Research Specialist C

Pennsylvania, United States
24 Jun 2020
End of advertisement period
24 Aug 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn’s distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

Job Description Summary

Working closely with MIC Co-Directors, Center staff, and project advisors, develop research plan for Philadelphia’s Media Ecosystem project.

Job Description

The MIC Center’s Media Ecosystem project will explore the way that community groups across the region harness media and journalism and other tools to build community power. The research specialist will focus on understanding the interrelationship between community-oriented media, organizing, and social change and conduct research to include a network analysis of both community media institutions and local community groups to understand their interconnections, as well as a qualitative examination of the ways media and other tools are harnessed to build within and across communities in the region.

Primary responsibilities/duties include:

  • Working closely with MIC Co-Directors, Center staff, and project advisors, develop research plan for Philadelphia’s Media Ecosystem project.
  • Collaborate with the Faculty Co-Directors to advance MIC’s research agenda and strategic plan on the grant project.
  • Conduct ethnographic field research, analyze data, revise research plan iteratively
  • Interact with program partners, MIC and the project consortium’s partners while executing the research.
  • Attend meetings with project consortium members and collaborate on data sharing as well as satellite research projects conducted by the consortium. 
  • Work with graduate students and others engaged in the Center’s projects.
  • Contribute to the planning and execution of the Center’s conferences and other convenings as they pertain to the programmatic activities of the grant.
  • Generate and disseminate MIC’s research findings and related content through various publications and communications channels, including to non-academic audiences.
  • Build relationships and collaborate with researchers and external organizations to develop new research proposals and initiatives.


  • Masters Degree required (Ph.D. preferred) with 1 to 3 years of experience carrying out qualitative and ethnographic research with limited direction -- or equivalent combination of education and experience. 
  • Report writing ability, including experience writing for non-academic audiences.
  • Ability to cultivate relationships quickly and have excellent networking skills.
  • Familiarity with and existing relationships with Philadelphia-area community groups a plus.
  • Ability to perform Social Network Analysis/Organizational Network Analysis and the requisite quantitative skills to display and present data in compelling and accessible ways a plus.
  • Ability to work independently with limited supervision.
  • Must be well-organized, capable of translating research findings into white papers, blog posts, and other formats; able to revise workplans as needed; work collaboratively with other groups in the consortium; able to interact with community and cultural groups easily; able to work under and meet deadlines; able to keep open lines of communication and have very good written and oral communication skills. 

Position Length

This is an 18-month limited-term position, with the possibility of renewal to 24 months.

Application Instructions

Resume and cover letter are required. Click the “Upload” button at the bottom of the My Experience page in the application process in order to attach multiple documents.

Job Location - City, State

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School

Annenberg School for Communication

Pay Range

$42,953.00 - $77,315.00

Affirmative Action Statement

Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements

Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

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