Lab Management Services, CESS China

Place of work: CESS China, Nankai University, Tianjin, China

Salary: 5,000 RMB per month for probationary period (3 months); 7,000 RMB per month afterwards

Length of engagement: 1 year (with possibility of extension for up to 3 years)

The Centre for Experimental Social Sciences (CESS) China seeks an individual to provide Lab Management services for the operations of the CESS China laboratory at the University of Nankai, Tianjin China.  CESS China has two fully networked computer labs that are used by a wide range of social scientists to run experiments for research in diverse social science disciplines. This arrangement will be formalized under a consultancy agreement issued by the University of Nankai. Further details are available from

The services to be provided include managing the subject pool, advising researchers on relevant programming, and promoting the lab and experimental social sciences in China. The consultant will require a strong technical background trained in computer science or social science.  A familiarity with experimental methods is desirable although not necessary.

The services are required from 1 September 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter, for one year in the first instance.

The Centre for Experimental Social Sciences

CESS was created in February 2008. Its principal goal is to promote and facilitate experimental research by social scientists. In order to accomplish this goal CESS provides a number of services to the experimental community: experimental lab facilities; staff and facilities for designing and implementing online experiments; regular seminars and workshops, and a post-doctoral programme.

The Centre has collaborative Experimental Lab facilities throughout the world: at Nuffield College in Oxford, at the University of Santiago in Chile, at FLAME University in Pune, India, and at Nankai University in Tianjin, China.

Further information about CESS can be found here:

Service Specification

Management of the lab

  • Developing and managing the CESS China Lab subject pool. The consultant should be comfortable using software designed for recruiting and managing the subject pool – ideally with experience of subject recruitment software such as ORSEE or HROOT.
  • Scheduling and managing the lab experiments that are to be conducted in the CESS China Lab. Experiments are conducted by a variety of individuals including faculty, graduate students and post-docs from both within and outside China.
  • Maintaining and supporting software applications. It is expected that the consultant will be comfortable with programming experiments in z-Tree and oTree. The candidate should have knowledge of, and experience in, programming in at least one programming language (e.g., C, C++, Ruby, Java).
  • Managing a team of student assistants, whom are hired to support the consultant with the implementation of experiments.
  • Maintaining the lab hardware. Maintaining the computer hardware in excellent operating condition is a critical requirement of the successful running of the experimental lab and will be the responsibility of the lab administrator. The consultant will coordinate with the Nankai University IT department on hardware issues.
  • Facilitating and coordinating the CESS China lab-in-the-field experiments.  This includes overseeing necessary equipment purchases/maintenance, server/router support, and software installations.
  • Assisting with the development of the CESS China Online subject pool and with the implementation of CESS China Online experiments.
  • Coordinating activities with the Nuffield CESS location on the setup and configuration of lab hardware and software and assisting when necessary in the development and conduction of experiments in other CESS locations. Some travel to the other CESS facilities may be required. 
  • Overseeing CESS China data integrity.  Nuffield CESS has a very strict set of guidelines regarding data integrity.  The consultant will be responsible for data integrity at CESS China that includes archiving the code and data generated as part of CESS China lab experiments.
  • Participating in CESS organized events, such as the CESS Colloquia and Seminar Series, and the International Meeting on Experimental and Behavioral Social Sciences
  • Designing and teaching courses (e.g., zTree or oTree programming) for CESS-run summer schools

 The consultant will be responsible for the delivery of the services to the CESS Director Raymond Duch, and CESS China Director Peiran Jiao.

Selection criteria


  • Excellent spoken and written Chinese.
  • A Master's degree in a relevant Social Science discipline (e.g. Economics, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology) or Computing Science.
  • Experience with social science lab experiments and programming in commonly used experimental environments, such as z-Tree and oTree.
  • Knowledge of, and experience in, programming in at least one programming language (e.g., C, C++, Ruby, Java).
  • Experience working with SQL databases
  • Good knowledge of networks, servers, and clients
  • Familiarity with software designed for recruiting and managing subject pools, such as ORSEE or HROOT
  • Experience with statistical analysis software (such as R and Stata).
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated organizational and time-management skills.


  • Experience running social science experiments and analyzing the collected data
  • Experience working with basic web technologies, such as HTML and CSS, as well as more complex technologies such as JavaScript and PHP


Interested candidates should send an expression of interest via e-mail as .pdf attachments, to The expression of interest should consist of:

  1. a curriculum vitae including the names and e-mail addresses of two academic referees; and
  2. a two-page description of your research training, experience and motivation and how these meet the requirements of the position.

Expressions of interest will be reviewed as they are received and the vacancy will remain open until the position is filled. References may be sought.



The services will be provided under a consultancy agreement. Full terms and conditions of this post will be provided in writing to the successful candidate. For further information, please contact