Research Associate

Brief Overview:

We are seeking a Research Associate that will be involved in evaluation and assessment studies which aim to guide the development and implementation of health-related interventions.

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 Associates are involved evaluations and assessments employing both quantitative and qualitative methods from project management to instrument development to focus group moderation to dashboard development to data analysis and writing and data visualization, while working closely with the project lead/PI.  It is expected that the Research Associate will have strong research and evaluation skills as well as excellent interpersonal skills. The Research Associate will support all types of projects in the Department, many of which with a focus in the New England region. As a result, the Research Associate 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 Associate will be involved in evaluation and assessment studies which aim to guide the development and implementation of health-related interventions. Typically, R&E projects focus on topics such as public health-health care integration, public health infrastructure, asthma and healthy housing, oral health, behavioral health (substance abuse and mental health), sexual health, chronic disease prevention and related behaviors, among other areas. The R&E Department conducts numerous projects led by multiple staff, and the Research Associate will work on many projects at one time with different project leads, including those from other HRiA departments.

This is a full-time, exempt position. The Research Associate will support all types of projects in the Department, many of which with a focus on those in the New England region.  As a result, this Research Associate 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 $55,000 to $65,000. Starting salary is commensurate with organizational pay factors including experience, education, and specialized skills.  The Research Associate will be supervised by a Director-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

Data Collection and Analysis

  • Conducting quantitative data collection/analysis, including analyzing secondary data as well as assisting in primary data collection (e.g., developing survey instruments, overseeing survey administration, conducting statistical analysis such as frequencies and bivariate analyses), while working closely with project lead
  • Conducting qualitative data collection/analysis, including developing focus group and interview guides, conducting interviews with stakeholders and facilitating focus group discussions with a range of community members, particularly those from traditionally underserved populations, and analyzing qualitative data, while working closely with project lead
  • Conducting other research-related activities, as needed, such as literature reviews and environmental scans, including searching academic databases, reading and synthesizing published studies, and writing draft reports

Report Development and Presentation

  • Synthesizing data from multiple sources (e.g., focus groups, surveys, secondary data, literature review) and interpreting findings so that they are meaningful to public health practitioners, health care professionals, program planners, and non-academic audiences
  • Writing draft assessment and program evaluation reports, under the guidance of the project lead, geared towards public health practitioners, health care professionals program planners, and non-academic audiences
  • Developing PowerPoint presentations of study findings
  • Contributing to the creation and maintenance of data dashboards
  • Presenting study findings to community and stakeholder audiences, in partnership with the project leads

Project Management

  • Assisting project leads in project and client management, including developing meeting agendas, taking meeting notes, and developing project workplans and timelines
  • Providing logistical and organizational support for research projects (e.g., logistics for conducting focus groups, note-taking during focus groups, etc.)
  • Attending project meetings, as appropriate, and performing other related duties
  • Completing research-related administrative tasks when needed (e.g., formatting reports and proposals, copying and packaging surveys for administration)


  • Depending on the portfolio of projects, participating in day trips and some domestic travel (1 to 2 weeklong trips per year) to assist in data collection for specific projects (e.g., facilitating focus groups, survey administration)

Management and Thought Leadership

  • Participate in Research and Evaluation department meetings and activities

Candidate Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree and 4-5 years relevant experience, preferably research related to public health, education, or the social sciences or Master’s degree in social science with 2-4 years of professional experience, preferably with a focus in public health, health policy or health care management or the social sciences
  • Demonstrated facilitation, networking/partnership-building skills; experience working with diverse populations
  • Strong written and analytical skills, including the ability to write about data for non-academic audiences
  • Strong interest and knowledge of research and evaluation methods (both qualitative and quantitative) used in public health, health care and the social sciences
  • Strong verbal communication and interpersonal skills; experience in interview/focus group facilitation preferred
  • Basic knowledge of statistics using a statistical program such as SAS, SPSS, Stata or R
  • Basic knowledge of data dashboards and related software such as Tableau, PowerBI
  • Experience and skills in project management including developing workplans and working with clients, partners, and a range of stakeholders
  • 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
  • Calm in a fast-paced, busy environment
  • Able to work independently and as a part of a team
  • Flexibility and a sense of humor
  • A valid driver’s license a plus

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 $55,000 to $65,000. 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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