High-Impact Research in Decision Science

Faculty Member: Jennifer S. Lerner

Dr. Jennifer S. Lerner is a Professor of Public Policy and Management at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Co-founder of the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory. Drawing insights from psychology, economics, and neuroscience, her research examines human judgment and decision making. As an undergraduate research assistant, you would work with Dr. Lerner and her team on a variety of projects relevant to economics, finance, public health, and national security.

Our team selects undergraduate students who are conscientious, smart, and eager to use science to make the world a better place. Such students assist us in:

  • Administering experiments at the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory – often to elite government and military leaders – as well as through online survey systems
  • Conducting literature reviews and other background research
  • Preparing slides in Power Point for presentation
  • Coding data, summarizing results, and preparing it for presentation
  • Brainstorming ideas
  • Tracking down references
  • Finding ways to apply behavioral insights of our research to inform public policy

Highly talented students who work with our team for over one year will have the opportunity to become involved in high levels of research, including designing studies, analyzing data, making public presentations, and co-authoring scientific papers for publication.


  • Must be a current Harvard College undergraduate. If hired, will participate in IQSS URS program.
  • Ability to devote 10 hours per week during the academic year
  • Interest in working over the summer (either for pay or course credit)
  • Interest in understanding how the mind works
  • Good grades in psychology and/or related fields (economics, statistics, etc.)
  • Demonstrated reliability and capability in teamwork



Please email your: (1) resume (including GPA) and (2) cover letter (including travel plans and availabilities) to Ms. Chelsea Zabel (Chelsea_Zabel@hks.harvard.edu) with subject line “URS RA Application.” You will receive a confirmation and details about the process.