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Research Staff Assistant

School of Social Work

Research Staff Assistant

  • 520367
  • Morningside
  • School of Social Work
  • Full Time
  • Opening on: Nov 11 2021
  • Grade R5

Position Summary

Reporting to the Principal Investigators of the Columbia Study of Mothers and Babies and the Project Directors of the Robin Hood Poverty Tracker and Early Childhood Poverty Tracker projects, the Research Staff Assistant is responsible for work on research projects affiliated with Columbia's School of Social Work (CSSW). The RSA is responsible for conducting phone surveys with study participants at CSSW, and in-person assessment administration with study subjects for both projects. In addition, the RSA will work with senior personnel on project planning and coordination and ensure the accurate and timely administration of incentive payments to subjects. The Columbia Study of Mothers and Babies is a randomized controlled trial of an early childhood intervention for low-income mothers and their newborn children. The Poverty Tracker and Early Childhood Poverty Tracker projects involve a panel study of New York City adults (and parents of young children) that focuses on economic wellbeing and hardship. The RSA contributes to the administration of both projects.


The Research Staff Assistant will be required to carry out the following duties and responsibilities for the Columbia Study of Mothers and Babies (75%):

• Take primary responsibility for contacting CSMB study participants, updating contact information, and scheduling interviews (10%)
• Conduct surveys with CSMB study participants (10%)
• Conduct in-person visits and administer assessments (40%)
• Take primary responsibility for maintaining accurate records of completed CSMB surveys and distributing completed cases back to the program team (5%)
• Report on a weekly basis to the Principal Investigator on study progress (5%)
• Maintain accurate records of incentive payments to study subjects (5%)

The Research Staff Assistant will be required to carry out the following duties and responsibilities for the New York City Longitudinal Study of Wellbeing (Robin Hood study) (25%):

• Conduct phone surveys and in-person child assessments with Robin Hood study participants (20%)
• Perform other related duties for the Robin Hood project as assigned (5%)

Minimum Qualifications

• B.A. or equivalent in social science or related field
• Spanish fluency
• Two years related experience or equivalent combination of education and experience
• Excellent communication and organizational skills
• Proficient computer skills (Microsoft Office)
• Demonstrated capacity for teamwork
• Demonstrated capacity for careful and detail-oriented work
• Capacity to establish rapport and trust with study participants
• Experience working with children (preschool age preferred)
• Experience conducting surveys and semi-structured interviews for research studies

Preferred Qualifications

• Ability to understand and describe research methods and research results
• Experience using Qualtrics, CATI systems, and other survey software tools

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.

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