Research Advisor in Social Science and Humanities

Updated: 24 days ago
Location: Cambridge, MASSACHUSETTS


Division of Continuing Education


Job-Specific Responsibilities

Reporting to the Director of Liberal Arts Graduate Degree Programs at Harvard Extension School, the Research Advisor in Social Sciences and Humanities advises master’s candidates in various Liberal Arts fields, possibly including Government, History, and International Relations, English or Religion, as well as in other fields as needed. The Research Advisor works with ALM candidates on all aspects of the preparation and presentation of the master's thesis from identifying a suitable thesis topic to completing an acceptable thesis research proposal. 

This position meets with students individually (via web conference, telephone, and by email), runs semester-long, credit-bearing Crafting the Thesis Proposal (CTP) tutorials, keeps appropriate work hours, and handles administrative details related to students' thesis projects, including transparent and detailed notetaking regarding students’ academic progress. Critiques and approves thesis proposals during the CTP tutorial, assigning a satisfactory or unsatisfactory grade for the CTP tutorial, recruits FAS faculty to serve as thesis directors, and reviews and approves final format of the completed thesis. Provides individual tutorials as necessary and advises students on relevant courses as well as guidance on writing issues, research skills, and proper academic citation. The Research Advisor is a member of the Thesis Task Force, which meets regularly, and helps to develop and maintain thesis support material for students as needed. This position will be responsible for related projects and duties as required.

Typical Core Duties

  • Design and implement student development programs focusing on leadership, experiential learning, and other potential areas of growth for student leaders and organizations
  • Function as subject matter expert or project lead
  • Advise and support student organizations by offering programming advice and assistance, and mentoring organizational leadership and academic advisors
  • Organize workshops seminars, and social events to enhance program cohesion
  • Collaborate with management to develop strategic goals for student services
  • Develop specialized reports; analyze data and make recommendations for use in strategic planning
  • May provide coaching and staff training
  • May determine accessibility eligibility and promote available resources and options that are available
  • May assess potential community safety concerns that pertain to Title IX; and make recommendations for improvements
  • Assist senior management in formulating student service policies and procedures; make recommendations to improve overall administration
  • Ensure compliance with University policies and procedures and applicable legal rules and regulations

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience required
  • Minimum of 7 years’ relevant work experience

Additional Qualifications and Skills

PhD strongly preferred as well as experience advising graduate students on independent research. Candidate should be conversant with current topics and research methods in social sciences fields and have a genuine enthusiasm for exploring a variety of possible thesis topics with students. Candidate must possess the ability to work with students from a broad range of academic backgrounds and ages with tact and diplomacy, while maintaining the high academic standards of the program. Excellent interpersonal skills, organizational ability and attention to detail required. Ability to work collegially with other ALM staff. 

Working Conditions

Harvard will require COVID vaccination for all Harvard community members who will have any on-campus presence. Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. More information regarding the University’s COVID vaccination requirement and exceptions may be found at the University’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Information” webpage: . 

Additional Information

Half-time, three-year term position with possibility of renewal.

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences will not provide visa sponsorship for this position.

In order to be considered for this role, a resume and cover letter must be submitted with application.

The Division of Continuing Education (DCE) comprises several entities serving about 30,000 students annually. The Harvard Extension School, the Harvard Summer School, the Harvard Professional Development Programs and the Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement allow Harvard to serve the learning needs of students across their life. For more than a century, Harvard Extension School has made Harvard faculty and teaching accessible to a diverse community of local, national, and international students. Harvard Extension School enrolls approximately 17,000 students per year in approximately 46 graduate and undergraduate liberal arts and professional fields. More than 1,500 open enrollment courses are offered year-round with over 600 available online are offered at affordable prices to our communities across the world. Harvard Summer School offers approximately 450 courses on the Harvard Campus to 11,000 secondary school, college and adult learners and more than 30 international study abroad programs for up to 600 students each summer. The Division also includes the Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement with approximately 550 active members and Harvard Professional Development Programs offering nearly 130 short noncredit programs to more than 3,200 participants annually.

All formal offers will be made by FAS Human Resources.

Harvard offers an outstanding benefits package including:
Time Off: 3 - 4 weeks paid vacation, paid holiday break, 12 paid sick days, 11.5 paid holidays, and 3 paid personal days per year; prorated for part-time employees
Medical/Dental/Vision: We offer a variety of excellent medical plans, dental & vision plans, all coverage begins as of your start date.
Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with full vesting after 3 years of service.
Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive tuition assistance program, $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and discounted options through participating Harvard grad schools.
Transportation: Harvard offers a 50% discounted MBTA pass as well as additional options to assist employees in their daily commute.
Wellness options: Harvard offers programs and classes at little or no cost, including stress management, massages, nutrition, meditation and complimentary health services.
Harvard access to athletic facilities, libraries, campus events and many discounts throughout metro Boston.

Job Function

Faculty & Student Services


USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code

S0358P FSS Student Services Officr IV


Division of Continuing Education


00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Pre-Employment Screening

Education, Identity


Expected availability during normal office hours.  Be available for meetings with students and other research advisors at least 2 days each week. Other times as needed for office-wide meetings.

Half-time, three-year term position with possibility of renewal

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

View or Apply

Similar Positions