Spokane, United States

Join our international team of volunteer researchers!


The Researcher Volunteer will learn to help with the design, assessment, implementation, planning, and documentation of RPG Research's many research projects.

Can be 100% remote work.

We have over 130 staff members across 6 continents regularly working together each week on research, training, and community projects.

The Researcher Volunteer will:

  • participate in team performing annual literature reviews and update the research archives content accordingly

  • write at least one internally peer-reviewed research-related blog posting (1-2 pages each) per month (beginning within four months of starting training), including RPG Research in the attribution

  • write at least one analysis essay (3+ pages each) per year on prior existing research literature from any approved source, with written analysis to include RPG Research in the attribution

  • pass required background checks before gaining access to sensitive data or interacting with participants

  • take observational notes of at least one approved live or recorded RPG session per year, with written analysis (3+ pages), including RPG Research in the attribution

  • write two internally peer-reviewed research essays on your (approved) topic of choice per year (5+ pages each, including RPG Research in the attribution

  • complete the sixteen week training before supervising research projects

  • once completing base sixteen-week training, become eligible to participate in running, or assisting with running, at least one RPG research study per year, including RPG Research in the attribution

  • design, assess, implement, plan, evaluated and document research projects

  • assist with the RPG Research archives in partnership with the Research Archivists Team

  • assist with the RPG Museum in various capacities with the RPG Museum Team

  • work on other various projects/tasks in accordance with RPG Research standards

RPG Research is a 100% volunteer-run international 501(c)3 non-profit research & human services organization studying the effects of music and role-playing games, and their potential to improve quality of life for people around the world. http://www.rpgresearch.com

  • RPG Research has been involved with role-playing games since the 1970s and researching their effects since 1983. We have also helped run programs in schools since 1985, and in therapeutic settings since 2004.

  • We have been offering the world's most comprehensive repository of research information on role-playing games, freely and openly, online since 2004.

  • We are a 100% volunteer-run international research & human services 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization.

  • We need volunteers to help us maintain our extensive research archives consistent of thousands of content items, run our programs, and help us continue to grow so we can help improve more lives around the world.

Due to the length of training and complexity of research projects, a bare minimum of a one year commitment is expected, with preference for multiple years to help bring research projects to completion.

TYPICAL SCHEDULE (3 to 7 hours per week).

  • Attend 1 researchers training/meeting session per week (two hours per week).

  • If needing additional hands-on training, optionally attend one four-hour RPG Trainee session per week, and work toward level one trainee diplomas (typically sixteen weeks).

  • Update research archives (15-30 minutes per week).

  • Write and peer review writings of other researchers (1-2 hours per week)

Department(s): Research

Location(s): International Remote or Greater Spokane, Washington area.

Reports to: Research Director, Primary Investigator PI), or Research Team Lead.

General Purpose

Volunteer will engage in research on the historical and latest information available about the effects and uses of role-playing games, their potential educational and therapeutic uses, and various original RPG Research projects. We have over 200 research questions in the queue needing to be addressed.

Take observation notes of research participants/players/game-masters, group interpersonal dynamics.

Data entry

Literature review research

Attend either in-person, or via remote access, at least one free training session / administrative meeting per week

Strongly self-motivated

Strong collaborative work ethic

Strong communicator

Reliable schedule compliance

Prior research experience in any field preferred (though will train junior researchers)

Working Conditions & Hours

Researcher will usually work remotely, and optionally at other locations including but not limited to:

  • Remote

  • Office

  • Home

  • Online

  • Conventions

  • Libraries

  • Community centers

  • Educational institutions

  • Parks

  • Care facilities

  • Mobile Facility, the Wheelchair Friendly RPG Trailer at various locations


  • Volunteer (no financial compensation), free training.

  • Possible College Credit: we may be able to sign-off on college credit upon agreement signed with your educational institution for volunteer hours or internship hours. Handled on a case-by-base basis.

Job Types: Volunteer. Part-time. Optional Internship.

Salary: $0.00 /hour (volunteer, no pay, but free training)

Education & Training

  • At least 1 year experience with a research study from any field (5+ years preferred for more senior roles) (will train those with less experience for more junior roles).

  • Must pass background check before allowed to access non-public research data or work with research participants.

  • Assertive (not aggressive) presence with confident but warm, friendly, empathetic, and compassionate communication style.

Optional but helpful:

  • Training/experience in therapeutic recreation / recreation therapy field

  • Training/experience in psychology, health, social, medical, education or similar sciences.

  • Training/experience with data analysis.

  • Experience with various assessment tools.

Role-playing Game (RPG) Formats include:

  • tabletop (TRPG)

  • live-action (LRPG & LARP)

  • electronic (ERPG & CRPG)

  • hybrid (including SABM)

Core Competencies:

  • Strong literature review research skills

  • Strong observational skills

  • Strong report writing skills

  • Organizational skills

  • Group dynamics conflict resolution skills

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.

  • Enthusiastic communication style that excites others with your passion about the topics discussed.

  • "Can do" attitude, and an eye for seeing where people need help before they have to ask.

  • Passionately supportive

What's great in the job?

  • 100% Remote option.
  • Flexible hours (typically just 3-6 hours per week, can easily take time off during mid-terms, finals, etc.)
  • Potential optional school credit hours (depends on institution and on a case-by-case basis)