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USC is a leading private research university located in Los Angeles – a global center for arts, technology and international business. As the city’s largest private employer, responsible for more than $5 billion annually in economic activity in the region, we offer the opportunity to work in a dynamic and diverse environment, in careers that span a broad spectrum of talents and skills across a variety of academic schools and units. As a USC employee, you will enjoy excellent benefits and perks, and you will be a member of the Trojan Family - the faculty, staff, students and alumni who make USC a great place to work. Think you’ve got what it takes to join us? We invite you to search our open positions and apply!

Project Specialist

The Center for Economic and Social Research Los Angeles, California

This full-time Project Specialist (Research Assistant) position, working with Economics professor Dan Benjamin (at the University of Southern California) and his co-authors and starting summer 2019, is ideal for individuals interested in behavioral economics research and likely to pursue a PhD in economics. Current projects include identifying genetic variants associated with educational attainment, conducting surveys to shed light on what respondents mean when they answer questions about their own happiness, and developing theory and running experiments to understand people’s biased beliefs about random processes. For examples of past research, see Research assistants are directly involved in the entire research process, including:

• Data analysis (Stata knowledge required, MATLAB knowledge a plus)

• Grant writing

• Experiment design and execution (including tasks such as assisting with formulating

hypotheses to be tested; writing procedure documents for experiments; coordinating

the location of and staff for experiments; managing participants’ payments, etc.)

• Survey design and execution (including writing survey questions, testing website

designs, liaising with market research firms, etc.)

• Background research and literature reviews for experiment/survey design and paper


• Data compiling and presentation (including designing figures for papers, paper editing,

and the potential for small writing assignments, such as blog posts or data reports)

• Various administrative tasks central to the research process (including IRB

applications, coordination of team activities, creation of efficient systems of

management, etc.)

This is a fixed-term position.

Required background:

• Knowledge of Stata, Excel

• Strong organizational and self-disciplinary skills

• A background in economics (undergraduate degree or at least 3 years of relevant


• Leadership skills

• An interest in behavioral economics specifically

• Strong writing skills

Optional background:

• Knowledge of MATLAB and Latex

• Knowledge of various statistical analyses such as OLS, MLE, and PCA

To apply please submit the following documents:

(1) A cover letter describing your interest in and qualifications for the position

(2) your resume

(3) an unofficial transcript, and

(4) a paper you’ve written for a course, a research paper, or other writing sample.

Performs other related duties as assigned or requested. The university reserves the right to add or change duties at any time.

The University of Southern California is an Equal Opportunity Employer that Values Diversity.

Job Profile Summary
Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree
Minimum Experience: 2 years
Minimum Field of Expertise: Directly related education and experience to be able to advise on project procedures and analysis techniques

REQ20049314 Posted Date: 09/10/2018

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