Research Assistant

Chicago, IL
Jul 13, 2018
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Hyde Park Campus

23301 Psychology

About the Unit
Consistently ranked among the top ten social science research universities in the world, the Division of Social Sciences is at the vanguard of inquiry and impact. Whether through the field-defining scholarship of the Chicago Schools in Sociology and Economics, the path-breaking impact of the first graduate international affairs program in the U.S., the creation of interdisciplinary programs in the Department of Comparative Human Development and the John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought, or many other pivotal milestones, the Division has repeatedly transformed the social sciences since its founding in 1930. The Division offers PhD degrees in nine disciplines and Master of Arts degrees in five interdisciplinary fields. The Division also offers a number of joint degrees, and these collaborative initiatives uniquely position the Division to pioneer creative modes of thinking about society's most complex issues.

Job Information

Job Summary:

The research assistant will provide support for a project funded by NSF. The major goal of the project is to investigate how action and gesture instruction deferentially affect children's ability to learn, generalize and retain information supporting the pre-algebraic concept of mathematical equivalence, using both behavioral methods and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). Data will be collected from approximately 1,000 third and fourth grade students from Chicago area public and private elementary schools. The major responsibilities of this position are recruiting schools and participants, managing human subjects' protection documents, collecting data in schools and in lab, and coding, managing, and analyzing data for the project, and other project support as required.

  • Collect data on school-age children in Chicago-area schools, in the lab, and in the fMRI scanning suite. This involves one-on-one administration of math and spatial reasoning tasks, the use of fMRI technology, and other tasks as necessary.
  • Code collected video data for children's gestures and problem-solving strategies.
  • Assemble coded data into databases or spreadsheets for further analysis.
  • Perform preliminary statistical analyses as requested.
  • Recruit participants through contacting local elementary schools. Recruitment requires explaining study to school principals, vice-principals and teachers as required.
  • Schedule data collection visits and distribute informed consent documents to participating classrooms.
  • Other project support, such as creating stimuli, capturing and compressing video data.

  • Basic knowledge in relevant scientific field required.
  • Problem-solving skills required.
  • Attention to detail required.
  • Organizational skills required.
  • Verbal and written communication skills required.
  • Ability to learn new research techniques or methods required.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team required.

Additional Requirements

Education, Experience or Certifications:

  • High school diploma or equivalent required.
  • Bachelor's degree in the social sciences preferred; with a concentration in psychology or related field preferred.

  • One year of relevant research experience preferred.
  • Prior experience working with children and in collecting experimental data preferred.
  • Experience in coding behaviors (previous gesture and/or speech coding) is preferred.
  • Ability to safely and legally drive a car.

Technical Knowledge or Skills:
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office required.
  • Knowledge of Macintosh computers and standard video equipment.
  • Preferred: Experience with database management (e.g., FileMaker Pro) software and statistical software (SPSS). Use of video editing software (e.g., Final Cut Pro)

Working Conditions and Physical Requirements:
  • fMRI scanning suite:certain kinds of implants and/or ferromagnetic metal are not allowed.
  • School environment: Must be able to pass school background check and health screening.
  • Some evening and weekend hours required.

Required Documents:
  • Resume
  • Cover letter
  • References (if requested)

NOTE: When applying, all required documents MUST be uploaded under the Resume/CV section of the application

Benefit Eligibility

Pay Frequency

Pay Range
Depends on Qualifications

Scheduled Weekly Hours


Job is Exempt?

Drug Test Required?

Does this position require incumbent to operate a vehicle on the job?

Health Screen Required?

Posting Date

Remove from Posting On or Before

Posting Statement:

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

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Full time

About Us
The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in the College develop critical, analytic, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Through graduate programs, students test their ideas with UChicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

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