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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, and other researchers on their project, “An Ecological Approach to Disinformation Spread on Social Media,” and other projects. Funded by Social Science One, “An Ecological Approach to Disinformation” is a mixed-methods project involving both quantitative and qualitative inquiry to examine how disinformation spreads through and across social and other media, using auxiliary datasets gathered from Twitter and Reddit and news media data from Mediacloud. The research assistant will be working on the qualitative portion of the project. There is a possibility, although not a guarantee, of co-authorship.

The research assistant will also be assisting with Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life research and administrative duties for Dr. Marwick as needed. This may include scholarly literature, planning events, formatting documents, answering e-mail, etc. This is a paid position at 20 hours of work per week. The position is for Spring 2021, with the possibility of extending into Summer and/or Fall 2021. In addition to a stipend of $9,750 per semester, it includes fringe benefits, healthcare, tuition, and GRA fees.


  • Perform Mediacloud and CrowdTangle searches (research assistant will be trained to use both platforms)
  • Collect qualitative data
  • Code qualitative data
  • Analyze qualitative data
  • Select and write case studies
  • Administrative and research work as needed




  • PhD student or candidate at UNC
  • Very organized and detail-oriented
  • Self-started; not a procrastinator
  • Proven ability to work to a deadline
  • Qualitative research experience and, ideally, coursework (content analysis, discourse analysis, grounded theory, case studies)
  • Classwork in communication, media studies, sociology, anthropology, or similar
  • Familiarity with Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit


  • Interest in scholarly inquiry on dis/misinformation, partisanship/polarization, journalism studies, and so forth
  • Training and/or experience with computational social science
  • Experience working on mixed-method projects or with quantitative researchers
  • Ability to write clearly for broad audiences

Software requirements:

  • Dropbox
  • Zotero
  • Microsoft Word
  • Slack
  • CrowdTangle (Facebook research platform)
  • Mediacloud (open-source platform for media analysis)


To apply

Interested students should send a CV, cover letter explaining why they are fit for the position, and 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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