Short-term, part-time Research Assistant Music Lab at Harvard University

If you are reading this message, you are probably doing so on a device that plays music. You are probably able to hear and perceive that music and you probably can also produce music of your own, even if you've never had music lessons. You are probably motivated to engage with music on a regular basis, regardless of your cultural background, location in the world, or socioeconomic status. You have probably been this way your whole life.

In the Music Lab, we're figuring out why the human mind is designed in such a way that all of the above is true. We do basic science, running experiments with typically developing people of all ages and in populations with genetic conditions. We focus in particular on infancy and on people who live in isolated small-scale societies around the world. We also work on large corpus studies of ethnographies and field recordings from the Natural History of Song project and use those data in large-scale online experiments.

The Music Lab is the newest lab in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. We collaborate domestically and internationally with cognitive scientists, musicians, evolutionary biologists, ethnomusicologists, anthropologists, linguists, and computer scientists. We are recruiting research assistants and students from all of these fields to work on a few key topics: universals in music perception and music production, people's use of music in daily life, acoustics of music production in informal settings, studies of the impact of infant-directed song on infant affect and behavior, and long-term effects of the use of music in the home on parent and infant health. If you find any of this exciting, please get in touch, regardless of your academic background or career stage.

We will be considering a wide variety of candidates for several positions. A few possibilities are detailed below but they may be combined with one another given the right candidate. The schedule for hiring is flexible, with positions starting on or after 1 September 2017. Applications will be reviewed as they are received. To apply, contact us at musiclab+jobs@g.harvard.edu. Tell us why you are applying, what your research interests are, and which of the below positions you are most interested in. Include a CV and contact information for two references.

​The Music Lab is directed by Samuel Mehr and is funded by the High-Risk, High-Reward Research Program at the National Institutes of Health and by the Harvard University Data Science Initiative.

​Positions

​1. Full-time, benefitted Research Assistant to develop and expand the Natural History of Song project's audio corpus. This person will track down rare field recordings of vocal music in small-scale societies, work with anthropologists and ethnomusicologists to collect new recordings, work with musicians to transcribe them, and work with collaborators in computer science to design and implement music information retrieval to better understand them. A 2-year commitment is desired but not required. Some work can be done remotely.

Qualifications (not all are required):
- background and interest in music
- skill working in computer-based staff notation (especially Sibelius and ideally also using command-line tools such as Humdrum, music21, jSymbolic)
- music analysis skills (e.g., training in music theory)
- computational, statistical, and technical skills (especially Python, JavaScript, MATLAB)
- experience conducting independent research and/or working in a lab

- a bachelor's degree in music, cognitive science, anthropology, or related field

2. Half-time, benefitted Research Assistant to work directly with parents, infants, and children in studies; design and implement studies of infants' responses to music; develop eye tracking, physiological monitoring, habituation, and violation-of-expectations methods; and collaborate with other lab members on studies online and at field sites worldwide. A 2-year commitment is desired but not required. This position will have the potential for an increase to full-time work, based on performance.

Qualifications (not all are required):
- background and interest in music
- experience working in research settings with infants and parents (or educational or clinical settings)
- computational, statistical, and technical skills (especially Stata, R, Python, MATLAB)
- experience conducting independent research (e.g., an undergraduate thesis in psychology)

- a bachelor's degree in cognitive science, education, psychology, or related field

​3. Half-time, benefitted Research Assistant to lead technical aspects of our research, including software development for experiments (including mobile platforms), management of large online studies (on Turk or otherwise), web development, database management, and the like. This position will have the potential for an increase to full-time work, based on performance. Some work can be done remotely.

Qualifications (not all are required):
- background and interest in music
- experience running online studies

- experience with mobile app development (both Android and iOS)

- strong computational, statistical, and technical skills (e.g., Stata, R, Python, MATLAB, Git)
- experience working in a collaborative research environment
- a bachelor's degree in cognitive science, computer science, linguistics, or related field

4. Short-term, part-time Research Assistants (paid hourly or by stipend, depending on work) at any career stage to contribute to the Natural History of Song project by annotating tracks with musical information, transcribing world music, and collecting new field recordings. To date a group of over fifty researchers from high school students to tenured faculty have contributed to the Natural History of Song. Short-term RAs will join this team to contribute their interpretations and annotations of NHS audio. *This work does not require residence in Cambridge, MA: it can be completed from anywhere in the world and has an entirely flexible schedule. Many contributors in this role do so outside of their usual employment, on an ad-hoc basis, and this is fine with us!*.

Required qualification: expertise in musical analysis (either a degree or advanced coursework completed)

We are in particular need of part-time RAs who have completed a PhD in music theory, ethnomusicology, arranging, music education, jazz studies, and/or a related field of music scholarship.

Type
Paid job
Timeframe
Post-graduation