Senior Research Scientist

Brief Overview:

We are seeking a Senior Research Scientist to provide leadership and support on a variety of projects that will help inform public health intervention planning and health-related grantmaking as well as measure impact.

Position Description:

This is an exciting opportunity to provide leadership and support on a variety of projects that will help inform public health intervention planning and health-related grantmaking as well as measure impact. This is an exempt, full time position. While HRiA’s office is based in Boston, MA, this position can be located anywhere in the U.S. and work remotely, if appropriate.

The Senior Research Scientist is a Director-level position with extensive quantitative expertise and analytical skills. This person will serve as the technical quantitative expert on several projects as well as be the project lead on others.

It is expected that the Senior Research Scientist will be a skilled researcher/evaluator with strong quantitative and applied research/evaluation methodological skills but will also have excellent interpersonal and client management skills. The Senior Research Scientist is expected to have a commitment to health equity and experience leading complex projects for various clients and stakeholders, including hospitals, health departments, philanthropic foundations, schools, and community groups.

The Senior Research Scientist will need to understand how to balance research rigor with the budgetary and time constraints that are common to applied research and evaluation as well as be able to navigate different partners’ and stakeholders’ multiple perspectives on a project. The person in this position will need to be adaptable as project course corrections are common in the work we do. Strong presentation, interpersonal, and project management skills are a must. It is critical that the Senior Research Scientist be able to discuss research methods and findings in a clear, salient manner to non-research audiences.

The Senior Research Scientist will lead or be a key team member for a variety of projects including but not limited to large scale grant-funded multi-partner longitudinal evaluations and short-term collaborative community health assessments. Projects could focus on a range of topics including behavioral health (substance abuse and mental health); the social determinants of health including community development, housing, and education; or health systems transformation and health equity.

The Senior Research Scientist will also contribute to the overall growth of the organization, including participating in new business development through proposal writing, presentations, and other HRiA promotional activities.

The Senior Research Scientist will be supervised by the Managing Director, Research and Evaluation but will work closely with all members of the R&E Department and many programmatic and administrative staff throughout the organization.

Duties and Responsibilities:

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

Project, Client, and Staff Management

  • Develop and lead assessment and evaluation projects including developing research plans, identifying project staffing needs, and overseeing all tasks to ensure they are being completed in a high-quality manner, within budget on time and to client and project specifications
  • Work with senior-level clients in hospitals, health departments, non-profit organizations, and philanthropic foundations to conceptualize plans, manage the process, implement data collection, and report findings as well as address stakeholders’ multiple perspectives on research/evaluation projects
  • Communicate effectively with clients, partners, and community residents about how research findings can inform program and policy priority-setting, development, and implementation
  • Oversee a “supervisory chain” that includes at least two staff members, a Senior Analyst and Research Analyst with direct supervision of the Senior Analyst

Data Collection and Analysis

  • Provide technical assistance to clients for the development of project-specific data collection and data storage/management plans
  • Write and manage IRB and OMB application processes
  • Develop MOUs and DUAs for data sharing between organizations
  • Develop and oversee quantitative data collection methodologies including secondary data as well as collecting primary data (e.g., develop survey instruments, use of validated scales/scores, oversee implementation); provide guidance to other departments or project teams in data collection methods
  • Conduct and oversee statistical analyses of quantitative data, including data cleaning, descriptive statistics, univariate and multivariate analyses; provide guidance and oversight to junior analytic staff in conducting quantitative analyses
  • Conduct and oversee qualitative data collection where appropriate, including developing focus group and interview guides, conducting interviews with stakeholders, facilitating focus group discussions, and analyzing qualitative data
  • Conduct other research-related activities, as needed, such as literature reviews and environmental scans, including searching academic databases and reading and synthesizing published studies

Capacity-Building and Technical Assistance

  • Lead capacity-building efforts with local partners and organizations, working one-on- one and with groups, to provide evaluation technical assistance
  • Develop webinars, PowerPoint presentations, and training materials on evaluation to guide community-based organizations on topics such as identifying metrics and research methods, developing logic models, creating data reporting systems, and addressing challenges in evaluation

Report Development and Presentation

  • Synthesize data from multiple sources (e.g., focus groups, surveys, secondary data, literature review) and interpret findings so that they are meaningful to public health practitioners, program planners, and non-academic audiences
  • Write reports geared towards public health practitioners, program planners, health care providers, and non-academic audiences
  • Develop PowerPoint presentations of study findings
  • Present study findings to community and stakeholder audiences

Leadership, New Business and Other Tasks

  • Participate in Research and Evaluation Director meetings and activities
  • Lead/attend project meetings, as appropriate, and perform other related duties
  • Work with Managing Director, Research and Evaluation, Managing Director, Community Health Needs Assessments and other department and HRiA staff to write proposals for new business development, including developing research/evaluation plans and budgets
  • Perform other related duties as assigned by the Managing Director, Research and Evaluation
  • Participate in domestic travel (4-7) multi-day/weeklong trips per year, depending upon the portfolio of projects in any given year, to lead data collection and technical assistance efforts

Candidate Qualifications:


  • Doctoral degree preferred (PhD, ScD, DrPH, EdD or similar) in public health, sociology, social or community psychology, social work, or related field with a strong background in social science research and evaluation methods.
  • At least 10 years of professional experience in public health, health care, or social science research, with several years of experience in managing multiple or complex projects; previous experience working in a consultant capacity preferred
  • Strong methodological and quantitative analytical skills a must; experience with statistical programs such as SPSS or SAS; familiarity with data collection systems such as Qualtrics or SurveyMonkey
  • Comfortable leading project teams, particularly on large/multiple projects that have a strong quantitative focus; ability to be a senior advisor to other projects or departments from a quantitative and methodological perspective
  • Experience analyzing qualitative data is preferred but not require
  • High quality, clear writing; can synthesize large amounts of quantitative data into streamlined reports that are understandable to lay audiences
  • Experience in providing research and evaluation technical assistance or trainings; ability to conceptualize research plans, develop and manage project budgets, follow timelines, and be involved in all aspects of project management for research, assessment, or evaluation studies from development to implementation
  • Demonstrated commitment to working with diverse staff
  • Demonstrated commitment to working on health and racial equity

Personal Characteristics

  • Excellent verbal communication, interpersonal, and public speaking skills 
  • Excellent client and project management skills; can work with various funders, stakeholders, and community groups to carry out research and evaluation needs that meet client expectations
  • A commitment to equity, diversity of thought, backgrounds, and perspectives
  • Enjoys working in a fast-paced, busy environment
  • Able to work independently and as a part of a team
  • Calm under pressure, flexible, and a sense of humor
  • Dedication to support and promote HRiA’s mission and programs
  • 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.

HRiA staff have been working remotely since March 2020 and it is anticipated that staff working in the Greater Boston Area will return to the office setting in Fall 2021. The Senior Research Scientist can be office-based in the Greater Boston Area or be a full-time remote employee.

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.

Health Resources in Action offers an attractive benefits package including medical, dental and life insurance, retirement plan, tax-deferred annuity, and generous starting vacation of four weeks.

The salary range for this position is $90,000 to $115,000. Starting salary commensurate with organizational pay factors including experience, education, and specialized skills.

To apply, submit the following online:

  1. Your one to two page cover letter that includes answers to the following questions:

a. How does working in this role with the Research and Evaluation Team at Health Resources in Action align with your overall career goals?

b. What does our mission and commitment to health and racial equity mean to you?

c. What specific experiences or career accomplishments make you uniquely qualified for this role?

2. Your resume

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