Institute of African Studies - Columbia University

SIPA DRA-ship

IAS Fellowship Opportunity for Second Year SIPA MIA/MPA students: each year, the IAS selects a SIPA MIA/MPA student in their second year to work as the Institute’s Program Assistant (also known as the Departmental Research Assistant). The position involves 15 hours per week of support throughout the academic year with event management and publicity. In exchange, the Program Assistant receives a stipend and financial support towards tuition. The competition for this fellowship is announced in the spring of every year. Please check with the SIPA Office of Student Affairs for more information about this opportunity.

Program Assistant job description:

The Institute organizes a variety of events throughout the year, and the Program Assistant helps to ensure that the events run smoothly and that members of the Columbia community and beyond are aware of them. Publicity efforts include updating the website, sending out listserv e-mails, posting on Facebook and Sundial, designing flyers, and contacting other institutes, student groups, departments, and the press.  The Program Assistant provides logistical information to speakers, reserves rooms, arranges for A/V set-up, and helps with catering needs, and acts as a liaison to student groups like SPAN, and keeps students and faculty up-to-date on opportunities for fellowships, jobs, and internships.  The Program Assistant attends most of the IAS events to help with set-up and clean-up, and occasionally assists IAS staff with research and administrative needs.

Skills needed:
  • Strong organizational skills are required
  • Ability to multitask, coordinate with multiple parties, and keep documents and web activities up-to-date in a timely manner
  • Ability to communicate with a variety of audiences (professors, students, community members, etc.)
  • Familiarity with social media sites
  • Ability to self-direct and willingness to take initiative on new projects