Job Opportunities

Research Assistant, Research and Curriculum: Literature Review

The Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, the flagship program of the Bloomberg Center for Cities at Harvard University, equips mayors and senior city officials with leadership skills and management tools to tackle their cities’ complex challenges and improve people’s quality of life. The Initiative advances the field of city leadership through teaching, research, and new curricular materials that help city leaders drive government performance and address pressing social problems.

Project Description

We are hiring a Research Assistant to conduct a literature review on the mechanisms that influence residents’ reporting of crime and service needs. We are analyzing the results of a study recently conducted on the impact of city-led neighborhood beautification (e.g., tree trimming, sidewalk repair, trash removal) and community outreach in Buffalo, NY. 

Using quasi-experimental methods, we found increased reporting of sub-types of crime and service needs using 911 and 311 data following beatification and outreach. We are in the process of analyzing data from qualitative interviews and focus groups with city staff, residents, and community partners. Previous studies have described connections between levels of crime and blight and residents’ civic and social engagement, as measured through use of 911 and 311. Several mechanisms have been proposed as to how civic and social engagement may influence reporting behavior, including increased trust in government, government transparency, access to information about reporting, and demonstrated government responsiveness. 

We look forward to working with a research assistant to build out a robust review of current literature to contribute to our data analysis and interpretation and contextualization of results. 

Tasks and Deliverables

  • Literature review – identify and summarize the relevant findings/theories from academic literature 

Desired Qualifications, Skills & Experience

  • Experience conducting literature reviews or familiarity with how to search for and interpret academic literature
  • Interest in or experience with community crime and blight prevention


  • Spring 2023 

Anticipated time commitment

  • Three to eight hours/week with flexibility based on student’s schedule 


  • $21/hour (graduate students)
  • $16-$19/hour (undergraduates)

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