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Research Scientist

About the Role

As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem-solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an independent research center at the University of Washington. Its mission is to deliver to the world timely, relevant, and scientifically valid evidence to improve health policy and practice. IHME carries out its mission through a range of projects within different research areas including the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors; Future Health Scenarios; Cost Effectiveness and Efficiency; Resource Tracking; and Impact Evaluations. Our vision is to provide policymakers, donors, and researchers with the highest-quality quantitative evidence base so all people live long lives in full health.

IHME is committed to providing the evidence base necessary to help solve the world’s most important health problems. This requires creativity and innovation, which are cultivated by an inclusive, diverse, and equitable environment that respects and appreciates differences, embraces collaboration, and invites the voices of all IHME team members.

IHME has an excellent opportunity for a Research Scientist on the Brain, Back Pain and Other Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSKs), Injuries, Renal, Respiratory, Diabetes, Drugs, and Sensory (BIRDS) team. The BIRDS team makes estimates for the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study, which is a systematic, scientific effort to quantify the comparative magnitude of health loss due to diseases, injuries, and risk factors by age, sex, and geography over time. It is the largest and most comprehensive effort to measure epidemiological levels and trends worldwide. This position will work on 1-2 non-communicable disease focus areas that make up the BIRDS portfolio.

We are looking for someone ready to advance in their career in global health research. As a Research Scientist, you will be contributing to research design and training, and mentoring junior staff. IHME researchers are integrally involved in producing, critiquing, improving, and disseminating results. This is done through assessing all available relevant quantitative data – including those on causes of death, epidemiology, and a range of determinants such as education and income – from surveys, vital registration, censuses, literature, registries, and administrative records. Using established modeling tools and through creation of novel code, researcher scientists incorporate all relevant data to produce the most up-to-date and scientifically credible results through the development of sound methods and analytical approaches.

You are someone who already has a command of epidemiology, statistics, disease modeling, or related concepts, and are a quick learner capable of developing a strong understanding of our core research and methodologies. You use your analytical skill set to troubleshoot complex problems independently while able to keep on track to meet deadlines and research objectives. You already have a publication record or strong documentation skills, and at IHME, you will build out your portfolio with several peer-reviewed papers. You thrive in a collaborative work environment and are capable of working on multiple projects concurrently while still meeting deadlines. You keep current of recent scientific, engineering, and technical advances and are able to translate these into your research.

This position is contingent on project funding availability.

Develop a command of assigned research area methodology and its components.
Extract data from various sources and databases.
Format, transform, review, and assess data sources to determine their relevance and utility for ongoing analysis.
Understand key data sources and variations in these across and within countries.
Independently carry out quantitative analyses and participate in reciprocal research projects.
Interpret and vet results from junior staff, formulate conclusions, and inform team leaders.
Develop, quality check, and distribute complex datasets to be used in epidemiological and statistical analyses.
Develop and implement new computational and statistical methods that increase relevance, quality, diagnostics and predictability of our results.
Create, test, and use relevant computer code (R and/or Python, preferred). Maintain, modify, and execute analytic machinery that generates results.
Consult with external collaborators and key stakeholders to resolve differences in competing sets of estimates, jointly understand and explain analytic approaches, and review and respond to recommendations for analytic modifications, new data, and ways of representing the results.
Document code and analytic approaches systematically so that analyses can be replicated by other team members.
Lead discussion in research meetings about results and analyses to vet, improve, and finalize results to provide mentorship to more junior staff
Draft presentations and manuscripts and contribute to funding proposals.
Lead and co-author scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals.
Provide ideas and content for the development of internal trainings.
Teach established trainings.
Maintain scientific awareness and intellectual agility with data, methods, and analytic techniques.
Other duties as assigned that fall within reasonable scope of research team.

Master’s degree in public health, epidemiology, statistics, biostatistics, math, economics, quantitative social sciences, or related discipline plus four years' related experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience.

Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.

Proven interest and some experience in chronic, non-communicable diseases and risks, and the related data sources, methodologies and scientific underpinnings.
Growing peer network and sought out as having solid command of engineering/technical areas, a given disease, risk, key indicator, relevant methodological area, and the related data sources and scientific underpinnings.
Excellent analytic, critical thinking, and quantitative skills and ability to learn and understand complex information quickly.
Results- and detail-oriented individual who can initiate and complete tasks under tight deadlines and changing priorities both independently and in a team environment.
Flexibility with hours and workload is key.
Experience devising and executing statistical modeling techniques.
Demonstrated ability to quickly recognize problems in results and identify root causes in data, methods, and code.
Highly skilled in designing, executing, and troubleshooting code in one or more languages (R or python required).
Ability to professionally and effectively communicate and work with other staff at all levels to achieve team goals for the analyses and related outputs.
Excellent written and oral communication skills required, including track record of success in co-authorship on multiple scientific papers, presenting results, and representing research at meetings.
Ability to work both independently and in collaboration with a team.
A long-term interest in a research scientist position contributing to the overall mission of our research.
A commitment to working to alongside others at IHME to illuminate the health impacts of systemic racism and to work within IHME to make our organization more diverse and inclusive. See IHME’s DEI statement here.

MD or PhD in public health, epidemiology, statistics, biostatistics, math, economics, or quantitative social sciences plus two years’ experience preferred.
Experience with machine learning, data mining, and analytic techniques.
Experience mentoring and developing junior employees on soft and technical skills.
Experience with project management methods.
Peer-reviewed publication record.

Weekend and evening work sometimes required.
This position is open to anyone authorized to work in the US. The UW is not able to sponsor visas for staff positions.
Office is located in Seattle, Washington. This position is eligible to work fully remote in the US; work schedule required to overlap 50% of IHME office hours, between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Pacific Time.

Application Process: The application process may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process. These assessments may include Work Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others. Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment, you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.

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