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Job Opening - Research Assistant

We're hiring! SPARQ is seeking a full-time paid Research Assistant to join our team for a joint position with Geoff Cohen's lab.

Research Assistant, Stanford SPARQ and the Cohen Lab 

Department of Psychology, Stanford University


Stanford SPARQ is a “do tank” that partners with industry leaders and changemakers to reduce disparities and drive culture change using insights from behavioral science. The Cohen Lab is run by Professor Geoffrey Cohen and studies how, when, and why people change, with a focus on addressing social problems such as polarization and threats to belonging.

The Position

SPARQ is seeking a motivated full-time paid Research Assistant to join our economic justice and political depolarization initiatives alongside the Cohen Lab. This person would help design, run, and analyze online experiments to help address intergroup bias across two areas of research. The first area (50% of time with Stanford SPARQ) focuses on testing effective strategies for shifting narratives around poverty and inequality, combatting welfare-related and racial bias, and building support for redistributive policies like guaranteed income. The second area of research (50% of time with the Cohen Lab) focuses on testing novel interventions aimed at reducing partisan and affective polarization, improving cross-partisan discourse, and promoting productive communication with linguistic framing and perspective-taking strategies, among others.

Requirements and Qualifications 

  • (Required) Bachelor's degree in experimental social sciences such as psychology, economics, political science, or other related fields such as computer science

  • (Required) Proficiency in R (data cleaning and analysis)

  • Content area expertise or deep interest in literatures related to intergroup bias, polarization, poverty and inequality, and narrative change

  • Highly motivated and proactive

  • Experience or ability to quickly learn programming surveys in Qualtrics

  • Experience running studies on Prolific, mTurk/CloudResearch, or Lucid

  • Work well on a team and independently

  • Can take ownership on projects

  • Strong attention to detail

Ideal candidates would have experience with Qualtrics and with survey platforms like MTurk and Prolific. If you do not, but are confident you can learn and quickly develop proficiency with them, we still encourage you to apply.

Learning opportunities

  • Study design and implementation

  • Data cleaning and statistical analyses (on top of existing skills)

  • Conducting online experiments

  • Conducting interventions to address real-world social problems

  • Potential for paper co-authorship

Position Commitment

The position is full-time (40hr/week) and fully funded at $21/hour. Remote or in-person work. We invite candidates across the U.S. to apply. Zoom meetings will be conducted during Pacific Time working hours.

To Apply 

Please fill out this application and provide requested materials. Applications will be reviewed between November 15, 2022 to January 5, 2023. The position is expected to run from January to August, 2023, with the possibility of extension into the 2023-2024 academic school year.

Direct inquiries and questions to Dr. Catherine Thomas ( and Dr. Michael Schwalbe (, both postdoctoral fellows in the labs.