Research Staff Services

As part of the Division of Research and Faculty Development (DRFD), Research Staff Services (RSS) provides research support personnel for faculty as well as oversight and management of the Research Associate (RA) workforce. RSS works closely with faculty to understand their research support needs and determine how best to provide support. When a faculty member wants to hire a dedicated RA with whom they can work one-on-one, RSS will recruit, hire, onboard, orient, train, and aid in managing the faculty's research staff. In addition, they provide ongoing support and guidance on issues that surface with faculty or RAs to help ensure the most effective and productive working relationship.

RSS manages every aspect of recruiting and managing staff that support the research endeavors of the faculty with the optimal goal of leveraging faculty time so that they can focus on teaching, writing, and research.


RSS works closely with colleagues at HBS who also provide research support to the faculty. Each of these departments can triage faculty requests to assess which is best suited to the faculty’s needs. In many ways, RSS is an HR department, hiring approximately 350 researchers each year.

The current RA population is comprised of a group of highly qualified people ranging from recent undergraduates to those with over fifteen years of related work experience. They bring to HBS strong experience coupled with exemplary research and analytic skills in both qualitative and quantitative arenas.

Their backgrounds and education are diverse, meaning that they not only come from different parts of the world, but their specialties range from Art History, English, and Linguistics to Finance, Economics, MBA, and other undergraduate and graduate degrees. The diversity in the School’s RA pool truly exemplifies the global nature of the research work that is being pursued at HBS.

Overview of Team

The diversely trained individuals that comprise the five member staff of RSS are dedicated to providing outstanding customer service to the faculty and their research staff. They are experienced in delivering high-touch, high-quality customer service to faculty and research staff and work collaboratively with many other departments on campus.

The recruiting manager and RA manager work with the faculty to capture their support needs. The recruiting manager identifies viable candidates, screens them, and coordinates the details of their employment. The RA manager takes over responsibility for onboarding, orientation, training, and supporting the RA. There is a staff member that manages the hires when the employment conditions warrant hiring a contractor based outside the Boston area, while another manages all hourly and temporary agency hires. The director oversees and actively engages in the aforementioned activities with the RSS staff and provides ongoing assessment of research models and operational support, seeking improvements that provide outstanding research support and leverage of faculty time.