Research Coordinator, Positive Psychology Center

Job description

Research Coordinator, Positive Psychology Center

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

Posted Job Title
Research Coordinator, Positive Psychology Center

Job Profile Title
Research Coordinator

Job Description Summary
This Research Coordinator position will play a central role in carrying out research for Dr. Martin Seligman's new book, Agency and the History of Progress. The sweep of human history has been viewed through the disciplines of economists, ecologists, religious thinkers, “great man” biographers, and “social force” historians, but rarely through psychology. This book will place human psychology as the central force in human history by contending that the mindset of Agency is the immediate cause of human progress. The aim is to identify and assess the frequency of beliefs in the power of human agency (i.e., efficacy, optimism, and imagination) across history, particularly American History over the last 300 years, with a special focus on gender and race, and to examine the relationship between these beliefs and societal progress. European, Islamic, Indian, and Chinese history may also be examined in parallel. This position will collaborate closely with Dr. Seligman, Dr. Lyle Ungar, Mr. Peter Schulman (Executive Director), a postdoctoral fellow, and other psychology researchers. To learn more about our work:

Job Description


* Conduct in-depth, extensive literature reviews of agency through the lens of efficacy, optimism, and imagination. Synthesize and summarize these reviews to inform Dr. Seligman's book-writing. This requires the development of an advanced knowledge of the relevant subject matter.

* Collaborate with Dr. Seligman and other researchers in the development of psycho-historical hypotheses and analysis of historical texts as they pertain to the history of Agency and progress.

* Collect literature from numerous sources on a variety of content types, e.g., analyze lexical data for the Middle Ages, women, and slavery. Provide progress timelines, e.g., for women's accomplishments, etc.

* Manage numerous files collected for the book. Identify, populate, and manage an application to serve as a qualitative database to archive, query, and generate reports on different topics by keyword.

* Copyedit Dr. Seligman's manuscripts of the book, provide feedback, and prepare for submission.

* Take the lead in collecting and organizing citations and references for the bibliography section of the book, using an application, e.g., EndNote.

* Carry out additional assignments as needed.


* Bachelor's degree is required.

* 1 to 2 years of relevant professional experience in research is required, or equivalent combination of education and experience.

* Knowledge of psychology, positive psychology, American history, and philosophy is preferred.

* Excellent organizing abilities, with a strong attention to detail and process.

* Proven ability to coordinate and prioritize multiple assignments simultaneously in a fast-paced environment and meet deadlines.

* Excellent analytical, verbal and written communication skills.

* Strong copyediting skills, including checking manuscript for proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation to attain high quality written content.

* Excellent interpersonal skills.

* Proven ability to thrive under time pressure and workload.

* Strong competence in MS Office applications.

* Strong sense of mission.

* High standard of professionalism, excellence, and accountability.

* Proven ability to work as a collaborative member of a team.

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
School of Arts and Sciences

Pay Range
$36,401.00 - $65,521.00

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

University Benefits

  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family's health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn's Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family—whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you're newly hired, you won't have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That's why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University's libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There's always something going on at Penn, whether it's a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you're right in the middle of the excitement—and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
  • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
  • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

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Job No:
Posted: 4/8/2021
Application Due: 4/14/2021
Work Type: Full Time