Social Science Research Assistant
Stanford University

Job Location: Stanford Center on Longevity
Job Category: Social Science Research
Date Posted: July 16, 2012

Social Science Research Assistant
Communities project, Stanford Center on Longevity

This is a fixed-term position through December 2012 (forty hours per week) with the potential for extension depending upon funding.

This project offers an excellent opportunity to combine economics, demographics, social science, and public policy to address aging in place in America. The Communities project at the Stanford Center on Longevity focuses on “aging in place.” Aging in place refers to a range of housing and services, a continuum of options, that together support older people as they age. America does not offer enough affordable, appropriate housing, amenities and services to meet the need so f a population that includes significant numbers of very old people. The goal is to find the balance of housing and care that provides the right environmental, emotional, and economic fit, particularly for those who are frail and poor, or at risk of becoming frail and poor.

Following on the publication of Independent for Life/Homes and Neighborhoods for an Aging America (UT Press, Spring, 2012) the primary goal of this aspect of the Communities project is to link those working in a wide array of fields to share information and priorities for action.

The Stanford Center on Longevity was established in 2006. More information can be found at:

Job Description
Assist in data collection, analysis, and writing of background briefings, formal reports, and presentations on priorities for action on aging in place through three phases of this project. The job has an initial term through December 2012. Phase One of the project involves a definition of the problem, describing the segments of the population that are of concern and the state of homes, neighborhoods, services and amenities. Phase Two is focused on the creation and support of an online conversation among experts, a “community of practice” around aging in place priorities. Phase Three includes circulating a draft white paper on the conclusions from the on line process, holding a working conference to seek consensus on the white paper content, and preparation of the final white paper for delivery to the MacArthur Network on an Aging Society. The Research Assistant will work as part of a small team whose purpose is to help experts from quite diverse professional backgrounds reach a consensus on priorities for aging in place through academic research, policy development, government initiatives, NGO action, foundation support and private sector activity.

Duties and Responsibilities
1. Complete literature searches and monitor news media
• Complete ad hoc searches on specific topics as requested
• Monitor current news and activities on a variety of topics
• Develop method for sharing critical articles and news clips
• Draft written summaries of articles

2. Compile and organize economic and demographic data
• Compile and organize economic and demographic data as requested
• Use US census and other data bases
• Create and maintain databases so the data can be used by others

3. Design and prepare visual displays to illustrate issues and trends
• Design and create tables, charts, and maps that illustrate specific trends.

4. Write and edit sections of briefings, reports, and presentations
• Assist in interpreting data and analyzing trends and issues.
• Write and edit sections of memos, formal reports, speeches and slide presentations
• Complete research projects as assigned, including developing specific questions to be addressed, identifying data needs, and completing the analysis and writing
• Develop substantive expertise regarding assigned policy issues; track the research and news on those topics

5. Provide content briefings, attend and synthesize discussions for community of practice participants

6. Conference and on line administrative and technical support

• BA degree; economics or social science major; public policy coursework would be helpful
• Advanced degree welcome

Knowledge and skills
• Multi-disciplinary social science background
• Familiarity with economics and demographics data sources
• Proven research and data management skills
• Advanced skills in online searching
• Excellent communications, writing, analytical and organizational skills
• Excellent problem solving skills; ability to synthesize results
• Diligent, thorough and detail oriented; resourceful and creative
• Fast learner who can quickly come up to speed on new topics
• Has broad interests, enjoys learning
• Works well independently and collaboratively
• Excellent computer skills: able to learn and effectively use new software applications; PC expertise.
• Skills using Microsoft Office 2007; the job requires expert use of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint; knowledge of and experience using data base software is a plus

• At least 1-2 years related experience
• 2-4 years would be ideal

Please submit resume and cover letter describing your skills and interest to: Molly Corbett,

Stanford University values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity in employment.

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