Program Researcher

Focus area: Ethics, Education, and Human Development

The Mind & Life Institute (MLI) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to alleviate suffering and promote human flourishing by catalyzing and supporting the rigorous multidisciplinary investigation of the mind and the nature of reality. Our mode of investigation is rooted in an integrated way of knowing that combines modern scientific third-person inquiry, second-person dialogical methods, and first-person direct experience rooted in phenomenological and contemplative practice. MLI’s multidisciplinary methodology brings together scientists from the physical, biological, cognitive, and social sciences, with contemplative practitioners, contemplative scholars, as well as educators and researchers from the relevant humanistic disciplines. We believe that only through such integrated forms of investigation can one achieve the insights necessary to understand more fully how the mind works, and the forms of learning and teaching that best support the social, emotional, and moral development of the individual from childhood through young adulthood.

MLI seeks to hire a Program Researcher capable of developing and implementing behavioral psychology research in educational and other settings. This person will report to the Senior Program Officer for our initiative in Ethics, Education, and Human Development, which involves the design of curricula and pedagogy in compassion and secular ethics from Pre-K through young adulthood. The Program Researcher will be responsible for designing and conducting research assessments to evaluate these educational programs.

Job Responsibilities

  • Working closely with the Senior Program Officer to design, develop, and implement behavioral assessments in educational contexts to measure outcomes related to ethical development (compassion, kindness, inter-relational variables)
  • Designing and implementing behavioral psychology research
  • Analyzing data and writing manuscripts for publication in top-tier journals
  • Transparently and effectively managing large data samples
  • Coordinating complex interdisciplinary research projects
  • Synthesizing literature across diverse disciplines (educational and basic science, as well as contemplative philosophy) for both expert and lay audiences
  • Conducting interdisciplinary work at the intersection of developmental psychology, education research, and contemplative scholarship and practice
  • Grant writing to support research

Required Qualifications

  • A PhD or EdD with expertise in developmental, behavioral and/or social psychology
  • Professional research experience either as a postdoctoral scholar or research scientist
  • A publication record of original research relevant to the overall mission of MLI
  • Expertise in implementing and designing behavioral assessments in educational contexts to measure outcomes related to ethical development
  • Experience writing grants to support research
  • Knowledge in fields of social and emotional learning (SEL), moral psychology, and ethical development
  • Familiarity with theories of human development in Western and Asian (e.g., Buddhist) contexts
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills, enabling collaborative work with a small operating staff, as well as academic and contemplative colleagues from a broad range of disciplines and backgrounds

Preferred Qualifications

  • Significant experience with behavioral research in educational settings
  • Demonstrated competency in collaborative research and the ability to present complex ideas to a general audience
  • A personal contemplative practice

The initial appointment will be for two years and may be renewable depending on performance and funding. Salary will be competitive and commensurate with experience. The Mind & Life Institute benefits package includes:

  • Medical & Dental Insurance
  • 403(B) Program
  • Paid Holidays and Vacation
  • Retreat time off
  • Support for Professional Development
  • Access to Five College Resources

The Mind & Life Institute strongly supports workplace diversity. Candidates of all races, genders, ages, religious, and sexual orientations are strongly encouraged to apply.

Please send a statement of interest and CV to by August 9, 2013.