Research Assistant

Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Location
    Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Early Career
  • Posted
    Jun 10

Position description

The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs is seeking candidates for the role of Research Assistant to Belfer Director and former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. The Belfer Center is the hub for Harvard University's research, teaching, and training in international affairs, security, and technology. In 2018, it was ranked the world's #1 university-affiliated think-tank for the sixth year in a row.

The Research Assistant will support Secretary Carter, both is his capacity as the Director of the Belfer Center and the Director of the Technology and Public Purpose (TAPP) Project. Duties will include conducting in-depth research on topics such as the role of technology in changing global affairs & U.S. society, particularly looking at emerging technologies' impact within three areas: (1) digital technologies; (2) biotechnologies; and (3) future of work. Additionally, this position will cover research for a range of major international security issues.

The Research Assistant works closely with other members of a small research team and develops research products, including memos, reports, and background materials; coordinates events; and performs other related job duties as required.

Job-Specific Responsibilities

  • Research, analyze, draft, and edit a variety of written products (i.e. memos, papers, and reports) related to leading issues in the technology sector, government policy and legislation, and the financial industry
  • Track current developments in the technology sector with a specific focus on public purpose dimensions including, but not limited to, privacy, competiveness, support for innovation, bias, freedom of speech, and others
  • Brief a former cabinet-level official frequently on issues related to technology and public purpose, as well as other national security topics
  • Organize high-level events between tech industry leaders, Harvard faculty, and the broader Boston community


  • At least two years of related work experience is required.

Additional Qualifications

  • Exceptional analytical, research, and writing skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to coordinate complex tasks/events with minimal supervision and under tight deadlines.
  • Ability to synthesize large quantities of information into concise memos, reports and briefs
  • Self-starter with keen attention to detail
  • Team player who is willing to work on areas outside of their typical portfolio
  • Significant knowledge of, and demonstrated interest in emerging technologies and their ethical considerations;
  • Experience in the technology policy sector is preferred.

Additional Information
This is a benefits eligible term appointment ending one year from date of hire, with the possibility of renewal.

Application instructions

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