Undergrad political research assistantship (Harkin Institute)

The Harkin Institute for Public Policy and Citizen Engagement is seeking two Undergraduate Research Assistants to support and contribute to a seven month-long project being conducted by a visiting fellow from an East coast university. The project is intended to closely follow both the Democratic and Republican 2016 Iowa Caucus campaigns through the collection of campaign materials, news reports, interviews with candidates, staff, political activists, and citizens, social media, and survey data, including a unique in-caucus survey that will be administered with the help of the two parties.

Responsibilities are:

30%       Monitor candidate Twitter and Facebook feeds for mentions of candidates. Monitor the campaign environment for issue group activities, including maintaining a list of groups active in the Caucus process. Record all found information from monitoring activities. This also includes attending local campaign events at Drake University and the surrounding area to take notes about what happens.

25%        Track media reports about the candidates and maintain a database of stories and analyze data with spread sheet preparation and management.

20%        Develop and publicize an “informants” process that could include a way for citizens throughout Iowa to provide information about the ways candidates and campaigns contact them, potentially through a cloud based process that would allow uploading of photos of campaign materials and reports of contacts.

15%        Assist in develop a questionnaire for the in-caucus survey, including researching other surveys and topics that might be included.

10%        Basic back office operations; in particular for the in-caucus survey, which will include copying, stuffing envelopes, tracking materials, and similar activities. Supporting research through copying, emailing, scanning, etc.

The position pays $9 an hour and is expected to work up to 20 hours a week. Strong writing and research skills are essential.

Applicants should send a resume, cover letter, writing sample, and two on-campus references to Estelle Montgomery (estelle.montgomery@drake.edu) of the Harkin Institute by Sept 1.