Research Associate (Real-World Evidence Focus)
The Robert J. Margolis, MD, Center for Health Policy at Duke University (Duke-Margolis) seeks to address critical health policy challenges and improve health, health equity, and the value of health care through practical, innovative, and evidence-based policy solutions. The interdisciplinary nature of Duke-Margolis brings together policy experts, researchers, health care professionals, and students from across Duke’s schools of medicine, nursing, law, public policy, business, and engineering, and fosters extensive relationships with stakeholders both internal and external. These relationships span foundations, private sector organizations, state and federal governments, and global entities. The Center fosters excellence, leadership, and scholarship at every level.
Duke-Margolis has an opening for a Research Associate within the Center’s biomedical innovation portfolio to support projects focused in real-world evidence (RWE) and real-world data (RWD). The individual in this position will contribute to projects related to improving the use of RWE and RWD within the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s regulatory framework, as well as more systematic uses of RWE and RWD to support biomedical innovation; real world methods, study designs and outcomes; health informatics; precision health; and health privacy. The Research Associate may also collaborate in a broad range of other health policy topics of interest to the Center, including but not limited to: health equity, regulatory science, medical device and pharmaceutical policy, health care delivery and payment reform, global health, and the intersection of scientific and regulatory advancement with broader US health policy reforms.
Research Associates manage the day-to-day execution of complex Duke-Margolis research and policy projects and provide significant subject matter expertise within specific areas of health policy. In this content and project management-focused role, the Research Associate produces high-quality work products independently, demonstrates technical leadership and collaboration with other team members, and delegates project tasks while consistently meeting internal and contractual deadlines. Primary responsibilities include management of complex research and policy activities to achieve project objectives; researching and analyzing complex health policy-focused topics, including conducting background research; drafting written products including summary documents, blog posts, peer-reviewed publications, and policy briefs; effectively engaging policymakers and other external stakeholders; and managing Center events and convenings.
The worksite for this position is anticipated to be the Duke-Margolis office in Washington, DC. Employees are currently teleworking locally to the area (DC/MD/VA) while on-site access is restricted due to COVID-19.
- This position is focused on improving the use of RWE and RWD within the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s regulatory framework, as well as more systematic uses of RWE and RWD to support biomedical innovation, real world study designs and outcomes, health informatics, precision health, and health privacy, but may also collaborate in other subject areas including but not limited to: health equity, regulatory science, medical device and pharmaceutical policy, health care delivery and payment reform, global health, and the intersection of scientific and regulatory advancement with broader US health policy reforms.
- Oversee day-to-day management of complex projects in areas of health policy expertise regarding RWE and RWD in collaboration with principal investigators and/or senior researchers. Coordinate and oversee internal project team activities to ensure research tasks and deliverables are completed in accordance with the project plan, contractual requirements, Duke policies, and deadlines. Manage complex external sponsor and partner engagement.
- Responsible for outlining and conceptualizing the content and structure of project deliverables.
- Individually contribute to and manage the efforts of other project team members in drafting research and policy deliverables including white papers, issue briefs, blogs, and peer-reviewed publications. Tasks may include substantive writing, analysis, and synthesis to achieve project and Center goals.
- Produce high-quality written work products and deliverables. Evaluate and select appropriate sources of quantitative and/or qualitative data to achieve project objectives. Synthesize and translate complex information from a wide range of inputs into clear and accessible written material for a range of audiences. Review and provide editorial comments for project materials and documents drafted by other team members.
- Prepare and edit a range of written materials and reports for principal investigators, senior researchers, executive staff, and external partners to support project development, provide recommendations and/or conclusions, and disseminate findings. Materials may include project progress reports, research papers, presentations, and other communications.
- Monitor and analyze developments in specialized content areas. Identify those with the potential to affect the work of colleagues in other areas across the Center and share pertinent information across teams. Provide in-depth analysis of impacts to the health care system and/or health policy landscape to inform implications for current projects and/or future research direction.
- Collaborate with Center executive leadership, faculty, principal investigators, and other senior staff to develop and implement work plans, deliverable content, research agendas, and timelines; coordinate execution of work by project teams. Contribute to content development through topic-focused policy research, preparatory analysis, and writing to craft clear and concise materials for stakeholder and expert review and response.
- Track and manage progress to achieve project milestones, deliverables, and timeline goals through collaboration with colleagues, subcontractors/vendors, and external stakeholders. Coordinate internal and external communication as needed for team projects.
- Work with principal investigators and/or senior researchers, executive leadership, and financial staff to ensure project activities are conducted within budget parameters.
- Foster collaborative relationships with internal and external stakeholders, industry representatives, and policy professionals to support project execution, data collection, dissemination of findings, and develop opportunities for funding. Assist in the development of project concepts and preparation of funding proposals.
- Mentor junior employees in task management and development of content expertise.
- Oversee design and implementation of a varied range of project convening events (e.g., expert roundtables, workshops, conference panels, seminars, large-scale public events). Collaborate with senior researchers and executive leaders on agenda development, identification and selection of panel participants, and content development.
- Work collaboratively with events and communication teams to direct communication strategies and event management and planning.
- Manage event execution and preparation including participant outreach, panel prep calls, pre-event materials, and follow-up.
- Support senior and executive staff and collaborate with communications and events staff in disseminating project deliverables through the Duke-Margolis website, popular and trade press, peer-reviewed publications, and other venues.
- Interact and coordinate communications with a broad range of external stakeholder groups and organizations.
At the Research Associate level:
- Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field required. Master’s degree or higher in a relevant field (e.g., health outcomes research; data science; population health; epidemiology; health economics; implementation science; health product development/regulatory science; or other relevant scientific, engineering, or other technical fields) strongly preferred.
- Six years of experience in policy/research/data analysis or other relevant position, which may be met by a combination of relevant education and experience. Examples could include:
- Bachelor’s degree and at least 6 years of relevant work experience
- 2-year master’s degree in a relevant field (e.g., health outcomes research; data science; population health; epidemiology; health economics; implementation science; health product development/regulatory science; or other relevant scientific, engineering, or other technical fields) and at least 4 years of relevant work experience
- Advanced professional degree (e.g., MD, PhD, PharmD, JD) and additional experience depending on degree length
Or an equivalent combination of relevant education and/or experience.
Applicants not meeting the Research Associate minimum qualifications could instead be considered at the Senior Policy Analyst level if they meet educational requirements (Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred) and have a minimum of four years’ relevant experience.
- Excellent research and writing skills. Proven competence in leading research projects.
- Excellent organizational, project and event management, and communication skills, including the ability to transform complicated information into materials that are easy to understand.
- Demonstrated proficiency in policy research, including the ability to synthesize content from a broad range of sources. Knowledge of real world methods and study design is preferred. Quantitative and qualitative data analysis and interpretation capabilities are preferred.
- Proven ability to plan and organize content with creativity and attention to detail, crafting an argument for specific audiences and appropriately translating scientific or technical details.
- Knowledge/experience in specialized areas of health policy relevant to the position, including familiarity with current trends and regulations.
- Ability to interact professionally and foster positive collaborative relationships with senior-level individuals (e.g., local, state, and national policymakers), stakeholders, and organizations.
- Ability to exercise good judgement and initiative.
- Must be able to function independently and collaborate effectively with others.
- Ability to coordinate a variety of tasks simultaneously, complete tasks with limited oversight and supervision, and manage a project team effectively.
- Must be comfortable working in a fast-paced environment with varied responsibilities, and able to assess the impact of and respond flexibly to changing conditions.
- Knowledge of Microsoft Office and relevant research and analytic software.
- Training or experience in the fields of health outcomes research; data science; population health; epidemiology; health economics; implementation science; health product development/regulatory science; or other relevant scientific, engineering, or other technical fields is preferred.
- Ability to travel approximately 10% when appropriate (Duke travel is currently restricted).
The above statements describe the general nature and level of work to be performed in this position and are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and duties required. Employees may be directed to perform job-related tasks other than those specifically presented in this description.
Engagements are renewable annually upon funding availability from the Center. To be considered for this position, applicants must submit materials online. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.
Application Materials Required:
- Cover letter
- Curriculum Vitae
- Three references (names and email addresses)
Duke University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual’s age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.
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