Monthly Archives: February 2013

Job posting at SSRC

Hi all, this might be a good opportunity for graduating seniors, if you’re interested.

Program Assistant | Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa
The Social Science Research Council (SSRC), a not-for-profit organization devoted to the advancement of social science research and scholarship, seeks a program assistant for the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa Program.

The Social Science Research Council (SSRC), a not-for-profit organization devoted to the advancement of social science research and scholarship, seeks a program assistant for the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa Program.

The Next Generation of African Social Sciences Fellowship Program responds to a shortage of well-trained faculty in African higher education. The program offers fellowships to nurture the intellectual development and increase retention of early-career faculty in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. Additionally, the program features a thematic focus on renewing basic research agendas that address peace, security, and development topics, and on strengthening interdisciplinary social science research capacity on these issues. Funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York, this project complements foundation initiatives to develop and strengthen the next generation of African scholars.

• Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Sciences degree

• Previous work experience with or detailed knowledge of Africa (preferred)

• Excellent interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills and a high degree of professionalism

• Excellent organizational skills with strong attention to detail

• Experience or familiarity with website and database development (preferred)

• Demonstrated ability to take initiative and respond flexibly to changing demands

• Proficiency in MS Office (including Word, Excel, and Outlook), database management, and Internet applications

• Ability to multitask and prioritize daily activities to meet competing deadlines

• 1–2 years administrative, research, or other related work experience in a nonprofit or academic environment (preferred)

• Ability to travel internationally

• Support the program director with overall administration of the fellowship program.

• Develop and maintain the program’s online presence, including website and online application portal.

• Aid in the selection process of committee members, including maintaining a database of and corresponding with potential committee members.

• Plan on- and off-site workshops and meetings; this includes handling logistical support, the preparation of agendas and other materials, and all related correspondence with workshop participants, as well as supporting participants during meetings.

• Provide additional support for program workshops and meetings (e.g., take meeting notes, write up meeting summaries, etc.).

• Assist in production of advertising and program outreach materials.

• Serve as primary liaison to fellowship applicants during application seasons.

• Provide administrative support for application review process.

• Communicate with fellows and track progress through the program.

• Manage fellowship database and fellow files.

• Assist with financial budgets and expenses.

• Additional responsibilities and projects depending upon interest and capacity.

Terms, Salary and Benefits
Annual salary is $30,000. Comprehensive benefits include health, dental, vision, disability, life, and gym reimbursement; $1,500 annual tuition or student loan reimbursement; outstanding pension plan and tax savings programs; generous vacation and sick leave; and more.

Application Information
To apply, please send cover letter including where you viewed this posting, resume and brief writing sample to (with “Next Gen Africa Fellowship PA Search” in the title of your e-mail).


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Assignment #6 Spring 2013

Your formal outline and bibliography are due in class (hard copy) on Friday, March 1. For your blogging assignment this week, post your introduction and bibliography on your blog.

When you read your classmates’ posts, indicate one place in each post that you think is stronger than other parts, and one place where the author might need some additional work.

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Assignment #5 Spring 2013

Carefully read Chapter 3, “Why do drug dealers still live with their moms?”, of Freakonomics by Levitt and Dubner.  In a blog post, address the following questions in a clear, concise, and organized manner. Limit your post to 500 words. This post is due Friday, February 22 the start of class. Comments on your two classmates’ posts are due the following Monday.

  1. Summarize the argument or thesis of the chapter.
  2. Find four supporting statistics in the chapter.
    • List them, along with page numbers.
    • Explain how these statistics are important to telling the chapter’s story.
    • For instance, is the order important? What about the way they discuss the statistics before and after it is given? Do you find them believable? Do they detract from the story in any observable way?

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Assignment #4

Your topic, thesis statement and data set were due in class on Friday, February 8, so this week, I’d like you to blog a bit about what you intend to discover with your project, what is the motivation behind it, what do your data look like, what kind of prior research or additional information do you need to go forward? Limit your post to 400 words and make sure to publish by Friday, February 15 at the start of class. Read two classmates’ posts about their projects and offer comments and ideas about how to focus or narrow down the project, about an article or book that may be of help, or a related question for Monday. You must comment on each of your blogging partner’s posts and respond to comments on your posts to get full credit for this assignment.

Don’t forget that Friday, February 15 is a library day. We will be meeting in the library classroom on the first floor with librarian Ronalee Ciocco. Bring a printout of this blog post and be prepared with questions about where you can find information on your topic. Attendance is required.

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Assignment #3

After having read about poverty traps in Poor Economics, read this Slate article about new research by Harvard economist Sendil Mullainathan and Princeton psychologist Eldar Sharfir. Write a blog post relating the ideas in this article to your reading about poverty traps in Poor Economics. Some guiding questions are below. You don’t have to answer all of them, but they might be useful to think about as your formulate your ideas.

  1. Did your concept of a poverty trap change after reading this article?
  2. What is it about how we define and measure poverty traps that make you sure of or unsure of their existence and effect on development?
  3. What kinds of statistics would you like to see to back up the claims in the Slate article?
  4. What other information or tests would be helpful in convincing you of one story or another?

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