Research Assistant, Negotiation Task Force

Focus: Islamic History and Law
November 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019 (up to 14 hours/week)

Position Title

Part-time Research Assistant with the Negotiation Task Force at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University


The Negotiation Task Force (NTF) at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University promotes innovative solutions to Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security challenges by creating spaces for cross-cultural negotiation research, training, and strategic analysis. We pioneer new models for high-impact knowledge dissemination, train practitioners in advanced negotiation skills, and build long-term conflict management capacity.


Your research will focus on Middle East history and  The Hijaz (present day Saudi Arabia, Mecca, and Medina) and the Islamic centers of government until 1500 and from that period until the inception of the League of Nations, as well as on international legal history, Colonial and Western relations with political regimes in the region, and other legal and constitutional issues. You will work directly with Prof. Dr. Malik R. Dahlan, Senior Mediation Fellow with the Negotiation Task Force, Professor of International Law and Public Policy at Queen Mary University of London, and a leading Middle East law and policy expert, with ongoing major Oxford International Law Bibliographies research work.

Reports to

Prof. Dr. Malik Dahlan (Senior Mediation Fellow, Davis Center Negotiation Task Force)

Start Date

November 1, 2019

End Date

December 31, 2019


Up to 14 hours per week


$14.00/hour Undergraduate Students; $17.00/hour Graduate Students & others

Knowledge and Skills


  • Knowledge of and interest in the history of the Middle East
  • Strong ability to understand and apply fundamental methods in social sciences
  • Ability to demonstrate an acute understanding of (international) law
  • Excellent writing skills and excellent command of the English language
  • Great attention to detail and academic rigor in research and writing
  • Ability to adhere to strict deadlines and organizational methods
  • Ability to communicate effectively with others


  • Fluency in Arabic
  • Arabic-English and English-Arabic translation and transliteration proficiency
  • Law degree or relevant history background
  • Ability to navigate Harvard library system


Current graduate or PhD students preferred. Qualified recent graduates as well as exceptionally qualified undergraduate students are encouraged to apply as well.


  • Complete archival research
  • Read and process large amounts of literature
  • Review, research, organize, and summarize literature
  • Analyze encyclopedia, treaty, primary, and secondary sources
  • Edit, revise, and proofread texts
  • Submit weekly progress reports to supervisor


Please submit the following to

  1. Letter of motivation
  2. CV
  3. Writing sample

Application deadline

October 18, 2019

Candidates should expect to receive a request for a video call interview within 48 hours of application submission.

Wargame Specialists, Red Horizon 2019

The Negotiation Task Force of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University is hosting an immersive global crisis exercise on Saturday, December 14, 2019. "RED HORIZON: Force and Diplomacy in Eurasia” will simulate the military and geopolitical consequences of a collapse of the North Korean regime.

We are hiring Wargame Specialists to manage the immersive environment for the war game participants.

Specialists will receive assignments based on their skills, interests, availability, and the simulation’s staffing needs. As a wargame specialist you may be tasked with managing communication flows or operating computer systems [you will be trained!]. Other assignments will put you in the role of an assistant to participants who will take on the role of both political and military leaders. All assignments will be carried out in character, such as a “battle watch commander” or “secure communications officer”.

The compensation will be $13.50/hour.

We are looking for Harvard-affiliated students and others who are team players, work well in fast-paced environments, and are willing to work "in-character." Specialists will need to be able to follow instructions, learn processes and technologies, and must be able to commit to at least two days (Saturday, November 23, and Saturday, December 14) with very limited access to personal electronic devices. 


Red Horizon confronts serious issues such as weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and military combat. Participants must be comfortable being exposed to these themes over several hours. 

Specialists must commit to all of the following:

  • Wednesday, October 30, 6pm to 8pm, to receive your assignment and instructions.
  • 8 hours of preparation time between October 30 and November 23. This might include mastering the simulation software and/or becoming familiar with the communication hardware.
  • Saturday, November 23, 7am to 7pm. (Breaks included; meals will be provided.)
  • Saturday, December 14, 7am to 7pm. (Breaks included; meals will be provided.)
  • Depending on your unique assignment, other shorter meetings may occur between Oct. 30th and Dec. 14th. All meetings will be held on the Harvard University campus. 


  1. To apply, send the following in PDF format to no later than Oct. 18, 2019.
  2. A description of your interest in the position and availability for the above dates (no more than 250 words).
  3. Your short CV. 
  4. Please include your name, email, cell, and nature of your current Harvard affiliation (if applicable). 
  5. Optional: Some wargame specialists will be featured in costume (faux military wear). If you are interested in being considered for a costumed role please send us the following measurements in inches. Providing measurements will not impact your application or guarantee that you will be costumed.
  • Height
  • Head circumference (around forehead)
  • Chest (under armpits)
  • Waist (most narrow point)
  • Hips (widest point)
  • Inseam (length of the leg from the hip to the ankle)

Any questions? Please email the Negotiation Task Force team at