Research Associate

companyHarvard FAS
locationUnited States
PublishedPublished: 12/14/2023
Laboratory and Research
Full Time


Research Associate

Harvard Business School


Position Description

Business, the global economy, and societies around the world are facing dramatic upheaval as a result of rapid technological change driven by digitization, the application of artificial intelligence, and machine learning. The Digital Data Design (D^3) Institute at Harvard produces cutting-edge research into the changes in the business landscape as a result of digital and AI transformations. The Institute formally launched in July 2022 to produce research into business and operating models, reskilling, customer intelligence, and other strategic decisions faced by all industries.

D^3 provides Harvard Business School with a new architecture for rigorous research through a lab-based model to deliver scaled social science research. These labs conduct research and experiments with companies to identify new learnings and solutions to some of the hardest challenges in digital and AI transformation.

Harvard Business School is hiring multiple Research Associates to support research activities at several D^3 Labs. Learn more about the Institute's Labs on the D^3 website.  

Primary Duties:

  • Partner with HBS faculty on topics central to the Lab's research agenda. 
  • Develop, analyze, and implement research using advanced knowledge and learning in leadership and transformational change.
  • Write cases, academic journal articles, case supplements, and project reports from start to finish creating original writing based on subject area expertise, research, and interviews. Independently manage all timelines and deliverables for multiple projects with competing priorities.
  • Provide qualitative analysis, writing, and editing of academic journal articles, HBS cases, and HBS teaching notes. Propose, develop, synthesize, and provide analysis of literature reviews.
  • Create original, thought-provoking, innovative presentations and writings for domestic and international audiences.
  • Exercise independent decision making with regard to progression of research project and methodologies. When confronted with unexpected research data, be able to make deductions, add insight, and draw conclusions to share with faculty.
  • Represent HBS to outside entities: interacting with prominent individuals, with potential need for international travel for on-site field research. Interview decision makers at companies around the world and work closely with company representatives on the case development and course development efforts (e.g., case supplements, rewrites, teaching notes, and multimedia products).
  • Ensure compliance with department, University and federal regulations. Complete work with only general direction. Be aware of department, School, University policies and potential outside research policies.
  • Responsible for other duties as assigned.

Basic Qualifications

  • A bachelor’s degree in any field is required. Faculty look for candidates from a variety of academic backgrounds.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Proven evidence of academic excellence and independent research in specific advanced field of study are highly desireable.
  • Many roles look for advanced quantitative skills in R, python, Stata, as well as demonstrated machine learning and data science experience
  • Demonstrated skill at navigating complex organizations.
  • Proven ability to work independently and creatively.
  • This position requires an individual capable of consistent use of discretion, judgment, and initiative. Evidence of prior high-quality, original academic writing, and background in analysis and interpretation of relevant data, research, news, and literature. Ability to read academic, subject-specific information and write a reasoned and thoughtful analysis, as well as produce a creative interpretation, is a must.
  • Diplomatic skills, comfort in interacting with prominent individuals, and grace under pressure are essential.
  • Strong skills related to the Microsoft Office Suite are expected.

Additional Information

Candidates should not reach out to faculty directly.

These are full- and half-time term appointments starting summer 2024 through June 30, 2025, with potential for re-appointment for the following year. All HBS RA roles are structured as one-year appointments.

This role is offered as a hybrid (some combination of onsite and remote) where you are required to be onsite at our Boston, MA based campus 2-4 days per week. Specific days and schedule will be determined between you and your manager.

We may conduct candidate interviews virtually (phone and/or via Zoom) and/or in-person for this role.

A cover letter is required to be considered for this opportunity. All candidates will be expected to submit a writing sample, and transcript. Candidates may be asked to complete a writing and/or data assessment.

Harvard Business School will not offer visa sponsorship for this opportunity.

Culture of Inclusion: The work and well-being of HBS is profoundly strengthened by the diversity of our network and our differences in background, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and life experiences. Explore HBS work culture at https://www.hbs.edu/employment/.

Work Format Details

This is a hybrid position that is based in Massachusetts. Additional details will be discussed during the interview process. Certain visa types and funding sources may limit work location. Individuals must meet work location sponsorship requirements prior to employment.


We invite you to visit Harvard’s Total Rewards website to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:

  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

Job Function


Department Office Location

USA - MA - Boston

Job Code

RS0055 Researcher I Humanities

Work Format

Hybrid (partially on-site, partially remote)



Salary Grade



Division of Research and Faculty Development


00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Time Status


Appointment End Date


Pre-Employment Screening

Education, Identity

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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