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Harvard Slavery Remembrance Program, Associate Research Fellow

Cambridge, MD, USA

Job Type

Part-time / Hybrid (partially on-site, partially remote)

About the Role

HSRP Associate Research Fellows perform the following essential duties and responsibilities, as directed, alone and in collaboration with others:

Review specific archival materials (both digital and analog), housed inside or outside Harvard University, for evidence and information relating to the Research Population or its leaders, faculty, and staff.
Collect raw digital images of all relevant evidence and record full citation information for same.
Make connections between disparate pieces of evidence and identify potentially fruitful avenues for further research.

Maintain project documentation and personal research logs.
Communicate with the HSRP’s Chief Research Coordinator on a regular basis (i.e., at least weekly), and transmit lists of all archival sources and materials (productive and unproductive) reviewed since the last communication. Participate in weekly Zoom calls with HSRP colleagues to share findings, discuss sources, and recommend next steps.
Collaborate and coordinate with other HSRP researchers and external partners.

The Associate Research Fellow’s main responsibility is to identify as many individual members of the Research Population as possible (i.e., within the confines of overall hours worked and the Program’s rigorous research methodologies). Associate Research Fellows will not typically be required to manage staff, projects, or budgets (i.e., beyond specific tasks and initiatives to which they have been personally assigned).


  • Current enrollment in good standing in a doctoral program requiring substantial original archival research and/or knowledge discovery.

  • Proven capacity to set high academic standards and long-term research goals, and work steadily against them with minimal supervision.

  • Demonstrated ability to draw connections between seemingly unrelated facts; detect patterns within incomplete data-sets; and identify potentially fruitful areas for further research.

  • Demonstrated ability to decipher cursive writing in English, Spanish or Portuguese in 17th—19th century manuscripts.

  • Academic interest in Black cultures, Indigenous cultures, and/or the history of slavery in North America.

  • Academic interest in the history of New England and/or the West Indies.

  • Prior experience in a fact-intensive occupation such as law, journalism, or experimental science.

  • Demonstrated ability to promote and provide others with a collaborative and inclusive work environment.

Basic Qualifications

Associate Research Fellows must possess the following basic qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent At least two (2) years of experience conducting archival research.

  • Basic familiarity with MS Excel, Word and PowerPoint.

Physical Requirements:

The demands described below are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.¿ Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.¿  

Associate Research Fellows must have the ability to: 

  • Review the content of written materials and communications composed primarily in English.

  • Use a variety of electronic computing and communications devices.

  • Travel on a regular basis to the Harvard campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and to other locations in eastern Massachusetts as and when required.

  • Spend substantial periods of time on a regular basis consulting archival collections in both physical and online locations and formats.

  • Communicate verbally on a remote basis with other personnel from the HSRP and Harvard University for uninterrupted periods of time lasting up to 60 minutes, without break.

Additional Information:

Appointment term: This is a term appointment lasting one (1) year (with the possibility of renewal) from the Associate Research Fellow’s official start date.Harvard University supports a hybrid workplace model which will actively support some remote work. Specific days and schedules for on-campus work and remote work will be discussed during the interview process. Please note hybrid workers must reside in a state where Harvard is registered to do business (CT, GA, IL, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VA, VT, and WA).The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up to date on CDC-recommended vaccines.

Work Format Details:

This is a hybrid position that is based in Massachusetts. Additional details will be discussed during the interview process. All remote work must be performed within one of the Harvard Registered Payroll States, which currently includes Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Washington, and California (CA for exempt positions only). Certain visa types and funding sources may limit work location. Individuals must meet work location sponsorship requirements prior to employment.


We invite you to visit Harvard's Total Rewards website ( to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:

  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.

  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.

  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.

  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.

  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.

  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.

  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.

  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.

  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

About the Company

The Harvard Slavery Remembrance Program (“HSRP”) is a special-purpose task force of the Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery Initiative. Guided by the recommendations put forward by the Presidential Committee on Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery in April 2022, our work is anchored in a commitment to reckoning with Harvard’s own legacy and to repairing inequities caused by slavery. In close collaboration with the New England Historic Genealogical Society, we identify the direct descendants of enslaved individuals who labored on Harvard’s campus and of those who were enslaved by Harvard leadership, faculty, or staff. The University’s acknowledgement of direct descendants’ lineage, through the HSRP, is a vital step in Harvard’s quest for truth, reconciliation, and repair.

The heart of the HSRP’s work is conducted by a small number of highly qualified, carefully selected research fellows. HSRP Research Fellows have front-line responsibility for using archival resources to identify enslaved individuals who labored on Harvard’s campus and those enslaved by Harvard leadership, faculty, or staff (the “Research Population”). Research Fellows work at the frontier of HSRP knowledge-discovery and collect the raw material from which genealogical and historical conclusions can later be fashioned. The success of our mission depends in large measure on the imagination, persistence, and rigor of these individuals.

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