Research Assistant Opportunities

*Please note, the Sidanius Intergroup Relations Lab is no longer accepting Summer RAs.*


The Sidanius Lab is always on the lookout for strongly motivated Research Assistants to support its varied research program. Research Assistants (RAs) are welcome either on a volunteer basis, or for course credit (by enrolling in PSY 2570r or 910r). RAs are required to commit to a minimum number of hours per week depending on their enrollment and the lab’s needs. Individual researchers in the Sidanius Lab may require Research Assistants to attend RA meetings at their discretion to fulfill research needs.

Below is a description of ongoing research being conducted in the lab. To apply for a Research Assistant position, contact Shujianing Li ( with your CV and the brief RA application at the bottom of the page.

For other research opportunities in the Psychology Department at Harvard University please click here.

**Check the individual researchers below for updated research needs**




Accepting RAs for the Spring 2020 semester



Primary Investigator: Sa-kiera Hudson (Kiera)

Research Topics: Power/Dominance; Hierarchy; Intersectionality; Race; Gender; Developmental Psychology; Social Identities

Research Overview: My research is interested in two broad questions: First, what are the psychological, developmental, and emotional roots of creating, maintaining, and dismantling social hierarchies? Second, how are psychological processes of cognition, identity, discrimination, and prejudice altered by studying one’s position in multiple hierarchies at the same time (i.e. intersectionality). I have several projects related to each line that have separate research needs.

Research Assistant Opportunities: I am looking for RAs that are extremely eager to learn about the research process and are flexible with their time. I have several projects that have specific needs and because of that, I am looking for RAs who are interested in multiple projects. Furthermore, I am based off campus for the Spring 2020 semester; thus any RA who works with me must demonstrate ability to work well independently. Here are the list of things RAs can do with me.

  1. Literature searches and reviews: I need individuals willing to dive deeply and learn about a singular topic, writing a summary of the articles and finding connections between the articles. Literature searches are the foundation to any research line.
  2. Programming studies: RAs program my studies into Qualtrics. JavaScript knowledge (even rudimentary, or the willingness and capacity to learn) is a plus.
  3. Stimuli development: RAs help me create the materials that go into studies, from creating fake news articles to editing photos to finding useful scales and manipulations. This task requires creativity and thinking outside of the box.
  4. Data entry/checking: RAs often check the statistics in my writing as well as manually enter any hard-copy data we have from campus surveys or lab studies. This task requires attention to detail and the ability to focus.
  5. Data coding: I have several qualitative projects that need to be reviewed and analyzed by an RA. This task requires attention to detail and the ability to focus, as well as the ability to manage time well.
  6. Data analysis: For those confident in their statistical abilities (or want to learn), I love for my RAs to dive into data and learn how to understand what their data is telling them.
  7. Brainstorming: Each project has a weekly 30-minute meeting in which we discuss the project’s progress. In these meetings I often ask for help thinking through analyses or thinking of next steps.


  1. Preference for hierarchy and empathic reactions (SDO-E): What is the relationship between preferences for hierarchy (i.e. SDO) and empathy/counter-empathy (i.e. feeling joy at others pain and sadness at others’ happiness) and does that relationship change as a function of group membership? This is my current dissertation project and there are several different branches within this project.
  2. Theory of Gendered Prejudice (TGP-F): This project is looking at the intersection of race and gender from an evolutionary point of view. Does female-on-female aggression happen and is it moderated by the race of the people involved?  There are several branches within this project, from writing a theory paper to designing and running empirical studies.
  3. Illegitimate and Unstable Hierarchies (IUH): This project is in collaboration with Jennifer Richeson at Yale University. We are interested in whether conversations around shifting demographics in America alter perceptions of the legitimacy and stability of the racial hierarchy.
  4. Stereotype Threat and Gender Atypicality (SGA): Are gay men subject to stereotype threat traditionally expressed in women and are lesbian women subject to stereotype threat traditionally expressed in men?
  5. Intersectional Stereotypes (ITC-S): Are prescriptive gender norms equally applied to men and women of different races, religions, and sexual orientations?
  6. Power and Intergroup Relations (P&IR) : How does organizational power affect marginalized groups in inter- and intra-minority contexts?
  1. Writing:
    1. Implicit Representation of the N-Word: What are the implicit representations of slur words, especially words that have re-claimed by stigmatized groups?
    2. Gender Stereotypes and the intersection of Race and Sexual Orientation: What are the prescriptive (what people should be like), proscriptive (what people shouldn’t be like), and descriptive (what people are like) stereotypes of men and women of different sexual orientations and races?
    3. Gendered representations of dominance in children: How do children associate gender with physical, trait, and social dominance?

Expected Hours: Flexible, but around 8-10 hours a week for part-time RAs and 16-20 hours a week for full-time RAs. All RAs need to be able to attend a RA professional development meeting for an hour and a half each week (TBD). This lab meeting counts as part of RA hours. All RAs, regardless of volunteer or credit status, will be expected to conduct at least a literature search if not a review and create a poster to present to the rest of the lab at the end of the semester. Credit students are required to write a end-of-the-year paper.





Primary Investigator: Asma Ghani

Research Topics: Generalized Prejudice and discrimination

 Research Overview: Why is it the case that people who are sexist also tend to be racist, xenophobic, and homophobic? My research examines the conditions under which prejudice is generalized across different targets. I have a few projects related to this question. In a related line of work, I am interested in how the interwoven nature of multiple social categories such as race, sexuality, religion and gender interact to influence experiences of prejudice and discrimination.

Research Assistant Opportunities: I am looking for an RA with excellent organizational skills, quantitative analysis skills, and ability to work independently. I am also looking for people who can conduct literature reviews on different projects and have prior experience with Qualtrics.

Expected hours: 10-20 hours per week.





Primary Investigator: Gregory Davis

Research Topics: Person Evaluation, Ideology & Policy Preference, Law, Race, Sexual Orientation

Research Overview: Primarily, I study the political psychology of support for the Trump candidacy and presidency. Here, I am evaluating the roles of demographics, personality, ideology, worldview, prejudice, threat, and political identity in preference for Trump. Future research in this domain will concern a greater inquiry into the relationships among ideology, legitimacy, and support for authoritarian leadership and policy.  This project will require both psychological and legal research, and ideally the ability to form a relationship with the resources of the Harvard Law Library.

Also, I am doing a study of Black Republicans requiring intensive work on sampling, surveying, and analyzing quantitaive data.

Research Assistant Opportunities: I will require three (3) RAs for the Fall 2018. This first two RAs should have a primary interest in social psychology, sociology, or political science, as he or she will assist in my social psychology work on the Trump administration. This will include research reviews, some data review and verification, and running experiments with participants in the lab. The third RA will have more varied responsibilities and will assist me in my non-psychology work. Any interest in law and/or critical theory will be a great asset, as I will need assistance in literature review and theory development with this work. This work should require 10-20 hours/week. Multiple opportunities for co-authorship available for those willing to do some writing with me as well (which will require more hours per week of work). 

Expected Hours: 10-20 hours per week.










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