Senior Qualitative Research Scientist

Pennsylvania United States
11 Oct 2018
End of advertisement period
11 Dec 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn’s distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

The Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania is the oldest and one of the finest medical schools in the United States. Penn is rich in tradition and heritage and at the same time consistently at the forefront of new developments and innovations in medical education and research. Since its founding in 1765 the School has been a strong presence in the community and prides itself on educating the leaders of tomorrow in patient care, biomedical research, and medical education.

This is a full-time senior qualitative research scientist/specialist position in the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. The senior qualitative research scientist will work on a portfolio of collaborative qualitative research studies at the intersection of health policy, behavioral economics and advanced illness research. This PhD trained position is intended for someone with a high level of research expertise who can make independent judgements with regard to the most appropriate methods to use for data collection, the analysis of qualitative data, the issue of thematic saturation, and identifying patterns within data that will result in the writing of scholarly manuscripts.

The ideal candidate will demonstrate potential to expand the reach of the Department’s current research portfolio to include more mixed methods work.

Principal Position Responsibilities/Duties

  1. Provide oversight and leadership for multi-site, national, federally-funded, collaborative qualitative research studies, which includes the training and supervision of research coordinators and assistants in the collection, management and analysis of qualitative data; Make independent decisions about study conduct including determinations of the adequacy of the sample size based on an ongoing assessment of saturation, purposive sampling of key informants and close monitoring of data quality. Consult with PI on design of data collection tools (interview guides, coding framework, etc.)
  2. Perform high-level analysis of qualitative data using NVivo qualitative data analysis software from a grounded theoretical perspective; Apply advanced social scientific theories to the interpretation of qualitative data; Independently identify complex patterns in vast quantities of textual data and present these interpretations to the study PI and academic collaborators; Identify how findings of qualitative studies confirm or expand the current understanding of complex phenomena in the health services research literature
  3. Supervise data collection and occasionally directly collect data from a diverse array of clinical settings across the country including hospital wards, outpatient clinics and patient homes; Employ the following data collection techniques: ethnographic observations (which includes establishing rapport, maintaining an unobtrusive presence in the setting, writing detailed field notes), semi-structured in-depth interviews and focus groups
  4. Write scholarly manuscripts for high-impact academic medical and social scientific journals in collaboration with the study PI; Write abstracts for scientific conferences
  5. Plan and lead research team meetings

PhD in Social Sciences or social science discipline (Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology, Communications) and at least 5 years of qualitative data collection experience , including specific familiarity with in-depth interviewing, ethnography and the conduct of focus groups required. Experience using qualitative data analysis software; Knowledge of NVivo 11 preferred. Strong communication, writing and organizational skills. Experience publishing scholarly manuscripts based on qualitative data. Excellent understanding of best practices in the ethical conduct of qualitative research. Ability to work accurately, paying strict attention to detail, and willingness to doing varied work that requires an intellectual and professional approach. Ability and willingness to travel occasionally across the country. Previous experience working in an academic medical environment or health services research preferred, but not required. Willingness to work in a collaborative capacity. Ability to work independently and take initiative

Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.