Research Assistant - Nudge4 Solutions Lab (Staff Wage) at University of Virginia

Posted in Other 13 days ago.

Location: Charlottesville, Virginia

Job Description:

Job location: Remote - Virginia

Employment Type: Part-time
Posted data: 2021-10-08
Req: R0029456
The Nudge4 Solutions Lab seeks an ambitious, enthusiastic, and organized person to join our team as a part-time Research Assistant (RA). The RA will have the opportunity to collaborate with faculty on research exploring the relationship between federal nutritional benefits (SNAP usage) and community college student success in Virginia.

Most programming work will be done in Stata. Candidates with demonstrated programming experience in other languages are encouraged to apply. Experience with Python, R, and GitHub is beneficial but not required.

This position is ideal for recent graduates from undergraduate economics programs and particularly for individuals interested in the economics of education who want to gain hands-on experience conducting rigorous research, with the intention of going on to pursue a doctoral program in economics, public policy, etc.

Who We Are
The Nudge4 Solutions Lab was founded by Professor Ben Castleman to create scalable solutions to society's biggest challenges by leveraging behavioral insights, data science, interactive technologies, and deep practitioner partnerships. Our current priority areas are education, criminal justice, veterans benefits, and workforce development. Nudge4 projects involve close partnerships with public agencies and non-profit organizations, including the U.S. Army and several state agencies and higher education systems. Our current projects incorporate advanced data science techniques (e.g. machine learning) to both target our interventions to those who would benefit the most, as well as to design highly-personalized intervention content.How You Will Contribute

Our projects use multi-disciplinary teams, where all team members play an active role and often wear multiple hats. This position will spend approximately 75% of their time on data analytic tasks; approximately 15% of their time conducting literature reviews and drafting content for memos and papers, and approximately 10% of their time helping to manage project processes and relationships for the projects on which (s)he is involved.

The RA will have the opportunity to:

  • Work with leaders in the fields of applied economic research to conduct rigorous, quantitative research that will directly inform pressing policy issues

  • Be involved in every stage of a research project by:

  • Reviewing and synthesizing academic and policy research literature

  • Collecting, cleaning, and managing data from multiple sources

  • Performing detailed data analyses

  • Learn data science methods not traditionally used in the economics field, such as machine learning algorithms, PDF and web-scraping, and data visualization.

  • Conducting power analyses and implementing randomization procedures

  • Conducting rigorous impact analysis to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions

  • Drafting academic papers and policy memos detailing the results of the project

  • Coordinate work within the Research Team and external partners to track progress toward achieving deadlines and goals

  • Potentially earn co-authorship status for academic publication on one or more projects

  • Gain valuable insights into the processes required for securing research funding, building and maintaining partner relationships, and communicating results to a variety of technical and non-technical audiences.

What We're Looking For

What we require

  • A bachelor's degree in economics, public policy, or related field

  • Experience working collaboratively with state education agencies, colleges and universities, and/or non-profits conducting applied research on education-to-employment transitions

  • Strong performance in econometrics or statistics coursework

  • Strong coding skills in Stata or a related program

  • Experience conducting rigorous quantitative research, either through coursework, thesis writing, or working an undergraduate/professional research assistant

  • Coursework in economic field classes (e.g. public, labor) that included reading and replicating academic papers

  • The ability to take initiative, work independently, and effectively manage one's own time

  • Highly organized and able to work across multiple projects at the same time.

  • Strong written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills

  • Long-term interest in pursuing analytic work in economics and public policy.

What we'd prefer

  • 2+ years experience as a Research Assistant conducting economic or public policy research, either in an academic or professional setting

  • Experience in project coordination or partnership management

  • Ability to interact collaboratively with a diverse group of stakeholders


This is a part-time position and is eligible to be fully remote. The anticipated hiring pay is $28.40/hour.


Education: Bachelor's degree in related field.
Experience: None
Licensure: None


This is primarily a sedentary job involving extensive use of desktop computers. The job does occasionally require traveling some distance to attend meetings, and programs.

This is a restricted position and continuation is dependent upon the availability of funding and satisfactory performance.

COVID Vaccination Requirement

The University of Virginia expects all current and new employees (UVA Health System and Academic), to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

If hired to work within the University Health System, you will be required to provide proof of vaccination or be willing to receive the vaccination. Employees may request a medical or religious exemption from vaccination.

If hired to work on the Academic side of the University, excluding the School of Medicine, School of Nursing, UPG, and the Health Systems Library, you will be required to provide proof of vaccination or be willing to submit to mandatory, weekly prevalence testing. Employees that are working 100% remotely will not be subject to weekly prevalence testing; however, if the employee works on UVA Grounds (including the Medical Center) even intermittently, then they are required to be tested for COVID-19 once per week on an indefinite basis and follow masking mandates.

NOTE: Some medical and safety-sensitive positions require vaccination and are not eligible for an exemption. For more information on how the vaccination and testing requirements will apply to you at your work location, see the UVA New Hire Vaccination Requirements webpage.

The University of Virginia, i
ncluding the UVA Health System which represents the UVA Medical Center, Schools of Medicine and Nursing, UVA Physician's Group and the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, are fundamentally committed to the diversity of our faculty and staff. We believe diversity is excellence expressing itself through every person's perspectives and lived experiences. We are equal opportunity and affirmative action employers. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, veteran status, and family medical or genetic information.

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