Research Associate

City of Minneapolis
Published
July 19, 2021
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Job Type
 

Description

As the largest and most vibrant city in the state, Minneapolis depends on purposeful, dedicated and innovative employees. Minneapolis has a large variety of careers for people of all experiences and backgrounds who come together for a singular purpose--serving the residents, businesses and visitors of Minneapolis.

Support the design and implementation of public health surveillance, program evaluation, research studies, and assist with investigation and control of infectious diseases. Carry out activities such as project planning and assessment, coordination of project meetings, focus groups and community forums, development and maintenance of data tracking tools, data analysis support, synthesis and reporting of findings, and follow-up with foodborne illness cases. Work as part of a small research team and collaborate with policy and program staff and community partners on innovative projects. Work on health issues with the goal of reducing racial/ethnic and socioeconomic health disparities and help to track progress toward department and city goals.

This position is grant-funded with funding secured through June 2023; additional funding upon expiration of the grantwill be sought.
Job Duties and Responsibilities: Surveillance, epidemiology, evaluation, and research

  • Support the development and implementation of health monitoring systems to identify trends in health conditions, behaviors, and risk factors that influence the health of individuals and families at city, community, and neighborhood levels.
  • Support the investigation of routine cases and outbreaks of infectious diseases, including foodborne illnesses and other infectious disease contact investigations
  • Participate in project and program evaluations including: project planning and community-based assessments, defining the evaluation questions, creating logic models; identifying or developing data collection instrument; data collection through surveys, key informant interviews, or focus groups; data analysis, and reporting on results.
  • Participate in studies on locally relevant health issues, including defining the research questions, reviewing and summarizing appropriate literature, selecting appropriate design methodology, identifying or developing tools, monitoring study progress, and reporting on results.

Interfacing with Community Agencies

  • Build relationships with diverse, community-based agencies or individual consultants selected to facilitate implementation of research and evaluation activities such as conducting assessments, site visits, surveys or focus groups.
  • Provide technical assistance to contractors as needed and ensure compliance with evaluation reporting requirements.

Data tracking and analysis

  • Support the design and maintenance of data collection systems for specific projects. Use Excel, Access, NVivo, and statistical software applications for purposes of data entry and analysis.
  • Conduct data analysis as required to evaluate projects.
  • Use statistical analysis software to analyze qualitative and quantitative data including primary health, survey, surveillance, and secondary data including vital statistics records.
  • Assure data integrity through use of appropriate principles, standards and techniques for measurement, analysis, and reporting.

Reports and Presentations

  • Participate in writing reports for various audiences including: research briefs, public health reports, program evaluation findings, and grant activity performance reports.
  • Participate in the preparation of presentations of findings from epidemiological, research, and evaluation studies to a wide variety of audiences including: City Council, community agencies, general public, media, local public health departments, professional associations.

Serve as Expert Resource

  • Provide advisory and technical assistance to the community.
  • Ensure health data is available and easy to interpret and use for community planning purposes.
  • Develop, analyze, and distribute data for use in designing and developing programs to address problems identified city-wide, in specific areas, or among specific population groups related to community health improvement.
  • Provide technical consultation to partners on control and prevention of communicable diseases.

Emergency Preparedness

  • Participate in Public Health Emergency Preparedness planning, training and response as needed and assigned by the department.

Working Conditions: Office setting and potential hybrid work setting.
Required Qualifications: Education: Bachelor's degree, preferably in a health-related field or the social sciences.

Experience: Two years of experience in epidemiology, program evaluation or monitoring, data management or analysis, or similar activities.

Equivalency: An equivalent combination of education and experience closely related to the duties of the position may be considered. A Master's degree in social sciences, or public health with no experience meets the minimum requirements.

Selection Process: Decisions concerning an applicant's qualifications for this position will be based on information provided in one's application materials. Fill out the application form as accurately and completely as possible. Screening questions, if any, should all be answered, as needed. The following tests may be used as part of the selection process: an evaluation of education, training, and experience; an oral exam; a written exam; work simulation exercises, candidate assessments; and/or other relevant selection tools. At each step of the process, HR reserves the right to limit the number of applicants to be tested.

Interview Selection: The hiring authority reserves the right to determine the maximum number of candidates to interview from the established eligible list. If the hiring authority decides to interview other than by exam score order, they may select additional people to interview based on a candidate's education or experience related to the field, work history, or skills uniquely related to the operational needs of the position.

Background Check: The City has determined that a criminal background check and/or qualifications check may be necessary for certain positions with this job title. Applicants may be required to sign an informed consent form allowing the City to obtain their criminal history and/or verify their qualifications in connection with the position sought. Applicants who do not sign the informed consent form will not be further considered for the position.

Union Representation: This position is represented by a collective bargaining agreement between the City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Public Employees Association (MPEA). For more information on the terms and conditions of this agreement please visit: http://www.minneapolismn.gov/hr/laboragreements/labor-agreements_professional-employees_index .

Eligible List: The names of applicants who meet minimum qualifications and who pass the screening process shall be placed on the eligible list for employment consideration. This list will be certified to the hiring managers who may use the list to fill a vacancy of the same job title. This eligible list will expire four months after it has been established.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Basic knowledge of core public health functions; local, state, and national health problems and programs; health systems; and issues related to diverse urban and special needs communities.
  • Basic knowledge of research designs and methodologies; evaluation methodologies, quantitative and qualitative analysis and reporting.
  • Experience with spreadsheets such as Excel. Experience designing and working with data in relational databases such as Access. Experience using statistical analysis software such as SAS, SPSS, and/or STATA and qualitative analysis software such as NVivo. Ability to use word processing and presentation software, including the creation of graphs and charts.
  • Ability to interpret statistical data and other information to a wide variety of audiences accurately, effectively, and concisely.
  • Ability to communicate effectively on social and scientific issues, orally and in writing, and excellent presentation skills.
  • Ability to work effectively in a collaborative environment with multiple agencies, multidisciplinary teams, the public, diverse communities, health professionals, and elected officials.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with diverse and special need populations.
  • Knowledge of federal and state data privacy laws and protections for human research subjects.
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