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About the position

The research assistant will be working with Dr. Alice Marwick, Department of Communication and Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life, on her project, “Redpills and Radicalization: Understanding Disinformation’s Impact.” Funded by the Carnegie Foundation, this project uses qualitative and ethnographic methods to critically investigate the phenomenon of online far-right radicalization. Warning: this position requires interfacing with online communities who may engage in racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and otherwise hateful speech. There is a possibility, although not a guarantee, of co-authorship. This is a paid position with an expected commitment of 20 hours/week and can be conducted remotely. The position is for the Spring 2021 semester, and there is a possibility of extending into Summer and/or Fall 2021. The research assistant will receive a stipend of $7,500 per semester, fringe benefits, healthcare, tuition, and GRA fees.


  • Find and organize scholarly literature
  • Collect and organize qualitative and possibly ethnographic data
  • Organize and coordinate participant interviews
  • Proof interview transcripts
  • Qualitative data analysis (developing codebooks, coding data, writing memos, grounded theory, thematic analysis)




  • PhD student or candidate at UNC
  • Very organized and detail-oriented
  • Self-starter; not a procrastinator
  • Proven ability to work to a deadline
  • Interest in and experience with qualitative inquiry
  • Classwork in communication, media studies, sociology, anthropology, or similar
  • Understanding of social media landscape


  • Interest in scholarly inquiry on disinformation, fringe beliefs, conspiracy theories, partisan and hyperpartisan media, online communities, and so forth
  • Training and/or experience with ethnographic methods
  • Ability to write clearly for broad audiences

Software requirements:

  • Dropbox
  • Zotero
  • Microsoft Word
  • Slack
  • Max QDA (qualitative data analysis program similar to DeDoose, Atlas, NVivo, etc.; must be willing to undergo training if unable to pick it up)


To apply

Interested students should send a CV, cover letter explaining why they are fit for the position, and a writing sample (seminar paper/article or equivalent) to with the subject line “RA Position Application” by September 18, 2020. For more information about Professor Marwick, please click here; for more information about the Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life, please click here.

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