Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

Research Engineer

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an independent research center at the University of Washington focused on expanding the quantitative evidence base for health. IHME aims to provide policymakers, donors, and researchers with the highest-quality quantitative data to make decisions that achieve better health. IHME’s research spans multiple disciplines and policy-relevant areas including resource tracking, cost-effectiveness, forecasting, burden of diseases, geospatial analysis, health systems solutions, and impact evaluations. It has established international scientific credibility for developing innovative multidisciplinary methods and producing cutting-edge results. If you join IHME, you’ll be joining a team of mission-oriented people who are committed to creating a welcoming and diverse workforce that respects and appreciates differences, and embraces collaboration.

IHME has an outstanding opportunity for a Research Engineer to join the Global Burden of Disease project as a member of the Central Computation Team. The main purpose of this position is to design, implement, and support analytic engines and diagnostics related IHME’s Global Burden of Disease project. This position must translate research objectives and complex operational requirements into efficient, easy-to-use, and optimized software that allows users to produce high-caliber scientific results.

They will troubleshoot and help modelers to find solutions to challenges that arise in undertaking novel analyses. The position will also create new functions and tools used by all members of the Global Burden of Disease to make the overall research process easier and more efficient. This position is an operational engineering position, in support of these research activities, building and executing a modern, reproducible, data-driven research infrastructure.

Overall, the Research Engineer will be a critical member of an agile, dynamic research team. This position is contingent on project funding availability.

Responsibilities Include:

Analytic Tool Development, Execution, & Support

  • Execute analytic machinery in a coordinated manner in order to achieve key deliverables on deadline.
  • Develop tools and diagnostics that are fully integrated into complex computational processes to enable non-expert users to routinely execute complex analytic processes and assess results.
  • Contribute to the redesign and refactor of existing code to improve efficiency, operability, and performance while maintaining high-quality results.
  • Follow software development best practices (e.g. source control, documentation, writing tests, etc).
  • Develop and use protocols to identify problems with datasets and routine computational processes, rectify issues, and systematize data for future analyses.
  • Provide timely and comprehensive user support via help desk ticket investigation and bug resolution.
  • Actively participate in code review with fellow staff.

Research Command

  • Exhibit command of the dimensions and uses of health data in IHME analytic pipelines.
  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the analytic components of the research program and how they operate.  Be able to troubleshoot them when needed and to answer questions for others on exactly how they transform data into results.
  • Continually seek new knowledge and collaborate with researchers and faculty to gain a better understanding of analytical components and research methodology.
  • Test, implement, and support analytic methods as appropriate.


  • Communicate clearly and effectively while contributing as a productive member of the team and the Institute as a whole.
  • Work closely with other team members to help them with relevant tasks, show them how to learn new skills, and help resolve emerging problems on different projects.
  • Participate in and/or lead internal trainings.


  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science, mathematics, engineering, statistics, or related field plus two years’ related experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.

Additional Requirements

  • Demonstrated success in developing code in Python, Java, R, and/or other coding language
  • Demonstrated facility with analytic tasks and ability to participate productively in interdisciplinary research teams
  • Strong quantitative aptitude, desire to learn new skills, and ability to interpret complex analytic information
  • Strong sense of focus and attention to detail
  • Ability to learn new information quickly and to apply analytic skills to better understand complex information in a systematic way
  • Works well with others to solve problems, define priorities, and achieve common goals
  • Demonstrated organizational skills, self-motivation, flexibility, strong communication skills, and the ability to thrive in a fast-paced, energetic, highly creative, entrepreneurial environment.
  • Ability to communicate technical information to achieve project goals with lead faculty and other IHME employees.
  • Interest in global health research

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


  • Demonstrated familiarity with and ability to agilely assess, transform, and work with quantitative data from a range of sources
  • Experience with relational databases e.g., MySQL, PostgreSQL

Conditions of Employment:

  • Evening and weekend work may be required.