Interdisciplinary Research Assistant

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Salary: Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience and based on UC Berkeley salary scales. The anticipated salary range is $96,900-112,600 (steps 1-4).



Start Date


Application Deadline



100 Blum Hall, MC 5570

United States



Founded in 2006, The Blum Center for Developing Economies at UC Berkeley brings together academics, scientists, entrepreneurs, business leaders, and Silicon Valley-inspired solutions to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. Operating on the notion that a world-class public research university must be a force for tackling society’s most persistent challenges, the Blum Center inspires and facilitates interdisciplinary research and problem-solving; teaches students to think critically and optimistically about issues of poverty and development; equips the next generation of social entrepreneurs with the skills needed to design, deploy, and scale world- changing innovations; advises and trains groups and organizations on methods for fostering a culture of innovation in their workplaces. For more information, please visit:

Appointment Length:

This is a full time one-year position with the possibility of being extended subject to performance and budgetary approval.

Anticipated start date is as soon as possible


The primary duties of this position are to coalesce, collaborate, and originate research for the Blum Center. The employee will work independently on research of the leadership program. For example, this position will research and draft best practices for `experiential education’ and the variety of learning modalities that happen in a project-based learning environment, particularly focused on engineering at the intersection of other disciplines. It will involve understanding existing models of flipped classroom learning to help students solve real-world social impact challenges. It will also involve generating the underlying methods, processes and teaming curriculum -- experimenting with embedding that curriculum in a variety of courses within the Blum Center ecosystem as well as the broader campus. In particular, the research will generate knowledge and resources on best-practices for conducting project-based classes and mentoring teams within project-based environments. This will entail examining how the “core content” is structured, as well as how students are triggered to consume and show mastery of the “core content.” It will focus in particular on researching and understanding how projects are best selected and structured and how partnerships are best selected and structured. A second piece of the research will include examining who pursues coursework and opportunities within the Blum ecosystem as well as their motivations and outcomes. Understanding this will require (1) creating more experiential education opportunities for students, (2) understanding how to link those experiential education opportunities to learning “core content”, (3) research best practices for building inclusive learning environments (4) teaching key “backbone” content on problem framing and solving processes, teaming and communications skills and (5) building ecosystems to ensure graduates are ready to create impact upon graduation and can make smooth transitions into the world of practice. The candidate will be expected to produce publications in peer-reviewed publications and disseminate results at conferences.

The position is based in Berkeley, California. In addition, it will be important for this person to be able to communicate this research to the public and potential partners

Basic Qualifications:

¥ PhD or equivalent international degree or enrolled in a PhD (or equivalent international degree) program granting program at the time of application.

Additional Qualifications (by start date):

¥ PhD or equivalent international degree

¥ Experience in Entrepreneurship, Development Engineering, Impact Design, Technology Entrepreneurship, Social Entrepreneurship, or Technology Firm Leadership.

Preferred Qualifications:

¥ History of research, analysis and publication in the context of multidisciplinary innovations for developing economies, entrepreneurship, social innovation

¥ Ability to conduct independent research on multidisciplinary efforts, experience in writing and communication skills

¥ Experience in teaching in a flipped or hybrid classroom format and a variety of types of classes - semester- length, partial semester-length, multi-day workshops, part-day workshops, online and in-person

¥ Experience in design, innovation and development

¥ Experience in research motivations for women engaging in impact driven educational programs

¥ Experience in developing project-based courses embedding teaming and design process

¥ Demonstrated ability to write peer-reviewed articles and to work independently and collaboratively in a dynamic academic research group

¥ PhD in in Business or Engineering


Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience and based on UC Berkeley salary scales. The anticipated salary range is $96,900-112,600 (steps 1-4).

Application Procedure:

To apply go to

Please direct all questions for this position to Maryanne McCormick,, with the subject line: Assistant Research Engineer.

This position will remain open until filled.


To receive full consideration interested individuals should submit application documents as PDFs, which includes:

¥ Curriculum Vitae – Your most recently updated C.V.

¥ Cover Letter

¥ Statement of Research

¥ 3 references required (contact information only): Letters of reference will only be solicited for finalists.

All letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. Please refer potential referees, including when letters are provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service or career center), to the UC Berkeley statement of confidentiality ( prior to submitting their letters.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

Master's degree

How To Apply


  1. Create an ApplicantID
  2. Provide required information and documents
  3. If any, provide required reference information

Document requirements

  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.
  • Cover Letter
  • Statement of Research

Reference requirements

  • 3 required (contact information only)