Research Assistant Opportunity (2023)

Professors Renard Sexton and Nico Ravanilla are hiring RAs for the South China Sea Data Initiative (www.scsdi.org). Previously, this project collected and coded event data from 2012 to 2020 — resulting in a dataset of more than 1,200 incidents (www.scsdi.org/data). We are now updating these data to include events from 2020 to 2023.

We are looking for RA candidates who have completed their undergraduate students and ultimately are interested in pursuing a PhD in the social sciences. Examples include current master’s students or those who are working in jobs but wish to prepare themselves for a future PhD application.

We seek candidates who have strong English skills, demonstrated interests in international relations, conflict, or political economy (through coursework or research experience), and some quantitative skills. We strongly prefer candidates with (1) fluency in Vietnamese, Filipino, Malaysian, Indonesian or Chinese (2) experience doing directed research related to politics, economics, history, international relations or related, or (3) experience coding data from diverse source material, and (4) interest in pursuing a Ph.D.

Candidates with experience working on the following topics will be prioritized:

  • ASEAN diplomacy and defense cooperation
  • Oil/gas exploration and exploitation
  • Trade and FDI in ASEAN
  • Fisheries in the South China Sea
  • Online survey techniques, especially deployed in East and Southeast Asia
  • Previous fieldwork in ASEAN or East Asian countries

This opportunity is remote, although the PIs do regularly travel to SE Asia and will meet with RAs in person when possible. This opportunity is paid through a consulting agreement (rate commensurate to experience). Candidates may be located anywhere in the world, though candidates located in the United States must have work authorization. Through this collaboration, RAs will learn about big data, GIS, and quantitative social science techniques. They will receive mentorship from Profs. Ravanilla and Sexton related to research and career goals of their interest.

To apply, please fill out this Google Form. You need to submit your resume/CV and some short answer questions (including language skills, previous experience working with data, research interests, career plans). We will begin reviewing applications on Tuesday, September 26, 2023. If you have any questions about this position, please send an email to Hanh Linh Tran at hanh.linh.tran@emory.edu.

The initiative is led by Emory University’s Department of Political Science and the University of California, San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy. The PIs are experienced scholars of conflict and development in Southeast Asia, who have published in top journals in Political Science and Economics, as well as with policy outlets and news publications such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Foreign Policy, and the International Crisis Group. This project has been supported by the Emory University, the National Science Foundation (NSF), Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the Charles Koch Foundation.