Seeking Research Assistant – Human Trafficking

October 28, 2019
The Carr Center is seeking a research assistant for the upcoming semester.
The project is: Suicide Prevention for Survivors of Human Trafficking in the Philippines

Project Overview

Human trafficking survivors experience heightened risk of suicide compared to the general population. Occurring with higher rates of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and substance use, these risks are exacerbated by traumatic experiences during human trafficking, including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Post-trafficking, survivors commonly experience community and/or familial stigmatization, poverty, family pressures and conflicts, and intimate partner violence, contributing to survivors’ ongoing suicide risk. Service providers in the Philippines have reported that up to one-third of their clients in trafficking-specific shelters express suicidal ideation. Research with survivors of human trafficking in other contexts have found similarly high rates of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. However, many human trafficking survivors have limited-to-no access to trained mental health professionals or suicide prevention interventions. One strategy is to integrate evidence-based suicide prevention into innovative delivery platforms, delivered by non-mental health professionals. This study will apply this cost-effective strategy to implement a low-cost evidence-based suicide prevention intervention, Safety Planning Intervention (SPI), with service providers in the anti-human trafficking sector in the Philippines. Lessons learned in the cultural adaptation, capacity building, and piloting process will be shared with other anti-trafficking organizations. The study is co-led by Carr Center for Human Rights Policy Fellow Dr. Laura Cordisco Tsai, Dr. Milton Wainberg of Columbia University, and Dr. Catherine Carlson of the University of Alabama.


The Carr Center seeks to hire one part-time Research Assistant with excellent writing skills to work on this project under the guidance of Carr Center Fellow Dr. Laura Cordisco Tsai. The Research Assistant will conduct literature reviews, data management, and basic quantitative and qualitative data analysis. Additional responsibilities include support in the development of training materials for service providers in the anti-human trafficking sector and preparation of study materials and reports for the Council for the Advancement of Global Mental Health Research.


Applicants should be Harvard graduate students. Excellent writing skills are required. Experience with research, data analysis, and graph/chart creation is expected, as well as a demonstrated ability to work independently and meet deadlines. The project will require a commitment of approximately 10 hours per week. Work will begin in December 2019 and extend through May 2020, with a possibility of an extension. Dr. Cordisco Tsai will meet bi-monthly with the Research Assistant to review project performance and outputs.

To apply, please send a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, your resume or cv, and a relevant writing sample (max 10 pages) to Dr. Cordisco Tsai ( by November 10, 2019 with the subject line Research Assistant – Human Trafficking.