Doctoral Assistantships

Job Description 

Doctoral Assistants (DAs) are hired to assist faculty in carrying out a particular research agenda. DAs will provide 10 hours of assistance per week, split between two OT faculty. Work schedule is determined jointly between the faculty and DA and may or may not vary each week. 

While a research assistant is expected to contribute in many ways to the research project, typical responsibilities include the following:

  • Conduct literature reviews
  • Collect and analyze data
  • Prepare materials for submission to granting agencies and foundations
  • Prepare materials for Human Subjects Committee review
  • Prepare interview questions
  • Recruit and/or interview subjects
  • Maintain accurate records of interviews, safeguarding the confidentiality of subjects, as necessary
  • Summarize interviews
  • Provide ready access to all experimental data for the faculty researcher and/or supervisor
  • Request or acquire equipment or supplies necessary for the project
  • Manage and respond to project related email
  • Prepare, maintain, and update website materials
  • Supervise other students working on the research project (maintaining records on assignment completion, acting as liaison/mediator between the students and the faculty researcher)
  • Attend project meetings
  • Attend area seminars and other meetings as necessary
  • Summarize project results
  • Prepare progress reports for the PI and funding agency
  • Prepare other articles, reports, and presentations
  • Monitor the project budget

This description indicates the general nature and level of work performed by employees in the above job. It is not intended to be a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of employees assigned to the job. 


minimum qualifications

  • Genuine interest in engaging in research-related projects

  • Enrolled in the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program at Western Michigan University 

 How to Apply

Interested candidates should submit their resume, cover letter, any relevant writing examples and research activity examples to Dr. Nancy Hock (, Department of Occupational Therapy Program Chair by April 10. In your cover letter, please address the following question: How will you address the balance of work, academic, life responsibilities? After a committee reviews the application submissions, selected candidates will be invited to interview. The position will start at the beginning of Fall semester and continue through the end of Spring semester. Students are paid a salary for 10 hours per week and 9 credits of tuition for the academic year.


Western Michigan University, an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer, complies with applicable federal and state laws and University policies prohibiting discrimination and harassment. Western Michigan University prohibits discrimination or harassment which violates the law or which constitutes inappropriate or unprofessional limitation of employment opportunity, University facility access, or participation in University activities, on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, protected disability, veteran status, height, weight, or marital status. Please contact Institutional Equity for more information.