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Research Assistant Opportunity for Randomized Trial of Accreditation of Health Care in Jails

Harvard Law School Professor Crystal Yang and Harvard Kennedy School Professor Marcella Alsan are seeking additional help from dedicated students to assist with the coding of survey responses for a randomized trial on health care in jails. In this study, we plan to rigorously investigate the effects of health care accreditation of jails by randomizing the offer of accreditation via the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) to at least 40 medium-sized jails.

Qualifications: The ideal candidate would have an interest in inequality in the health care and/or criminal justice system. They would be extremely organized, with excellent attention to detail, as well as skills navigating Excel, Word, and Dropbox. Familiarity with Stata is helpful but not required. This position does not involve programming tasks.

Responsibilities: The main task the RA would help with is survey coding. Survey coding is the process of taking open-ended data and categorizing them using specific values. For this project, RAs will be coding jail healthcare policies and protocols. This includes attending training sessions on established coding guidelines and procedures, scrutinizing documents obtained from jail healthcare systems to answer survey questions, documenting responses according to coding guidelines within a spreadsheet, and meeting with peer coders to discuss/resolve coding discrepancies. Beyond coding the survey responses, the RA may also be asked to assist with other tasks as needed, such as additional recruitment, data monitoring, notetaking during meetings, ethical review updates (IRB), and other financial/administrative aspects of the study, for example. This position requires a minimum commitment of 10 hours/week for at least the entirety of the Spring semester.

To Apply: Please send a statement of interest (discussing why you are interested in this position and would be a good fit), CV, and 2-3 references to the study’s Project Coordinator, Tasfia Jahangir, at with the subject line “NCCHC Coding RA.”