The Undergraduate Research Assistantship Program is the Center's initiative to internationalize undergraduate education at Harvard. It gives students the chance to work with CES resident faculty members and visiting fellows on a project related to Europe.
Students who have participated in this valuable program in the past have researched topics such as Policy Choices and Preferences of the New EU Member States: the Cases of Slovakia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic and Hitler’s Regiment in World War I, and Ideas and Institutions in the Field of Healthcare.
Many recipients of the assistantships have continued their work through the summer. Assistantships involve meaningful research and usually require between 5-10 hours per week. The hourly rate is $13.50.
Please note that only currently enrolled undergraduate students are eligible and must reside on campus when work is conducted.
Interested in a position with a focus primarily on history? The History Department at Harvard offers research and employment opportunities for undergraduate students focusing on political science and economics within the realm of history.
Resident Faculty Seeks Research Assistant - START SEPTEMBER: The Hexagon and the Star: French Jews, the French State, and Israel, 1949-1969
Excerpt from faculty member: I am interested in how French Jews negotiated their attachments to both France and Israel during the years of close French-Israeli relations (1949-67) as well as the sharp deterioration of those relations after the June 1967 war. I am particularly interested in how French Jews reacted to the French-Israeli military relationship of the 1950s, the Suez Crisis of 1956, the June 1967 war, French president Charles de Gaulle’s criticism of Israel at the time of the war, and the arms embargo imposed by de Gaulle that was maintained by his successor, Georges Pompidou.
This research contributes to my current book on the emotional history of Zionism. I am comparing the feelings of pride, gratitude, anger, and betrayal with which Jews in various parts of the world have regarded their homelands’ relations with Israel, and how those feelings have varied across space and time.
The research would involve perusing French-Jewish periodicals as well as the writings of selected French-Jewish public figures from the period. The RA would prepare digests and make pdfs of relevant articles or chapters for my further review. The project would require approximately sixty hours, which could be performed as the student’s schedule allows, although most often it is best to divide the work evenly over the term. The research would hone the RA’s French-language skills, enrich their understanding of recent French history, and illuminate the experience of ethnic, religious, and national minorities with multiple territorial attachments. The major pre-requisite is a firm command of French. Some knowledge of 20th-century French and/or Middle Eastern history would be helpful but not necessary if the RA is willing to read up a bit before undertaking the project.
Visiting Fellow Seeks Research Assistant - START SEPTEMBER: Title: Insuring Capitalism: The Political Economy of the Private Insurance Industry
The private insurance industry, and the life insurance industry in particular, is a central institution of capital accumulation within a country’s financial sector. Not only has insurers’ risk coverage accompanied capitalist activities since the rise of capitalism, but insurance assets have also been an important driver of the concentration of patient capital available for investments in industry, housing, infrastructure, and government debt. OECD countries have historically developed different levels, institutional forms, and regulations of the private insurance sector since the late 19th century. This historical-comparative project inquires into the causes and consequences of countries’ different trajectories in the private insurance sector, with a particular focus on life insurance. It combines historical case studies with quantitative analyses of long-term developments. The project complements existing research in historical and financial sociology that has focused much more on banks or states as financial actors and enriches welfare state research with its strong focus on public insurance.
Description of tasks
The research assistant would assist in expanding a database that collects data on all assets held by pension funds and insurers in OECD countries since late 19th century up to the current day. A familiarity with data work and knowledge of many OECD languages would be an advantage. R-skills would be a plus. Working times and hours are flexible. The job would allow students to gain skills in historical data collection and introduce them to the historical sociology of finance.
Visiting Fellow Seeks Research Assistant - START SEPTEMBER: Consensual, Equal, Universal? Danish Politics and Welfare in Comparative Perspective
Description of tasks to be performed by the RA
- Research and update country information and translate text from German to English
- Please see the description below for a bit more context on what I need help with\
Any special skills needed (language, statistical analysis, graphic/presentation skills, etc.)
- Very good understanding of German texts (C1 or C2) and good written English.
- Stata or Excel experience is a bonus, as is some interest in country comparisons
Any other requirements or preferences (hours and days to work, flexibility, etc.)
- Ideally, I would like to use most of the 70 hours in 2019, but I am flexible.
Excerpt from visiting fellow: I am in need of help to gather comparative information on the politics and policies of four European countries. A prerequisite for the job is the ability to read and understand written German and a very good written English. At the heart of the project is the comparison of Danish politics and policies with Germany, the UK, and Sweden. I also compare the Danish case with developments in the EU and the OECD. Consensual negative parliamentarianism, the flexicurity model in the labor market, the universalist welfare state, and very low inequality are often considered part of a distinctive “Danish Model”. The project challenges this assumption based on empirical comparisons. What I offer is a very interesting project in which the student will learn a lot about Denmark and Europe, a cooperative style, and experience at comparing European countries via qualitative and quantitative means. If desired, I can offer regular discussions of the project content and I can teach the TA how to efficiently create state of the art graphics for comparing countries over time. I will fully acknowledge the support of the TA in the book that will result from the project. Prior knowledge of Denmark or certain Stats-programs is not needed.
How to Apply
Applicants for the Research Assistantships should submit the following:
- A current CV (including current and past research positions beneficial to know)
- A one-page CL explaining interest in the specific position, outlining any relevant qualifications and experience, and list availability
Completed applications should by sent in one clean document (Word or PDF format)
All currently enrolled undergraduate students of Harvard College are eligible to apply.
Your eligibility status for work-study is not a selection factor.