Research Assistant in Language Development

Job Description: Professor Jesse Snedeker is seeking an energetic and intellectually-engaged research assistant for studies of language comprehension in typically-developing children and adults at the Harvard Lab for Developmental Studies.

Review of applications will begin immediately for a flexible start date between July 5th and July 15th 2019.

Responsibilities include:  preparing stimuli, contacting families, testing children and adults, coding data, assisting with data analysis, training undergraduate assistants, managing a summer internship program, maintaining equipment, coordinating the use of space, organizing meetings, assisting with grant management, and managing lab expenses.

Necessary qualifications:

  • An undergraduate degree in psychology, linguistics or cognitive science
  • Availability for flexible scheduling, including evenings and weekends, to facilitate data collection
  • A strong interest in the psychology of language, language acquisition, and conceptual development
  • Prior experience working with young children
  • Comfortable with technical trouble shooting
  • Well-organized, attentive to detail, calm under pressure, and comfortable juggling half a dozen things at once

Skills that would be put to good use include:

  • Experience with eye tracking
  • Experience with EEG
  • Experience with R, Matlab and Eprime
  • Experience with CHILDES and corpus analyses
  • Coursework in semantics, pragmatics and syntax
  • A sense of humor

Our lab is embedded in larger communities both within Harvard and in the wider Boston area, which offer rich resources for students interested in developmental psychology, psycholinguistics and linguistics.  Research assistants are encouraged to make use of these resources. Folks who have held this position in the past have gone to graduate programs in psychology, linguistics, speech and hearing sciences, and clinical linguistics.

Potential applicants should email a letter of interest, a CV, and three references (email addresses and phone numbers are best). Please feel free to write with questions as well.

Part-Time Research Assistant Opportunities

We are seeking motivated students to assist with research in language acquisition. RAs may volunteer or receive course credit (PSY 1651r). Learn state of the art research methods to probe questions related to how children learn language and how adults and children process and use it everyday. Duties center around working on a project with a primary researcher, and include: recruiting and scheduling adult and child participants, testing adults and children, and aiding in the design of new studies. Students must have a minimum of 9 hours a week to commit to the lab for at least 2 semesters. This is an excellent opportunity for someone interested in the fields of developmental and cognitive psychology and/or linguistics. Email our lab manager, Durgesh Rajandiran ( to apply.

Summer Internship Opportunities

The Laboratory for Developmental Studies at Harvard University hosts an annual summer internship. Interns will assist with developmental psychology research and learn state of the art research methods that provide a window into the minds of infants, toddlers, and children. Under the supervision of Dr. Susan Carey and Dr. Jesse Snedeker, the lab studies such topics as language acquisition, numerical development, representation of objects and people, causality, and symbolic representation. Responsibilities of interns center around working on a project with a primary researcher, and include recruiting and scheduling child participants and their families, testing children in the lab or at daycares, data analysis, and aiding in the design of new studies. An interest in and ability to work with young children is essential. Internships are full time and 10 weeks in duration. Interns are strongly encouraged to apply for grants from their current institutions. However, a $1500 stipend is guaranteed for those who do not receive outside funding. To learn more and to apply please click here.

For additional information, please contact:

Durgesh Rajandiran
Snedeker Lab Manager

Nancy Soja
Carey Lab Manager