Research Assistant III

Job Summary

Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) seeks applications for a research assistant to conduct quantitative and qualitative research on issues related to housing and aging.

Since its founding in 1959, JCHS has been a leader in advancing public understanding of housing issues and policy. Through its research, education, and public outreach programs, JCHS helps leaders in government, business, and the civic sectors make decisions that effectively address the needs of cities and communities. JCHS’s research on housing and aging aims to deepen understanding of the housing implications of aging populations and to advance policy, planning, design, and public health solutions to address the lack of suitable and affordable housing for older adults.

As a member of the JCHS Housing an Aging Society Program, and reporting to the research associate, the research assistant will conduct quantitative and qualitative research on topics related to housing and aging and will contribute to the Joint Center’s research products, communications, events, and other activities. The Center is a mission-driven organization that promotes a culture of collaboration, creativity, respect, diversity, and inclusion.

Position Description

  • Carries out quantitative and qualitative research on topics related to housing and aging, including demographics and finances, housing affordability, housing policy, homeownership and rental housing, accessibility, supports for older adults at home and other connections between health and housing, and other research areas as needed pertaining to aging, housing, and wellbeing.
  • Summarizes and compiles data through the statistical analysis of large-scale databases including the American Housing Survey, Decennial Census, Current Population Survey, Surveys of Consumer Finance, American Community Survey, and Health and Retirement Study. Conducting database management.
  • Conducts policy analysis, research interviews, and reviews of practitioner, policy, and academic literatures.
  • Participates in design of research methods and approaches, and serves as source of information or reference on specific research methods.
  • Organizes material for reports, research briefs, and working papers. Drafts publications both independently and in collaboration with senior staff.
  • Designs and delivers research presentations to internal and external audiences and translates findings to audiences with diverse backgrounds and experiences.
  • Works as a member of a team, contributing to all aspects of project development and execution. Submits periodic reports of project status to supervisor. Performs other project duties as required.
  • Helps the Center progress towards Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging goals.

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • 1-2 years of research or data management experience in a professional or academic setting required
  • Strong oral and written communication skills essential
  • Candidates must have a demonstrated interest in topics related to housing, as well as experience using statistical software packages such as R or Stata.
  • A successful candidate has demonstrated ability to use Stata or similar software to analyze complex information such as administrative data or data produced by the Census Bureau surveys

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Preference will be given to those with a Master’s degree level training in urban planning, economics, public policy, public health, gerontology, or a related field is strongly recommended
  • Master’s degree with 1-2 years of research experience is a plus
  • Familiarity with qualitative analysis software like NVivo, and experience designing and conducting qualitative research, including surveys and interviews, is a plus.

Physical Requirements

There are no known physical requirements related to this position

Working Conditions

This hybrid position will be a combination of remote work plus work in an office environment.

Additional Information

Applicants should submit a cover letter and resume via Harvard Careers. Work samples are welcome. Applications are accepted and encouraged from candidates not based in the Boston-Cambridge area, so long as they are able to commute to campus in a hybrid capacity, and reside in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, New York, California, New Jersey, Georgia, Virginia, Illinois, Washington state, or Maryland.


We invite you to visit Harvard’s Total Rewards website to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:

  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

To apply, please visit the Harvard Careers Website.