A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

JOB OPPORTUNITY: Hourly Research Assistant, Failure Points in Smuggling Networks

The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) is now hiring 1-2 part-time Hourly Research Assistants to work at START’s headquarters at the University of Maryland, College Park. This is an hourly position of up to 20 hours per week, with an initial term of four months (starting on October 7th).

The Failure Points in Smuggling Networks Projectis a multi-year project which will assess the methods by which previous smuggling networks have been disrupted or dismantled. Phase 1 of the project will involve a multi-disciplinary literature review on smuggling networks and their previous points of failure. This comprehensive literature review will encompass sources from a variety of fields, including psychology, political science, international relations, business, economics, sociology, anthropology, criminology and social network analysis. Within this context the primary responsibilities for this position are:

  • To search existing literature on smuggling networks (RN materials, narcotics, humans and/or weapons, antiquities and exotic wildlife), network analysis and supply chain analysis. This includes researching across various sources including court documents, reports, academic articles, books and other open sources.
  • Responsible for providing a critical assessment of the strengths and limitations of the sources included in the literature review.
  • Responsible for identifying trends and potential conflicts in published materials. This includes assessing different types of methodologies, evidence and conclusions of the sources.
  • To compile and synthesize literature in a concise manner and within the framework provided. This includes writing portions of the literature review which will later on be consolidated into the final report.

In addition, the selected individual(s) will also assist in the identification of previously disrupted smuggling networks in various geographic areas and functional domains. These will serve as the basis from which future case studies will be selected for Phase 2 of the project.

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree with experience related to terrorism, trafficking and/or smuggling
  • Strong writing skills
  • Training in qualitative research methods, including writing academic literature reviews.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office
  • Desire and ability to work in a small team setting with minimal supervision
  • Ability to meet strict deadlines

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree
  • Familiarity with quantitative research methods

This position is for up to 20 hours per week, and the salary is between $15 and $18 per hour, commensurate with experience. The person selected for this position will work on site at START headquarters and will report directly to the Failure Points in Smuggling Networks’ Project Manager.

Qualified applicants should submit a cover letter, resumé and short (3-5) page writing sample via email (with subject title “Failure Points”) to Michelle Jacome (mjacome@umd.edu) no later than September 27, 2013. Applicants should also provide contact information for one academic and one professional reference.


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