Student Social Support Research & Development Lab

The Student Social Support R&D Lab (S3 R&D Lab) uses data and behavioral science to develop and prove scalable, high ROI interventions that mobilize and empower students’ social support systems to improve achievement. S3 Lab is conducting over a dozen projects in nearly 400 schools and universities involving more than 135,000 students. All of these projects involve mobilizing and empowering social systems to support student achievement. This work is at varying stages of completion. Here is a sampling of projects we are working on:

  • Reducing absences among at-risk
  • K-12 students by providing parents with regular messages targeting specific attendance beliefs.
  • Turning friends and family in college students’ social networks into “Study Supporters” by regularly empowering them to get more involved with updates about the students’ courses, upcoming deadlines, and campus resources.
  • “Inviting the village” that surrounds K-12 students (e.g. grandparents, mentors, coaches, family friends) by empowering these supporters with actionable information they can use to encourage and support students (e.g., report cards, class schedules, attendance reports, etc.).

RA's Responsibilities

The student will join the S3 Lab’s eight Research Fellows and Lab Coordinator in their office space at the Harvard Kennedy School. Each Research Fellow manages a portfolio of projects run at multiple sites. They will have opportunities to work on most, if not all, of the projects, which will be at various stages of the research process. Tasks may include entering data into excel, analyzing data, maintaining a citations database, using Qualtrics to create surveys, sending out information to participants and partners, and creating new treatment materials. Students will also spend time reading scholarly articles and writing literature reviews. The lab is committed to providing a comprehensive and challenging research experience for undergraduates with a healthy helping of fun!

The student should be interested in psychology, education, decision-making, influence, and/or behavioral economics. They should also be motivated, punctual, hardworking, and flexible. We also want our RAs to be aware of the rules regarding human subject research and the importance of data security.

To Apply

Contact Samuel Madison (Samuel_Madison (at) hks.harvard.edu) for information on how to apply.