seek a senior researcher to help us understand this emerging space. We seek cases from many policy areas, including but not limited to: health, environment, workplace conditions, political engagement, natural disasters, and consumer products and services. The senior researcher would identify the most illuminating cases of such crowd-sourced transparency from around the world and develop case studies of those cases. These case studies would utilize existing literature and studies, but would rely upon primary research through interviews, site visits, collection of documents, and first-hand investigation. The senior researcher may also engage with TPP's principals in developing a conceptualization of this governance phenomenon and in writing publications on this topic. The senior researcher would also be responsible for maintaining the ongoing communications of the Transparency Policy Project, including blog posts about important developments in the transparency domain.

Period of Employment
This is an ongoing research project. The candidate will be hired for an initial period of [6] months, followed by review and potential to extend the contract into a multi-year term.

In addition to applying on-line, applicants should send (i) a letter of interest, (ii) resume or CV, and (iii) two writing samples to by April 8, 2013.

Basic Qualifications
Bachelor's Degree with minimum of 5 years research experience or Master's Degree with minimum 3 years research experience; related coursework may count toward this experience.

Additional Qualifications
The ideal candidate will have a five to ten year track record of producing high-quality, in-depth, probing research in the form of investigative feature articles or academic cases studies. Demonstrated qualitative research, interviewing, analysis, and writing skills are a must. We have a preference for candidates who have knowledge of the high technology, digital sector, social networking, on-line communities, open government or crowd-sourced platforms. Experience and knowledge of the public sector - operation of government at the local, state, and/or federal level is a plus, as is knowledge about transparency and disclosure systems. Applicant should provide evidence of an ability to develop and write cases based on qualitative evidence obtained from interviews, background research on institutions, and quantitative data analysis. Candidates should also be experienced in working independently as well as in intense periods of collaboration with a diverse research team.

Additional Information
Please upload your resume and cover letter as one document.

In addition to applying on-line, applicants should send (i) a letter of interest, (ii) resume or CV, and (iii) two writing samples to by April 8, 2013.

This position is a fully benefits eligible term appointment ending 6 months after date of hire with the possibility of renewal.

Harvard University requires pre-employment reference and background checks.

Harvard University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
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