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 Fall 2019 semester

NOTE: Kiera and Gregory are no longer accepting RAs for the Fall 2019 semester; if you are interested in helping with their research, please check in with us in the spring!

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: Sa-kiera Hudson (Kiera)

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

Research Overview: What does it mean on a psychological level to have power and how do we determine who has it? Are race, gender, and sexual orientation examples of power hierarchies and what does this mean for intergroup relations? I have several projects relating to this question. First, how does preference for hierarchy impact how we feel empathy and counter-empathy for others especially for out-groups? Second, what are the experiences of discrimination at the nexus of race, gender, and sexual orientation, with a focus on intersectionality in psychology? I investigate the stereotypes of men and women of different races and sexual orientations, as well as how experiences of sexism vary by race. Third, how do unequal power dynamics affect ethnic minorities and women?

Research Assistant Opportunities: I am looking for RAs that are extremely eager to learn about the research process and are flexible with their time. Broadly speaking, RAs can get involved with almost every stage of the research process, from research design and idea development to data collection to writing manuscripts. 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 2019-2020 school year; thus any RA who works with me must demonstrate ability to work well independently.

Social Dominance Orientation and Empathy: What is the relationship between preferences for hierarchy (i.e. SDO) and empathy/counter-empathy (feeling joy at others pain and sadness at others’ happiness) and does that relationship change as a function of group membership? I am looking for RAs who have access to Qualtrics and have excellent quantitative skills.

Intersectional Projects: I need highly motivated RAs who will be experimenters and confederates for a set of lab and online studies, as well as enter data, create stimuli, and conduct literature searches.

  1. History of Intersectionality in Psychology: I need an RA who will help me write a review article on intersectional theories in psychology. This RA will become very familiar in the realm of intersectionality, and ultimately will help me craft studies designed to test these theories.
  2. Stereotype Threat and Gender Atypicality: Are gay men subject to stereotype threat traditionally expressed in women and are lesbian women subject to stereotype threat traditionally expressed in men?
  3. Intersectional Stereotypes: 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?
  4. Theory of Gendered Prejudice- Female Sexualization: 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?

Other studies:


  1. Power and Intergroup Relations: How does organizational power affect marginalized groups in inter- and intra-minority contexts?
  2. Implicit Representation of the N-Word: What are the implicit representations of slur words, especially words that have re-claimed by stigmatized groups. For example, does the n-word used by Black Americans have less negative or potentially even more positive implicit representations compared to when the n-word is used by White Americans?
  3. Expansion of Whiteness: How will the concept of whiteness change to maintain majority status in the face of a threat of a majority-minority America?



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 (TBD). This lab meeting counts as part of RA hours.



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.










sidanius_lab_application_2019-2020.pdf111 KB