Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Digital Humanities

Position ID:Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Digital Humanities-VRA [#18025]
Position Title: Research Associate
Position Type:Student programs
Position Location:Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, United States
Subject Areas: Computer Science
Digital Humanities
Appl Deadline:2021/02/08 11:59PMhelp popup finished (2021/01/27, finished 2021/03/15, listed until 2021/07/27)
Position Description:    

*** this position has been closed and new applications are no longer being accepted. ***


The MIT Programs in Digital Humanities seek an early-career software developer to join the team as Visiting Research Associate, working directly with the lab’s Technical Director to support our faculty and student research programs. The Research Associate will work collaboratively on project design and management, assist in the training and supervision of the lab’s undergraduate research cohort, and contribute directly to the codebase of lab projects. This position is ideally suited for a candidate with strong technical skills who seeks to apply them to humanistic inquiry.

MIT Programs in Digital Humanities:

Founded in 2018 with a $1.3 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the MIT Programs in Digital Humanities aim to advance computational methods and digital approaches to humanistic inquiry through code, communication, and community. 

Taking advantage of MIT’s rich STEM expertise and seeking to enhance humanities education among engineering and computer science students, the lab is centered on a diverse group of undergraduate research associates (over 70% female and 35% underrepresented minority students) who work closely with fellows, graduate students, staff, and MIT faculty on groundbreaking research and teaching projects in the humanities and humanistic social sciences.

Recent projects include analyzing gendered language in 19th century novels, developing machine learning approaches to producing metadata for archival photos, and creating games to teach concepts about democratic development in Africa. All of the lab’s work is open source and available at


  • Work collaboratively to develop computational methods and digital tools for the humanities, arts, and social sciences

  • Assist the lab director in project design, management, and technical direction

  • Contribute to the training and supervision of the undergraduate research cohort

  • Write tutorials and other documentation for lab activities as needed

  • Help to maintain, update, and generalize existing lab projects into frameworks that can be used by the broader Digital Humanities research community

  • Aid with gathering information and code output for lab publications

  • Advise external projects directed by affiliated faculty and fellows

  • Perform other duties supporting the lab’s technical work as needed

Salary and Particulars:

The position is based in Cambridge, MA, but remote working is expected at least through the end of the current academic year (2020–21). Salary $80,000–$95,000 based on experience. Existing authorization to work in the US is required; we regret that we are not able to sponsor US work visas at this time. Start date on or before February 16 preferred.

Basic Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or equivalent experience (one-to-two years)

  • Proficiency in Python, JavaScript ES6+, and full-stack web development (OS setup, server configuration, database, web back- and front-end)

  • Experience, as demonstrated by a history of successful projects, with computational techniques used in the lab (including, but not limited to: natural language processing, computer vision and image processing, machine learning, mapping and GIS, database design, creative computing, game design, network analysis, and data visualization)

  • Interest in teaching

  • Strong interpersonal and written and oral communication skills

  • Desire to work collaboratively and across disciplines

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Training in any humanities, arts, or social sciences discipline equivalent to at least an undergraduate minor

  • Experience with team leadership or formal teaching

  • Proficiency with any of the following frameworks or build tools: Django, React, Webpack, Bootstrap

  • Ongoing maintenance or release of an open source project

Please submit the following application materials:

  • Brief cover letter addressing qualifications and experience

  • CV or resume

  • Portfolio of any online or computational projects or publications

  • Contact information for two professional references

Any questions may be directed to Sophie Nunnally at Further information about MIT’s School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences can be found


MIT is an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, ancestry, or national or ethnic origin. MIT’s full policy on Nondiscrimination can be found here.

Application Materials Required:
Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:
And anything else requested in the position description.

Further Info:
77 Massachusetts Ave.
Building 16-635
Cambridge, MA 02139 USA

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