University of Washington School of Public Health
Project Officer - Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation
Closing Date: January 13, 2018
Posted: December 13, 2017
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is a dynamic organization at the University of Washington. Its mission is to monitor global health conditions and health systems, as well as to evaluate interventions, initiatives, and reforms. A core research area for IHME is the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors enterprise (GBD). 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, the GBD is the largest and most comprehensive effort to date to measure epidemiological levels and trends worldwide. The GBD’s aim is to provide policymakers, donors, and researchers with the highest-quality quantitative evidence base to make decisions that achieve better health.
IHME has an exciting opportunity to join the team as a Project Officer on the Global Burden of Disease project. The primary purpose of the position is to facilitate the implementation of multidisciplinary research on projects related to the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors (GBD enterprise, requiring timely coordination, management, and communication among different internal and external audiences.
The GBD enterprise incorporates more than 2,400 collaborators from over 135 countries. It requires coordination amongst many separate but highly integrated research teams, each with a responsibility for a key component of the overall analytic process – such as demographic estimation, assigning deaths by cause, covariates estimation, managing epidemiological data, and developing disease estimates for both fatal and non-fatal outcomes, amongst other components. Each component relies upon a standardized, but ever-evolving and improving, set of methods.
The Project Officer must facilitate and manage one or more of these vital components, often working with a variety of individuals, to help produce the overall annual set of GBD estimates. The Project Officer will manage enterprise workflow, from data, to analytic engines, to results critique, and to improvement. To create the needed indicators the position manages collation of all available relevant quantitative data – including that on mortality, causes of death, epidemiology, and a range of determinants and risk factors such as education, income, or air pollution – from surveys, censuses, literature, and administrative records into central databases. The Project Officer will help facilitate the disease-, injury-, and risk-modeling and help to manage various analytic engines that are used to apply innovative analytic methods. Finally, he/she ensures the results are vetted and eventually disseminated appropriately through a variety of mechanisms such as web presence, interactive tools and data visualizations, conference presentations, scientific publications, and materials for non-scientific audiences.
To succeed, the Project Officer must develop a working understanding of the GBD’s intellectual and analytic approach. They must also become conversant in the variety of quantitative methods and modeling approaches of which the GBD makes use, including (but not limited to) those related to statistics and epidemiology, as well as developing a clinical understanding of the diseases and risk factors being assessed. In addition to becoming articulate about GBD methods and results, the Project Officer must be adept at facilitating communication among technical and project staff with varying degrees of experience from a variety of cultural settings and disciplines. Finally, the Project Officer must fully understand the project goals and be able to translate those goals into action by managing resources (including people) to achieve important deadlines for the delivery of complex products and tasks. Overall, the Project Officer will be a critical member of an agile, dynamic team. This position is contingent on project funding availability.
- Develop a command of the intellectual material related to the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors (GBD) enterprise and the relevant results as they relate to the research area and the projects the individual must facilitate. Individual is expected to develop an astute understanding of the material presented in journal articles, policy reports, and presentations that result from the projects on which they work.
- Become thoroughly familiar with the details of complex interdisciplinary projects included in IHME’s GBD portfolio, including their goals, objectives, and activities. As a knowledgeable resource on a project’s intellectual substance, be integrally involved with all processes and key activities during the lifecycle of the project and be able to summarize the project’s progress to internal and external audiences.
- Develop a command of the computational, diagnostic, and visualization needs of the GBD portfolio and the associated competencies, skills, and resources required to achieve IHME’s GBD-related goals.
- Perform background research as needed to aid in project management, publications writing, and proposal development.
- Facilitate complex projects involving cutting-edge quantitative survey data collation, analyses, and tools for dissemination.
- Expertly carry out communications, relationship building, and project management with faculty and senior leaders from governmental, non-profit, research, academic, and donor organizations in order to attain project goals and facilitate productive collaboration.
- Drive research forward by managing dynamic teams of researchers and professional staff. Turn intellectual agendas set by researchers into action plans that can be implemented effectively across multiple project participants to achieve demanding and time-sensitive project milestones. Confidently and effectively participate in project assignments with a solid grounding in project specifics and current status. Track progress and manage coordination and communication across the team.
- Manage high quality data collation, cleaning, and integration into the analytic process.
- Develop study protocols, process descriptions, and training materials to ensure efficient operations across the team.
- Coordinate needs and actions across multiple teams internally to ensure data access, analyses, and diagnostics are appropriately connected and undertaken efficiently to produce results in a timely manner.
- Facilitate routine analytic processes and modeling efforts to derive key indicators and estimates based upon set protocols and parameters.
- Monitor, report, and forecast workflow and deadlines through effective portfolio management.
- Manage Data Analyst, Project Coordinators, and hourly employees (e.g. student assistants, temporary staff) to include: providing timely feedback and priority-setting guidance to them, hire, train, complete performance evaluations, and make recommendations for disciplinary action as needed.
- Mentor Post Bachelor Fellows (PBFs) and Data Analysts by providing guidance in the development of professional skills (e.g. time management, work organization, communication skills).
- Manage overall workflow of team in close collaboration with Principal Investigator and senior staff on the project. Develop overall work-plan timeline and task assignments.
- Facilitate the development of new research proposals, including creating budgets to match proposed scopes of work, developing project management plans, and editing scientific na