Research Associate (Duke Undergraduate Volunteer Position)

Durham, North Carolina, United States Part-time

Applications are now open for the spring semester! Please be sure to submit your application by January 20th, 2019 in order to be considered for placement.

The Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University is currently seeking part-time volunteer Duke undergraduate research associates to join our team to plan and conduct experiments, analyze data, and report findings on a variety of behavioral economics research studies. We review the Research Associate position on a rolling basis as need arises. If we don't currently have an immediate need, we will keep your information on file to be in the running when we do.

This position will perform all facets of research projects. Research Associates are responsible for helping researchers on a wide range of projects. Responsibilities include assiting with Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval for human subjects research, material design, programming and distribution of surveys, preparation and conducting of experiments, data management (cleaning, coding, analyzing, interpreting), and reporting of study results (see Specific Responsibilities below). Duke Undergraduate Volunteer RAs will sometimes be assigned to a particular project or researcher, and will sometimes flow between projects where needs develop.


Specific Responsibilities

  1. Perform background research, compile literature reviews
  2. Design and plan studies. Develop and/or follow standard operating procedures
  3. Prepare IRB-related materials (protocol application and related forms, amendments, etc.)
  4. Compile and/or create study materials, build surveys on qualtrics
  5. Keep track of study money, checking out the appropriate amount and turning in receipts in a timely manner
  6. Advertise the study (via flyers, online, etc), recruit and schedule participants, handle lab reservations and study enrollment operations. Coordinate all study procedures necessary
  7. Conduct the study (post online, run participants in the lab, or otherwise collect data)
  8. Research data management: Organize and clean study data, enter from paper copy to electronic if necessary, create composite variables, maintain a data dictionary
  9. Analyze and interpret data (to some extent)
  10. Disseminate results
  11. Assist with publication (to some extent)
  12. Follow all data security and IRB processes
  13. Maintain an impeccable record of all study activities, including but not limited to study documentation, data, payment forms, consent forms, and enrollment logs. Responsible for all administrative work related to the study
  14. Fill out experiment summary form
  15. Communicate with study team regularly to update progress 
  16. Collaborate with researchers, post-docs, and other research associates at the CAH
  17. Perform other duties as assigned

In addition to these Specific Responsibilities, Research Associates are required to have the following Skills, Experience, and Background. Importantly, Research Associates must be comfortable doing both the nitty-gritty day to day work and tackling big questions. They must be equally comfortable taking direction and working on their own.


Skills / Experience / Knowledge

Technical (required):

  • Qualtrics
  • Microsoft Office (Excel, in particular)
  • Experience with file storage systems such as Box

Technical (preferred)

  • mTurk
  • SonaSystems
  • Statistical software (R, SPSS, Stata, etc.)

Other (required):

  • Curiosity and a passion for inquiry
  • Self-motivated
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Working knowledge of psychology and behavioral economics
  • Excellent analytical and problem solving skills
  • Productive, timely, and responsible, with organizational and prioritization skills
  • Excellent communication (oral and written)
  • Excellent teamwork and interpersonal skills
  • Experience working in a research environment, including planning and preparation of research materials, data collection, and data analysis
  • Ability to work well in a team environment and build relationships with individuals at all levels
  • Ability to work in changing environments and shift priorities when needed
  • Ability to adjust rapidly to evolving needs of multiple researchers and projects

  • Strong time management skills, work ethic
  • Ability to communicate effectively with people of varied backgrounds
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, as well as manage multiple collaborations and research projects at once

  • Ability to recognize their own limitations and ask for help when needed
  • Ability to meet strict deadlines and work in a timely manner, keeping researchers up to date with progress on projects

 Other (preferred):

  • Loves to work occasional nights and weekends
  • Led some kind of organization in college
  • Experience with project management
  • Passionate about coffee and/or tea
  • Has a hobby


The above statements describe the general nature and level of work being performed by individuals assigned to this role. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and duties required of undergraduate Research Associates.


Minimum Qualifications


Expected Bachelor's degree from Duke University.


Work requires research experience in a behavioral science lab conducting research with human subjects.


What is the Center for Advanced Hindsight?

The Center for Advanced Hindsight is Dan Ariely’s behavioral economics lab at Duke University. We are interested in how and why people make a wide range of decisions, and how certain forces influence our thoughts and behavior. Our research focuses on the faulty assumptions of rational decision making, and strives to unveil how people make decisions in the real world – all kinds of decisions, from what inspires us to work those extra hours, to how much we are willing to spend on black pearls, to what we choose to eat for lunch.

What About Duke?

Duke has been named as a best place to work by several publications and organizations, including Carolina Parent, Computerworld, The Scientist, and the American Association of Retired Persons, among others. The organizations recognizing Duke represent a diverse range of interests, from family-friendly and preventive health to the needs of IT professionals and academic researchers.

Duke’s comprehensive benefits package includes paid time-off (vacation, holidays, sick leave), health, dental, vision, disability and life insurance, retirement, educational assistance, and support for professional development and training. As an employee of Duke University you would also enjoy numerous discounted services such as health club memberships, movie tickets, dining, and entertainment.


The CAH is a unique working environment, and has acquired a reputation for hosting activities like spontaneous pancake parties, snow cone shindigs, or a lab-wide Color Run. The space is filled with color and hanging chairs, a “Thinking and Dreaming” room, and the occasional art exhibit as a part of our Artistically Irrational series that bridges the gap between the worlds of Art and Science. The lab boasts an airborne remote-control shark, mini hydroponic garden, and the occasional pet sea creature. Not to mention onsite espresso and an ever-changing selection of scrumptious snacks. The work environment is flexible, always evolving, and moves at a pace that even the most highfalutin startups have a hard time keeping up with, and we embrace the momentum with an impassioned sort of grace. It’s not the lifestyle for everyone, but if this sounds appealing, then the CAH might just be the perfect place for you.

Our lab members are as diverse as our daytime activities, with backgrounds ranging from academia to advertising, from public policy to software development. Our work is highly creative and collaborative, and we don’t hesitate to ask for help or to help our peers. And yes, we do walk around in our personalized lab coats that function purely as fashion accessories.


To learn more about us:

Center for Advanced Hindsight




Instagram: advancedhindsight




Dan Ariely