Job Description - Research Assistant

China Future City Lab (CFC Lab)

Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT


The China Future City Lab (CFC Lab) is seeking a student research assistant with Spatial and Data Analysis education and experience, interest in urban studies, and motivated to work with data from São Paulo (Brazil) and Beijing (China).

Duties & Responsibilities

Providing research assistance on the theme “Infrastructure, Networks and Urban Vibrancy”, one of the three core research themes of CFC Lab. This position will perform a wide range of data manipulation and analysis duties supporting the development of multi-cities comparative study on how transportation shapes the built environment, focused on São Paulo’s and Beijing’s urban context and data.


  • Collecting, manipulating, compiling, and cleaning GIS data on transportation, infrastructure, amenities, and other urban context elements from the city of São Paulo and Beijing.

  • Creating data descriptive graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

  • Performing first-versions of econometric and spatial data analysis.

  • Presenting updates on weekly meeting with principal investigators.


  • Candidates should have programming experience in R for data processing and analysis.

  • Candidates should be comfortable working with geographic data in R using packages as “maptools”, “rgeos”, and “sf”.

  • Candidates should also have some experience with geoprocessing technologies (e.g., ArcGIS and QGIS software).

Time Status

  • Part-time: up to 10 hours per week.

  • This position begins immediately and lasts through the spring 2019 semester.


  • Hourly-payment: $20 per hour worked.

  • Weekly timesheet reports that will be approved by principal investigators.


Applications should provide a CV and cover letter to Application open until filled.