Postdoctoral Research Fellow in High Quality Health Systems (HQSS)

Cambridge, Massachusetts (US)
07 Mar 2017
End of advertisement period
04 Apr 2017
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in High Quality Health Systems (HQSS)

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Global Health and Population

Position Description 

Dr. Margaret Kruk, chair of the Lancet Global Health Commission on High Quality Health Systems in the SDG Era (HQSS Commission), seeks two Post-Doctoral Research Fellows to be based at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) within the Department of Global Health and Population. The HQSS Commission is an applied research and evidence translation program dedicated to building the evidence base on the role of high quality health care in achieving global health goals.

High quality health care can be defined as safe and respectful care that has the potential to improve health outcomes. Emerging data show that many low and middle income country (LMIC) health systems struggle to consistently provide this level of care. Health system quality has been under researched. There is no consensus on the definition or metrics of health system quality. Furthermore, there is limited evidence on what drives variations in quality, what health care delivery models support competent care, how equitably good quality care is distributed, and why some clinics perform better than others. Finally, there is a need to expand the solution space for quality improvement to include macro-, meso-, and micro-level approaches (health and other sectors, facilities, and provider levels, respectively), and to ensure that these are responsive to the local context and can be sustained.

Aims of Lancet Global Health HQSS Commission
The HQSS Commission is an independent group of academics, policymakers, and health system experts with experience in a range of LMICs. Guided by the values of respect, originality, rigor, policy relevance, and transparency, the HQSS Commission began work in January 2017 and is expected to publish its final Lancet Global Health report by Fall 2018. Over the next two years, the Commission will review current knowledge and produce new empirical work and policy recommendations on the level of quality in health systems, and how higher quality health systems may contribute to saving lives and reaching the SDGs. The HQSS Commission aims to 1) define and describe the state of quality and responsiveness in the health systems of low- and middle-income countries, 2) propose tractable measures of quality, and 3) quantify the impact of quality enhancing strategies on reaching the SDGs. Underpinning these aims is an exploration of the ethical dimensions on quality, including the right to and equitable distribution of high quality health care. Based on these aims, the Commission’s research work is organized into four working groups—definition and description, measurement, improvement, and ethics and equity—that serve to drive the Commission’s efforts to understand, assess, and suggest new ideas to improve health system quality in LMICs.

Duties & Responsibilities:
Each Research Fellow will be responsible for leading research efforts for a Commission working group. Research efforts may include but are not exclusive to, conducting data management and analyses, synthesizing and interpreting findings related to quality, and preparing Commission report contributions and journal publications. The Research Fellows will work closely with the Chairs of their respective working groups to manage all research activities and oversee the work of several research analysts. Additionally, the Research Fellows will work across the working groups to communicate key findings and generate cross-cutting insights with the overall Commission.

Successful Research Fellow candidates will function at a highly independent level and will be expected to produce quality research outputs. Short term international travel may be necessary.

Specifically, Research Fellows will:
• Collaborate with the overall Commission team and members of the working group to develop new research ideas and manage research activities among local and international researchers.
• Lead data analyses in several research areas related to their working group. Examples include estimating effective coverage for sentinel health conditions in LMICs, quantifying the global burden of low quality, modeling how service delivery scenarios might influence access and quality, and modeling lives saved due to different quality improvement strategies
• Contribute to the Commission report and prepare manuscripts for journal publication as lead or co-author
• Assist in disseminating work through writing blog posts, presenting work in relevant conferences and developing policy briefs
• Supervise and develop capacity of the Harvard-based and internationally-based working group research team. Ensure team procedures and products align with expectations of rigor and quality.
• Create research project implementation plans together with researchers and administrators. Monitor progress to ensure scientific and research ethics integrity.

Basic Qualifications 

Doctoral degree required. 1 to 3 years of successful and increasingly responsible experience in a research, academic, or intellectually-based organization is desirable. Supervisory experience and prior international work strongly preferred. Experience with statistical programming software packages (e.g. Stata, SAS, R) required. Demonstrated experience in managing research studies or groups a plus. Demonstrated ability to work independently and proactively needed.

Additional Qualifications

Stata experience and/or experience dealing with large multilevel datasets preferred. Parametric and non-parametric modeling experience preferred. The ideal candidate will be highly productive working under pressure with time constraints, possess the ability to work independently, with supervision, or in collaboration as a team. The position requires diplomacy in communications and interpersonal relations. Must possess and present a sense of poised confidence to deal effectively with multiple constituencies and cultural diversity at all levels. Able to motivate, develop, and inspire colleagues and employees at all levels.

Special Instructions Contact Information

Dan McKenna

Contact Email dmckenna@hsph.harvard.edu Equal Opportunity Employer

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Minimum Number of References Required 3 Maximum Number of References Allowed 3 Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

Applicant Documents Required Documents

  1. Curriculum Vitae
  2. Cover Letter

Optional Documents

  1. Publication
  2. Writing Sample 1