Virtual: Research Fellow

10.29.17 –  Research Fellow
Project Information Literacy, USA

Fellowship opportunity: 2018 Research Fellow @ Project Information Literacy, News Consumption Study

Project Information Literacy (PIL) has an opening for a part-time “PIL Research Fellow” in 2018. The Fellow will join the PIL Research Team on January 11, 2018 and will work on average 12 hours a week through May 11, 2018. The Fellow will be paid a $1,000 stipend at the conclusion of the fellowship in May 2018. The deadline for applying for the PIL Research Fellow is Thursday, November 16, 2017 by noon PST.

The PIL 2018 Fellow will work virtually on our latest national research study that investigates how young adults consume news and gather information. The mixed methods study, which is being conducted in partnership with faculty at Northeastern University and Wellesley College, will focus on two of the most pressing issues of what has been called our “post-truth” era: currency and authority.

The PIL report will look to break new ground as an empirical and quantitative study of many issues – such as “fake news” and misinformation – to help better ground public discourse and potential policy solutions. It will also formulate a set of recommendations for professionals directly implicated in addressing relevant problems, offering insights to three groups in particular working with young adults on the front lines: librarians, journalists, and educators.

The PIL Fellow will learn and develop a mastery of qualitative and quantitative research methods, including survey data analysis, computational analysis of social media datasets, interviewing, data coding, content analysis, and reliability testing. In addition to learning and practicing rigorous research methods, the Fellow will learn the day-today process of what’s involved in conducting a national research study, especially what it takes to collaborate closely with a group of 6-7 other team members that are geographically dispersed. They will also practice methods for collecting data from students at different institutions and analyzing emergent research trends.

If you would like to apply for the “PIL Research Fellow” opening, please send a CV to alison@projectinfolit.org. Also, please tell us a little about yourself in a few paragraphs, i.e., what excites you about the library learning space research study, how you may qualify, and what you hope to learn from PIL through our 2018 fellows program.

Our PIL research study on news consumption is supported with funding from the Knight Foundation, and the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). Additional support comes from Northeastern University Libraries and the College of Arts, Media and Design Division. The study, set to conclude in fall 2018, will be one of the largest of its kind, with surveys and interviews on college campuses and other educational settings across the country.

Project Information Literacy (PIL) is a nonprofit research institute that conducts scholarly studies about students and how they find, evaluate, and select information for use in their courses and for solving information problems in everyday life. We have collected data from over 13,000 “early adults” enrolled in more than 118 U.S. public and private colleges and universities, community colleges, and high schools. PIL has produced nine major research reports, detailing aspects of information use by students, and more recently graduates.

Requirements
For this study, we are specifically looking for applicants for the “PIL Research Fellow” that has the following qualities:

Ability to work virtually for 12 hours a week, on average, from January 11, 2018 through May 11, 2018 (including permission from a dean, director, or supervisor that you are available to spend time working on our study as part of your job)

First-hand experience and knowledge with helping students find news and information for course-research assignments

Strong interest in conducting research about information literacy and today’s students

Holds a MLS or related masters degree

Has previous training and experience in research methods and familiarity with research terminology

Experience with conducting computational analysis of large data sets (a plus)

Has current CITI certification (optional)

Is highly collaborative, collegial, professional, and has a sense of humor (not optional)

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