Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

Graduate Student Research Assistant Position

Posted: 9/20/2019 (Employment)

Department: Construction Management
Date Available: January 6, 2020

Application Deadline: October 1st, 2019

General Duties/Description:

We are looking for a graduate research assistant to join our project team on the NSF funded grant, “Knowledge Work and Coordination to Improve O&M and IT Collaboration to Keep Our Buildings Smart AND Secure” for the 2019-2020 academic year.

This three-year study addresses the organizational and cultural challenges that an organization’s information technology (IT) staff and a building’s operations and management (O&M) staff have when they work closely together to keep Internet of Things (IoT) devices, such as room occupancy sensors, safe and secure from cyberattacks and other cybersecurity threats. We aim to better understand and improve how IT and O&M professionals can work better together and how public policy may affect their collaboration around IoT security. The research team will conduct observations, interviews, and document analyses on collaborative O&M and IT cybersecurity efforts on universities in the Pacific Northwest and across the United States. You can find a full description of the project here:

This RAship would be a good fit for students interested in or looking to deepen their expertise in organizational communication, technology policy, and/or security. The RA can expect to gain experience and mentorship developing the following skills: research tool development, observational research/ethnography and interviewing, human subjects requirements, conducting background research and literature reviews, writing, and research project management.

General Research Assistant duties:

  • Collect and analyze qualitative data (observations, interviews, documents)
  • Summarize project data and results
  • Assist in research tool development
  • Provide background research and/or conduct literature reviews for the project
  • Subject recruitment and consent
  • Maintain accurate records of interviews and observation data, safeguarding the confidentiality of subjects
  • Attend project team meetings
  • Manage and respond to project related email and assist in project scheduling
  • Prepare, maintain, and update website materials as needed
  • Attend area seminars and other meetings as needed
  • Prepare other articles, reports, and presentations as needed


  • Academic knowledge and/or experience using qualitative/interpretive methods
  • Able to work and thrive in a collaborative team environment
  • Familiarity with Excel, Word, Google Docs
  • Strong communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently as well as collaboratively
  • Flexible schedule for conducting observations


  • Prior knowledge and/or experience in ethnography, interviews, and/or case study methods as part of coursework or dissertation/thesis work
  • Experience in light project management
  • Experience interacting with research participants
  • Familiarity with internet-related issues
  • Academic background in Communication, Anthropology, Construction Management, Technology Policy, Sociology, International Studies, Political Science, Informatics, or other related field

Hours and Salary: This position will be approximately 20 hours per week, with a 220 hours per quarter expectation in fall, winter and spring quarters. This position has a summer quarter option. Salary is commensurate with academic standing, qualifications, and experience.

How to Apply:

Please send 1) CV or resume, 2) short writing sample, and 3) a letter of intent to Laura Osburn,, Department of Construction Management, University of Washington.

Notes:  This job classification is governed by a negotiated labor contract and is subject to union shop provisions. For more information about union shop provisions, visit:

The University of Washington is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact the Disability Services Office at 206.543.6450 / 206.543.6452 (tty) or

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Deadline: 10/01/2019

Location: UW Department of Construction Management