Research Associate, The People Lab

Research Associate, The People Lab

Website Harvard Kennedy School

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The Research Associate (RA) will work closely with a diverse team of scholars at The People Lab (TPL) who are passionate about conducting collaborative, applied, data-driven research on key priorities in government. Projects range from: how to recruit and retain a diverse workforce, how to reduce burnout in front line workers, and how to increase take-up of anti-poverty programs. The vast majority of studies involve a randomized controlled trial (RCT), and direct collaboration with government agencies and other stakeholders.

Duties and Responsibilities, include but are not limited to:

Under the supervision of senior research staff:

  • Supports management of relationships with government partners including regular engagement, and troubleshooting issues.
  • Supports the design and implementation of rigorous research designs, including – but not limited to — randomized control trials (RCTs), survey experiments, and behavioral interventions.
  • Conducts basic statistical and econometric analysis using Stata or R on administrative data sets and/or other incoming data, including cleaning data correctly, conducting analysis in accordance with pre-analysis plans, and presenting and visualizing the results in various formats (tables/graphs, etc).
  • Supports authorship of academic papers, policy reports, grant reports, and other publications by conducting literature reviews, editing or drafting text, and preparing manuscripts for submission and publication.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Minimum Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in public policy, economics, statistics, or another closely related field.
  • 2+ years of relevant post-baccalaureate research experience.


  • Graduate degree in public policy, economics, statistics, or another closely related field.
  • 1+ year of relevant post-baccalaureate research experience.

This position is a fully benefits-eligible term appointment ending June 30, 2025, with possibility of renewal.

This is a hybrid position based on our campus in Cambridge, MA.  As a campus-based institution, we place a high value on the in-person experience, cross-team collaboration, and strong community building in order to create a vibrant campus for our students, faculty, staff, and research fellows. The position is required to work in-person on campus a minimum of three days per week during the academic year. Specific days and schedule will be determined between you and your manager.


Salary Range: $66,200 – $108,200
Note: Starting salaries typically fall in the lower half of the salary range; however, they are ultimately determined by the scope of the position, the candidate’s relevant experience, and internal equity. 


About Us

About The People Lab

The People Lab, led by Professor Elizabeth Linos, aims to empower the public sector by producing cutting-edge research on the people of government and the communities they are called to serve. Using  evidence from public management and insights from behavioral science, we study, design, and test strategies that can solve urgent public sector challenges in three core areas:

(1)   Strengthening the government workforce – how to recruit, retain and support diverse talent in the public sector that can effectively and equitably respond to the changing needs of residents.

(2)   Improving resident-government interactions – how to reduce barriers to equitable access to government services, mitigate the burdens that residents face when they interact with their government, and increase trust and satisfaction through such interactions.

(3)   Reimagining the production and use of evidence  – how to better include historically excluded voices in the design, implementation and evaluation of government innovations, and support the equitable adoption of best practice at scale.

The majority of our projects are co-designed with public sector partner agencies in order to ensure feasibility in the short-term and scalability in the long-term.  Find out more on our website (The People Lab).

About the Bloomberg Center for Cities at Harvard University

The People Lab is housed at the Bloomberg Center for Cities at Harvard University. Founded in 2021 with Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Bloomberg Center for Cities at Harvard University is a fast-growing global community committed to improving public management, leadership, and governance. The center’s unprecedented cross-Harvard collaboration unites expertise focused on cities across disciplines and schools to produce research, train leaders, and develop resources for global use.


Harvard Kennedy School’s Mission and Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Anti-Racism

At Harvard Kennedy School, fostering a diverse and inclusive community where everyone feels they belong is a matter of basic fairness consistent with our core values as an institution. It is also essential to our mission of improving public policy and leadership—because recruiting the best people and creating an environment where they can thrive make us better at what we do, because we learn more from people with different perspectives, and because we work in diverse groups and serve diverse societies.

Learn more about Harvard Kennedy School’s commitment to Diversity Equity, and Anti-Racism.

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