Research Assistant

Brief Overview:

We are seeking a Research Assistant to be a key member of HRiA’s R&E Department and will provide research-related support and assistance on a variety of projects housed within the R&E Department as well as those in other departments at HRiA.

Position Description:

Health Resources in Action (HRiA) is a non-profit, full-service consulting organization with a mission is to help people live healthier lives and create healthy communities through prevention, health promotion, policy, and research. With our emphasis on community engagement and commitment to racial and healthy equity, HRiA has earned a national reputation as a leader in the fields of public health and social change. We work with diverse clients who share our vision of healthier communities, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, state and local health departments, hospitals, and private/corporate philanthropic entities.

Since its founding in 1957, HRiA has been at the forefront of public health, leading the way to promote healthier and more vibrant communities. Our work recognizes how structural racism and social and economic factors impact health outcomes. Our health equity framework centers on racial equity and guides our work with communities, partners, and clients as well as our internal policies and processes. HRiA is also a member of the National Network of Public Health Institutes comprising over 40 affiliates across the country.

HRiA’s core services include capacity building assistance (e.g., training, technical assistance, policy, advocacy, and communications), grantmaking for biomedical research and community health initiatives, and research and evaluation (including community health improvement services).

HRiA’s Research and Evaluation (R&E) Department works with a variety of clients such as health departments, hospitals, schools, foundations, and community organizations to provide valid, reliable data for developing, implementing, and improving health and social programs and initiatives across the United States. These services help guide each step of program and policy planning by assessing strengths and needs, determining potential key partners, understanding issues salient to priority audiences, identifying challenges, and evaluating progress and impact. Services include, but are not limited to, survey development and administration, interview and focus group moderation, statistical data analysis, data visualization, report writing, and translation of research findings into actionable program planning steps.

Be part of this exciting organization that works in the Boston area, New England, and across the country to identify and address health issues in innovative ways.


This is an exciting opportunity to be a key member of HRiA’s R&E Department. Research Assistants support all types of projects in the Department with a primary focus on quantitative data collection, analysis and visualization.  This Research Assistant will support many projects, the majority of which with a focus in the New England region. As a result, this Research Assistant position must live within a half day’s drive of Boston, and will have the flexibility of working from home, in our Boston office or in a hybrid capacity.

Position Description:

The Research Assistant will be a key member of HRiA’s R&E Department and will provide research-related support and assistance on a variety of projects housed within the R&E Department as well as those in other departments at HRiA. While the R&E Department conducts assessments and evaluations using both quantitative and qualitative methods, the Research Assistant position is quantitatively focused.  The majority of work will involve identification and review of secondary data, the development and programming of surveys in online survey administration tools (e.g., Qualtrics), data cleaning, data management, and basic data analysis (e.g., frequencies, descriptive statistics), as well as developing data visualizations such as tables, charts and graphs for use in presentations and reports.

The Research Assistant will work closely with all members of the R&E team and be involved in community health assessments and evaluations that aim to guide the development and implementation of health interventions and policy, system and environmental change strategies. The R&E Department conducts numerous projects with multiple staff, and the Research Assistant will provide research and data management support to many projects at one time.

This is a full-time, exempt position. The Research Assistant will support all types of projects in the Department, many of which with a focus in the New England region.  As a result, this Research Assistant position must live within a half day’s drive of Boston, and will have the flexibility of working from home, in our Boston office or in a hybrid capacity.  HRiA’s standard work hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with an opportunity to flex hours with supervisor approval.  The starting salary range for this position is $50,000 to $55,000. Starting salary is commensurate with organizational pay factors including experience, education, and specialized skills.  The Research Assistant will be supervised by a senior-level staff member but will work closely with all members of the R&E Department and staff across the organization.

Duties and Responsibilities:

While this position will be involved in a variety of tasks, primary duties will include:

Project Work

Primary Quantitative Data Collection, Management, and Analysis (30%)

    • Assisting in developing survey instruments for telephone, online, or in-person administration for assessment and evaluation projects
    • Programming online surveys into an online system such as Qualtrics
    • Cleaning data, recoding and collapsing variables, and conducting overall data management of quantitative data in SPSS/SAS
    • Coordinating data collection including providing logistical support for in-person intercept surveys and managing administration of online surveys
    • Conducting basic quantitative data analysis (frequencies, means, bivariate analyses such as chi-square and T-tests)

Secondary Data Compilation, Review, and Presentation (60%)

    • Identifying secondary data sources on key social, economic, and health indicators for specific geographic areas as part of community health assessment studies, including examining the root causes of inequity
    • Compiling and managing aggregate data in Excel and SPSS
    • Developing clear data visualizations (e.g., creating graphs and tables in Excel, formatting graphs and narrative in MS Word)
    • Creating draft PowerPoint presentations of research findings

Other R&E Support (10%)

    • Assisting the R&E team with report development including interpreting results, writing draft narrative, and editing reports
    • Conducting draft literature reviews and environmental scans (including searching academic databases and online directories, reading and synthesizing published studies and organizational reports)
    • Providing logistical and organizational support for research projects (e.g., logistics for organizing focus groups, note-taking during focus groups, etc.)
    • Completing research-related administrative tasks when needed (e.g., formatting reports and proposals, copying and packaging surveys for administration)
    • Attending project meetings, as appropriate, and performing other related duties
    • Depending on the portfolio of projects, participating in day trips to the greater Boston metro area and some longer domestic travel (1 to 2 weeklong trips per year) to assist in data collection for specific projects (e.g., note-taking during focus groups, survey administration)

Management and Thought Leadership

    • Participate in Research and Evaluation meetings and activities

Candidate Qualifications:

  • 1-3 years relevant experience, preferably research related to public health, education, or the social sciences
  • Bachelor’s degree, preferred, preferably in a social science such as sociology, psychology or other relevant field such as public health or education, with an emphasis on quantitative methods
  • Experience with fundamental techniques in data cleaning, management, and analysis, including experience in using statistical software such as SPSS, Stata, SAS, or R; interest in data visualization
  • Enthusiastic and hard-working; willing to be involved in all aspects of R&E projects
  • Strong writing and analytical skills
  • Knowledge of Microsoft software, specifically MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Demonstrated commitment to working with diverse staff
  • Demonstrated commitment to working on health and racial equity
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Calm in a fast-paced, busy environment; able to prioritize and coordinate multiple projects simultaneously
  • Able to work independently and as a part of a team
  • Flexible and a sense of humor

This description is intended to indicate the kinds of work duties that will be required in this position.  It is not intended to limit, or in any way modify, the rights of any supervisor to assign, direct, and contract work of staff under his/her supervision.  The use of a particular illustration describing duties shall not be held to exclude other duties, not mentioned, that are of a similar level or difficulty.

How to Apply:

HRiA is actively seeking to build a diverse and experienced staff. The organization encourages multiple perspectives and experiences, supports a multicultural environment, and strives to hire and retain a diverse work force that reflects the populations we work with and the communities where we work. Diversity is a core value of HRiA resulting in culturally competent services, materials, resources, and programs. Our hiring and business practices appreciate the strengths offered through different backgrounds.

HRiA is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment, its services, programs, and activities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, or genetic information.

HRiA offers an attractive benefits package including medical, dental and life insurance, short-term disability, retirement plan, tax-deferred annuity, generous vacation starting at four weeks, and office closure at the end of December.

The salary range for this position is $50,000 to $55,000. Starting salary is commensurate with organizational pay factors including experience, education, and specialized skills.  First round interviews are expected to be conducted in January 2024.

To apply, submit the following online :

  1. Your one to two page cover letter that includes answers to the following questions:
    1. How does working in this role with the Research and Evaluation Team at Health Resources in Action align with your overall career goals?
    2. What does our mission and commitment to health and racial equity mean to you?
    3. What lived experiences or career and non-career accomplishments make you uniquely qualified for this role?
  2. Your resume

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