Research Specialist V performs highly advanced (senior-level) research work by designing and conducting research projects for Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology (MCH Epi) in the Community Health Improvement (CHI) Division. Reports to the Manager of the Surveillance and Data Analytics Group with minimal supervision and with extensive latitude for the use of initiative and independent judgement. Work includes developing and/or refining theoretical concepts, designing and implementing complex surveillance/research studies following new or standardized scientific policies/protocols, coordinating studies, collecting, analyzing and evaluating data, and communicating results. Functions as the project director and lead investigator for the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS). Monitors all data collection activities conducted by the contractor including data collection by mail and telephone modalities. Provides research consultation and data-related technical assistance to the Maternal and Child Health Section, CHI Division, and those who seek to utilizing Texas PRAMS data. Generates research articles for scientific publication, as well as papers, reports, and presentations for in-house distribution and to support program management and other DSHS activities. Represents MCH Epi and CHI on committees, regional workgroups, and projects to meet research and data analysis needs. Represents the state at the national level on research and data analysis issues. Attends work on a regular and predictable schedule in accordance with agency leave policy and performs other duties as assigned.
Essential Job Functions:
EJF1. Serves as PRAMS lead investigator, and acts as a liaison to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that relate to PRAMS on an ongoing basis. Oversees the PRAMS Steering Committee. Develops and revises the PRAMS data collection protocol and survey instrument. Oversees sampling procedures and ensure that monthly samples are prepared in a timely manner. Provides essential information for data collection routinely. Monitors PRAMS surveillance activity. Performs contract oversight for all PRAMS data collection activities. Analyzes and disseminates PRAMS data results; responds to all PRAMS data requests. Generates research articles for scientific publication, as well as papers, reports, and presentations for in-house distribution and to support program management and other DSHS activities utilizing PRAMS data. (35%)
EJF2. Serves as the PRAMS project director. Oversee the preparation and submission of annual cooperative agreement renewal applications and progress reports to the CDC. Prepares and submits all DSHS Institutional Review Board (IRB) documents related to the PRAMS project. Develops and/or renews data collection contract, data use agreements, and memorandum of understanding documents for key data elements for data collection (e.g., telephone numbers and addresses). Participates in all PRAMS training workshops sponsored by the CDC, site visits, and other CDC sponsored events. Works in collaboration with DSHS Center for Health Statistics, other DSHS data centers and state/federal agencies (e.g., CDC, MCH Bureau). Provides research consultation and data-related technical assistance to the MCH Section, CHI Division, and those who seek to utilizing Texas PRAMS data. Reviews PRAMS-related DSHS IRB applications and CDC multi-state PRAMS proposals. (25%)
EJF3. Performs scientific literature searches (traditional, internet, database) and reviews various types of materials including legislation, regulations, and scientific protocol and policies to help develop research proposals and to support on-going investigations/projects. Consults with research professionals, researchers/epidemiologists, administrators, and statistical staff to define and solve specific problems related to the administration of PRAMS and to assure quality control across experimental methods, research design and statistical analysis. (20%)
EJF4. Act as a subject matter expert as it relates to complex sample surveys (e.g., Texas Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Texas Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, National Health Interview Survey, NSDUH, and SPAN). Analyzes and disseminates MCH data results from other surveys. Provides research consultation and data-related technical assistance to the MCH Section, CHI Division, and those who are interested in utilizing survey data focused on maternal and child health. (15%)
EJF5. Participates in cross-functional training within MCH Epi. Other duties as assigned include but are not limited to actively participating and/or serving in a supporting role to meet the agency’s obligations for disaster response and/or recovery or Continuity of Operations (COOP) activation. Such participation may require an alternate shift pattern assignment and/or location. (5%)
Knowledge Skills Abilities:
Knowledge of the principles and functions of public health.
Knowledge of research planning and evaluation methods in epidemiology.
Knowledge of federal grants, including block grants.
Knowledge of laws and rules applicable to confidentiality and the management of protected health information.
Knowledge and experience with questionnaire development, constructing sampling frames, complex sampling, and survey data collection methods.
Knowledge of advanced statistical techniques and methods.
In-depth knowledge of statistical software, especially SAS and/or SPSS, and Microsoft Office products, especially Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
Skill in effective verbal communication, including preparation and presentation of complex data analysis.
Skill in project management with complex projects that cross divisions, agencies, and several lines of business.
Skill in identifying problems, evaluating alternatives, and negotiating and implementing solutions to data and research problems.
Skill in project management to organize major project activities into a logical sequence with a reasonable and achievable schedule of deadlines;
Skill in advanced technical writing, reporting, and interpretation of complex data to clearly and succinctly communicate project/research information for correspondence with state and federal agencies, grant applications and plans, state rules, and planning procedures.
Ability to organize and present information effectively, both orally and in writing, to a variety of audiences, including state and federal agency staff, legislators, and other stakeholders, which may require synthesis and translation of complex information into simpler terms.
Ability to develop and effectively deliver training and technical assistance about research/data methods, procedures or DSHS policies.
Ability to survey relevant professional literature and other publications.
Ability to develop and evaluate policies and procedures.
Ability to work in collaboration with others as part of a team to manage multiple deadlines.
For more information and to apply, click HERE.