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Vanderbilt University Research Assistant - Temporary Professional in Nashville, Tennessee

Research Assistant - Temporary Professional (Job Number: 2001033)


Dr. Jessica Perkins, Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt, is seeking a temporary research assistant who will focus on academic writing projects. Dr. Perkins is currently involved in several research projects on the social determinants of health with an emphasis on how social norms and social networks drive health-related behavior. The research assistant would primarily assist Dr. Perkins with drafting material for federal grant applications and for academic manuscripts to be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals.

Current projects include understanding how individuals’ perceptions of social norms shape personal attitudes and behaviors related to issues such as HIV prevention, intimate partner violence, mental health, substance use, and COVID-19 among adults in rural Uganda. Other social norm projects focus on adolescent and college student well-being related behaviors and attitudes in the United States. This body of work aims to assess the extent of misperceived norms and identify opportunities to promote healthy behaviors and attitudes. This person would assist Dr. Perkins in outlining academic manuscripts and grants, incorporating relevant literature, drafting written material, and continuously participating in the revision process.

This position is ideal for someone who likes to read peer-reviewed articles and engage in academic writing. There would be co-authorship opportunities on manuscripts targeting journals in prevention research, community health, global health, public health/medicine, social psychology, adolescent/college student development, and behavioral science. This position would be ideal for a master’s student looking to apply to a PhD program, or a current PhD student or recent PhD graduate interested in these topics.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Conduct literature reviews and summarize information

  • Draft manuscript and grant sections per instruction from PI and co-author team

  • Revise per feedback from PI and co-author team

  • Review others’ writing

  • Attend to formatting and details

  • Provide comments and feedback to co-authors

  • Organize references and relevant information

  • Communicate with research team

  • Other research-related tasks

Note: Job responsibilities listed herein are intended to be a thorough representation of the duties, responsibilities, expectations, and qualifications for this specific role at the time of hire. They are not all-encompassing. Actual responsibilities may evolve to include additional duties as assigned based on organizational and operational needs.

  • Graduate degree in public health, global health, community development, prevention science, social psychology or related area (in progress acceptable)

  • At least two years of experience with academic writing

  • Interest in social norms, social networks, and health preferred

  • Concise and clear writing skills, including the ability to write for peer-reviewed journals

  • Desire to pay attention to detail

  • Ability to follow detailed instructions, learn from constructive feedback, and give construction feedback

  • Ability to analyze information and research across a variety of topics and sources

  • Ability to assist with several projects simultaneously and meet deadlines

  • Maintain excellent interaction with various collaborators

The schedule: 8-20 hours per week depending on availability, needs, experience, etc. There may be opportunity to work more hours.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

At Vanderbilt University, we are intentional about and assume accountability for fostering advancement and respect for equity, diversity, and inclusion for all students, faculty, and staff. Our commitment to diversity makes us who we are. We have created a community that celebrates differences and lets individuality thrive. As part of this commitment, we actively value diversity in our workplace and learning environments as we seek to take advantage of the rich backgrounds and abilities of everyone. The diverse voices of Vanderbilt represent an invaluable resource for the University in its efforts to fulfill its mission and strive to be an example of excellence in higher education.

Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities, and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.

Primary Location: United States-Tennessee-Nashville

Organization: 21230 - Human and Organizational Development

Job: Temporary Positions

Vanderbilt University is committed to principles of equal opportunity and affirmative action