Research and Data Associate in Philadelphia, PA at Public Health Management Corporation

Date Posted: 2/22/2021

Job Snapshot

Job Description

Who we are: The mission of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) is to protect and promote the health of all Philadelphians and to provide a safety net for the most vulnerable. Within PDPH, the Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention (CDIP), works to change policies, systems, and environments to make healthy living an easy choice for residents. The goals of our programs are to increase physical activity and healthy eating; reduce tobacco use; lower the prevalence of risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including hypertension and high cholesterol; and to prevent avoidable injuries, with a focus on reducing gun violence. The Division is especially concerned about documenting, understanding, and working to reduce disparities in health.

The CDIP Data Lab conducts innovative research and analysis that directly informs city policy and guides public health decisions. We provide the evidence base to answer questions like: Why do some neighborhoods have higher rates of mortality from cardiovascular disease than others? Will restrictions on the sale of certain tobacco products reduce the rate of teen smoking and vaping in Philadelphia? Which public media campaigns have the highest potential for impact? How can we use data to support policy development and implementation?

Our values: At CDIP, we value health justice. Our work is guided by a commitment to all people’s health and humanity. We believe:

  • All people have the right to live to their fullest potential.
  • All communities have the right to create environments that allow them to grow and thrive. 
  • Public health policy will be developed in full partnership with the community.
  • Knowledge comes in many forms and many places in our society.
  • Progress only happens when we treat people, communities, partners, and staff with care and respect.

Join us! We are seeking a skilled and dynamic Research and Data Associate with experience in public health data analysis and research. Candidates should have experience designing and conducting quantitative and qualitative research and have strong communication and technical writing skills.

The Associate will plan, manage and implement data analytic activities related to the work of the CDIP team with a particular focus on the tobacco control program. This will include collecting, cleaning, and managing data; performing statistical analysis; and summarizing results for scientific, policy-oriented, and public audiences. The Associate will use appropriate data sources to monitor trends, patterns, and changes in risk factors and health outcomes. Factors of interest include the health behaviors of individuals, the demographic and social characteristics of populations, the policy environment, and the built environment. While academic journal publications are encouraged, the primary purpose of our work is to inform and advise policymakers and the public.

Associates generally have one focus area, with additional work across topic areas. This position will focus (60-75%) on data related to policy, programs, and health outcomes related to tobacco use. In recent years, the tobacco program at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health has implemented regulations that limit the number of tobacco retailers on a per capita basis, initiated smoke-free spaces policies on school campuses and in multi-unit housing complexes, and run mass media campaigns to support tobacco cessation and prevent initiation of use.

Responsibilities:

  • Reviews and synthesizes existing literature on topics related to tobacco use, chronic conditions, and the social determinants of health
  • Maintains a related-tables database on the licensing and regulation of stores that sell tobacco, queries the database to track the implementation of regulations, and conducts in-depth analyses using the data
  • Identifies, coordinates, tests, and tracks online permit application and database improvements with software developers, IT professionals, and other key stakeholders
  • Tracks and presents data from a variety of sources related to tobacco use and the social determinants of health
  • Manages, cleans, analyzes, and interprets other data sources as needed
  • Participates in department meetings related to tobacco policy and programming and advises on the use of data to inform those efforts
  • Develops and fields data collection efforts, including surveys
  • Reviews, analyzes and assists with policy research and evaluation with a specific focus on tobacco prevention and cessation policies
  • Works with program staff to develop plans for evaluating policy, programs, and media campaigns
  • With a team, develops new research and data analysis tasks based on CDIP’s needs
  • Contributes to research and data products including reports, data briefs, charts, presentations, and manuscripts
  • Works collaboratively with other Associates and Analysts to develop the analysis skills of the entire team
  • Guides research projects through Institutional Review Board approval
  • Collaborates with academic, medical, and policy partners
  • Contributes to manuscript development for peer-reviewed journals
  • Participates in division meetings

Required Skills, Experience and Education:

Qualifications and Desired Skills:

  • Knowledge of and experience with epidemiology or social science research methods, including study design, methodology, and preparation of scientific reports
  • Ability to analyze data, write project proposals, and write technical reports
  • Ability to summarize findings for a variety of audiences, e.g. scientists, policy makers, and the public
  • Interest in using data skills in an applied setting to advance health policy goals
  • Strong analytic abilities with statistical software (e.g., R, Stata, SAS)
  • Strong mapping abilities using software (e.g., ArcGIS, Leaflet) a plus
  • Experience with interactive data visualization (e.g. Shiny, Tableau)
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Experience working with sensitive health information
  • Able to work as a team, prioritize and handle multiple tasks and deadlines, and work independently

To apply, please submit to: Megan Todd, megan.todd@phila.gov

  • A resume or CV
  • A cover letter that includes:
    1. Your experience with statistical software such as R (include frequently used packages), SAS or Stata,
    2. Your experience with mapping software such as ArcGIS,
    3. Your experience in or with Philadelphia, if any, and
    4. Your past or proposed contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
    5. A writing, analysis, coding, or other work sample (optional but encouraged)

We are dedicated to building a staff that reflects the diversity of Philadelphia. We encourage applications from individuals who identify with one or more of the following groups:

  • People of color,
  • Individuals with disabilities,
  • LGBTQ+,
  • First-generation college students, and/or
  • Individuals from a family that has qualified for federal financial assistance.
  • Applicants who are originally from and live in the Philadelphia area are encouraged to apply.

Questions about the position can be directed to Megan Todd, megan.todd@phila.gov.