NYU Identities & Ideologies Project Research Assistant
Summary: I am hiring a research assistant for a social science research project supported by the
NYU Identities & Ideologies Project to assist with web scraping tasks. The project focuses on
important questions related to medical sociology, knowledge/expertise, race, and gender.
• Supervisor: Avra Janz, Ph.D. student in Sociology, NYU
• Project affiliation: This research is supported by the NYU Identities & Ideologies Project,
an initiative that sponsors interdisciplinary research in political science, sociology, and
psychology. The selected research assistant will be invited to participate in the I&I project
and to attend I&I events (if interested—not required).
• Pay rate: $15/hour.
• Dates: Fall 2022 through first part of Spring 2023 semester.
• Hours per week: 7-10 (we can discuss your preferences).
• REQUIREMENTS FOR APPLICANTS: Knowledge of R OR Python, AND previous
experience with web scraping.
• Project research areas: medical sociology, knowledge/expertise, race, gender,
computational text analysis, natural language processing
Research project description: Modern therapists often recruit clients for therapy by posting
profiles describing themselves on online therapist directories like PsychologyToday.com. In their
profiles, therapists describe their backgrounds, provide information on what clients might learn in
therapy, and describe what problems clients might come to therapy to solve. Clients search
through these profiles to find a therapist.
This research project explores pressing social science questions about therapy via a
computational analysis of therapists’ ads. We will scrape data from thousands of ads and
explore important questions, like: Are therapists who focus on serving clients with particular
identities (e.g., clients of a particular race, gender, or sexuality) more likely to depict their
clients as passive recipients of therapy, rather than active participants in their medical
care? Do therapists represent particular emotions as desirable or undesirable emotions for
clients to feel? If so, do the emotions that therapists depict as “desirable” and
“undesirable” vary based on the race of the therapist or of her clients? [And more—we will
explore and dig deeper into any interesting patterns we find.]
Job description: The selected research assistant will help scrape therapist ads from three online
therapist directories, including PsychologyToday.com. These ads will serve as the primary data
source for this project. I have already scraped 2000+ ads, but we’d like to scrape many more! More
details will be provided to interested candidates.
You can scrape in whatever coding language you prefer. If you’d like, you would also be
welcome to use the cleaned data in an independent research project or senior thesis. I am glad to
help provide advice!
To apply: If you’re interested in this position, please email me at email@example.com with:
• Your name, major, and year in program
• The coding languages in which you’re proficient
• A 3-6 sentence description of your previous web scraping experience
• Your resume
I will reply to you via email. If it looks like a potential match, we will set up a time to chat briefly to
discuss the project and answer any questions you may have!
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