Research assistant

NOTE: Due to COVID19, our search timeline has been delayed. We are continuing to review applications and anticipate this position to start in January 2021. 

The Baby's First Years study team seeks a Research Assistant (RA) with a BA in Psychology, Neuroscience, or a related field. This individual will pilot and subsequently run the lab-based visits in NYC at age 3. Will assist the postdoc in piloting and training others on the tasks.

Primary responsibilities include assisting with the development and pilot testing of study procedures, administering study visits, and assisting the Project Director with operational activities. Budget-related responsibilities include reconciling expenses to the correct grants and processing invoices. Individuals in this role may also train and manage research assistants, and have opportunities to assist with data analysis and conference/manuscript preparation. Duties may include light travel to study sites.

Please direct any questions to Isabel Kovacs,

To Apply:

Please complete the application at: 

Study Description

The Baby’s First Years study is a pathbreaking random-assignment study of the impact of monthly unconditional cash gifts to low-income mothers of infants during the first three years of their child’s life. The aim is to understand the causal effects of poverty reduction on family life and early childhood development in order to inform policy. As of June 2019, 1,000 racially and ethnically diverse mothers have been recruited from hospitals shortly after giving birth in each of four metropolitan areas —New York City, New Orleans, St. Paul, Minnesota, and Omaha, Nebraska. Forty percent of the mothers in each site were randomized to receive $333/month in cash and sixty percent receive $20/month in cash. More about the study, media coverage, and its motivation can be found herehere and here.


Participating families complete research sessions in their homes when children are 1 and 2 years-old and in local university labs when children are 3 years-old. Data collection includes surveys about economic hardship and employment, child care, family routines, mother’s mental and physical health, and well-being; maternal and children’s hair cortisol, epigenetics, child EEG measures of brain activity at age 1 (in the home) and age 3 (in the lab), and a full battery of child cognitive and behavioral assessments at age 3.

Minimum Qualifications 

The ideal RA candidate will be:

  • Must have experience working with young children in a research setting

  • Able to commit at least two years to the position

  • Extremely detail-oriented and adept at multitasking

  • Trained in basic research methods

  • Be bilingual in English and Spanish

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience working with families

  • Experience working with budgets and/or very strong experience with Excel

  • Strong writing and analytic skills

  • Understanding of Institutional Review Board operations

  • Understanding of Teachers College purchasing and accounting systems (Unimarket and Banner)