Research Associate

Visual Computing   •  

Cambridge, MA

Industry: Education.


Less than 5 years

Posted 290 days ago

This job is no longer available.

Department/AreaGlobal Health and PopulationPosition Description

The Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard School of Public Health seeks a Research Associate to join a dynamic team working on health care financing and primary care service delivery performance improvement in lower and middle income countries. Two years funding is available initially for work in Ethiopia with potential to expand the scope of work through new grants and contracts. Project work in Ethiopia provides significant opportunities for individual and joint research publication in the increasingly important global health policy area of primary health care systems development.

With financial support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the “Fenot” project in Ethiopia (Fenot means bright future in Amharic) works closely with Ethiopia’s Federal Ministry of Health and selected Regional Health Bureaus to develop policy-relevant analysis of substantial existing data and evidence and translate this into policy and strategic program improvements. Streams of work include strengthening domestic resource mobilization and improving primary care service delivery quality, efficiency and equity. Fenot collaborates closely with several key directorates in the FMOH including MCH and Financing and Resource Mobilization.

Current research initiatives in Fenot include:
• Analysis of facility-level data on service quality, costs, and efficiency
• Analysis of household survey data on health care demand/use and out of pocket spending
• Analysis of government budget and expenditure data on resource allocation and budget effectiveness
• Combining household, budget, and cost data to examine equity of health care benefits

In addition, Fenot provides significant technical capacity building to Ethiopian colleagues in data analysis and effective research use through hands-on collaborative work and workshops and courses.

Fenot is led at Harvard by Professor Peter Berman , two leading researchers in complementary areas of health systems research. Working with partners in Ethiopia, Fenot engages an in-country team of professionals and analysts which is expected to reach 10-15 people before the end of 2017.

This position will provide full-time research and managerial leadership from the Boston-side of the project, working closely with a full-time project director based in Addis Ababa and the in-country team. Significant travel and time in Ethiopia will be required, at least 35% of effort and up to 50% depending on needs.

The successful candidate for this position will have a strong health systems research background and experience conducting rigorous international health research. She/he should be knowledgeable about health financing, quality and efficiency research in low-resource settings, and will have proven managerial and leadership talent. Prior experience working in Ethiopia is desirable.

Specific responsibilities include:
• Lead and contribute substantially to the design and execution of project research and write-up of research results, including co-authoring scientific papers and publishing in reputable journals.
• Make critical technical and programmatic decisions that will require competency in areas of health financing and primary health care quality, efficiency and equity.
• Take primary responsibility for leading specific research efforts and contribute to overall research project management and coordination.
• Manage high performing collaborative and working relationships between Harvard project staff, staff in Ethiopia and partner organizations, consultants, and senior personnel in collaborating governments.
• Oversee and delegating work to a diverse team. Participate in staff hires.
• Make periodic short-medium length trips annually to work with field staff and oversee project implementation (position entails up to 50% travel)
• Develop proposals for new research.

The successful applicant will be able to work with The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to develop new funding applications which, if successful, could provide continued support.


Doctoral qualification in health systems or related field with previous experience related to one or more of the project focus areas. Applicants should have a demonstrated ability to conduct collaborative and methodological research and work independently in the design, conduct, monitoring and analysis of research studies and interventions. Skills and experienceapplying appropriate quantitative and mixed analytical methods to facility and household survey data and to primary field investigations in resource-constrained settings.

Research Associate level appointment typically requires a minimum two years of postdoctoral experience. Appointment as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow may also be possible for appropriate qualified applicants.


Substantial experience in applied research. Strong writing skills and exceptional oral and written communication skills. Ability to represent the Principal Investigators and the project with external constituents, including the donor, international organizations, peer institutions, and government bodies. Ability to travel and work independently required. Excellent problem solving, communication, supervisory, and organizational skills. The ideal candidate will have demonstrated success leading collaborative projects and achieving exceptional project results. He/she will have excellent interpersonal skills and be able to support and collaborate with diverse partners in a positive and productive partnership.