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, GBD is the largest and most comprehensive effort to date to measure epidemiological levels and trends worldwide. 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, with an emphasis on future scenarios of burden. The primary purpose of the position is to facilitate the implementation of multidisciplinary research on projects related to the GBD enterprise, requiring timely coordination, management, and communication among different internal and external audiences.
The GBD enterprise incorporates more than 3,095 collaborators from over 140 countries. It requires coordination among 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, among 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, to improvement. To create the needed indicators, the position manages collation of all available relevant quantitative data, both from external sources and data produced by other teams within IHME. 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, as well as the inner workings, timelines, and goals of other research streams at IHME. They must also become conversant in the variety of quantitative methods and modeling approaches of which the research makes use, including (but not limited to) those related to statistics and epidemiology, as well as developing an understanding of the cutting-edge simulation modeling practices. In addition to becoming articulate about methods and results, the Project Officer must be adept at facilitating communication among technical and project staff with varying degrees of experience and 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, the Forecasted Burden of Disease (FBD), and Resource Tracking research streams, and the relevant results, as they act as inputs 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 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 portfolio and the associated competencies, skills, and resources required to achieve the research’s goals.
- Perform background research as needed to aid in project management, publications writing, and proposal development.
- Facilitate complex projects involving cutting-edge quantitative 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.
- Liaise with project managers and faculty across many teams in order to leverage the wealth of data generated by IHME as part of potential simulation goals.
- 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, hiring, training, completing performance evaluations, and making 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 narratives.
- Interpret financial reports and participate in the budgeting process.
- Manage events and meetings, including logistical support and materials creation. Participate in internal or external trainings, as needed.
- Formulate effective strategies for motivating research teams and helping to ensure high achievement among all individuals on them.
- Perform additional duties as assigned that fall within the reasonable scope of this position as member of the GBD team and of IHME overall.
Bachelor’s degree in social sciences, sciences, or related field plus three years’ related experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Must exhibit strong desire and ability to learn new intellectual content across different disciplines in a timely fashion.
- Demonstrated management experience required; supervisory experience a plus.
- Incumbent must be able to work independently, be flexible, and juggle competing priorities.
- Strong oral and written communication skills and relationship management skills are critical.
- Strong project management skills, including demonstrated ability to take multiple priorities and translate them into project completion through expert planning.
- Excellent interpersonal skills; a cooperative team player, energetic, able to develop productive relationships with colleagues and external collaborators.
- Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic environment is critical.
Conditions of employment: Evening and weekend work may be required. Travel may be required.