Research Associate - Center for Community Health integration (CHI Center) - 2 Positions

Date:  7.21.20

Title:  Research Associate – two positions

Department:  Center for Community Health Integration (CHI Center)

School: School of Medicine (collaborations with MSASS, Engineering, other schools & community partners)

Location: BioEnterprise Building (University West)

Supervisor Name & Title:  CHI Center Executive Director James Bindas, MBA

                                            Working closely with:

                                            Peter Hovmand, PhD, Professor of General Medical Sciences (CHI Center), Engineering, and Social Work, Charles Elton Blanchard, M.D. Professor of Health Management.

                                            Heidi Gullett, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of General Medical Sciences (CHI Center), Family Medicine & Community Health, Charles Kent Smith, MD and Patricia Hughes Moore, MD Professorship in Medical Student Education in Family Medicine

                                            Kurt Stange, MD, PhD, CHI Center Director, Dorothy Jones Weatherhead Professor of Medicine, Professor of Family Medicine & Community Health, Population & Quantitative Health Sciences, Oncology and Sociology

                                            Johnie Rose, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of General Medical Sciences (CHI Center), and Population & Quantitative Health Sciences

                                            Pamela Davis, MD, PhD, Dean Emeritus, Professor of General Medical Sciences (CHI Center), Professor of Pediatrics


The Research Associates will work collaboratively and take leadership roles in the refinement and implementation of transdisciplinary, mixed method, and community-engaged research that supports the CHI Center’s research and development for community health, equity, and integrated, personalized care.  Working closely with faculty, staff and community partners, the Research Associates will:

1)   participate in the conceptualization and design of research studies focused on collective impact, systems science and shared learning approaches to address the health effects of:

  • inequity, poverty, an unprepared workforce, and a fragmented community,
  • understanding, assessing and improving what provides value in primary health care,
  • advancing health care and community health as relationships, not just commodities
  • an effective interface between health care and public health systems,
  • understanding the interaction of social structures, behavior, environment, and genetics. 

2)   work on multiple projects,

3)   identify and implement research methods and analysis protocols, and

4)   collaborate on, and selectively lead, scholarship, dissemination and stakeholder engagement.


The work of the CHI Center is boundary-spanning, cross-disciplinary, methodologically innovative, rigorous, and highly collaborative. The opportunity for these positions builds on decades of internal and external relationship building and development work, funding of a new Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Cross-sector Innovation Initiative that builds on this work, and the recent recruitment of Professor Hovmand with support from the CWRU Provost’s Think Big Early Investment Initiative.   Multiple other projects are ongoing and in various stages of planning and funding.

We seek two Research Associates with complementary skills to work together to meet the essential functions outlined below.  Neither person is expected to have all the skills listed below, but candidates should have experience and expertise in several of them, and should have an ability to work in a collaborative, transdisciplinary fashion across multiple methods. We seek highly motivated individuals who work well with diverse team members including faculty, staff, and community members.


  1. Synthesize qualitative and quantitative data to advance understanding of complex problems and how they can be addressed.
  2. Contribute to the generation of innovative research questions informed by synthesis of scholarly literature and collaborations, and to the formulation of appropriate research design and methods to pursue selected research questions.
  3. Provide computational modeling and analysis infrastructure development in a cluster computing environment, R and C++ package development for system dynamics tools,  development of  simulations of design/community prevention interventions, model calibration, data visualization and sensitivity analyses to support community-based system dynamics research and development.
  4. Conduct big data collection and analysis, building on the infrastructure developed for the Population Cancer Analytics Shared Resource and the NEOCASE (Northeast Ohio Cancer Risk Assessment and Surveillance Engine) platform, a relational database with a search interface built in Shiny R.
  5. Develop and carry out qualitative data analysis protocols, (e.g. comparative case studies, ethnographies) including processes for team training and communication, quality control, documentation, post analysis data cleaning, storage, analysis, management and reporting.
  6. Manage a growing portfolio of research and development projects, including IRB submissions and updates, setting up and analyzing survey data, and producing required reports.
  7. Prepare, assemble, edit, format, and collaboratively write research publications, including articles, proposals and presentations for diverse audiences. Ensure all materials meet established standards of appearance and content. 
  8. Screen, interview, train and supervise research team members, including student workers.
  9. Develop and deepen relationships and coordinate communication with academic and community partners, and provide content for website updates and newsletters.
  10. Actively participate in writing and revising grant applications.


  1. Work collaboratively with other project teams within the University on novel projects.
  2. Support design and facilitation of community-based system dynamics workshops, both online and in person
  3. Support scheduling and facilitation of community workshops such as Bridges Out of Poverty, Workplace Stability and poverty simulations


  • Strong communication, data presentation and visualization skills. Ability to work both independently and collaboratively, and to handle several concurrent, fast-paced projects.
  • Strong organization skills; ability to manage time and relationships to work on multiple projects, prioritize and meet deadlines.  Must demonstrate attention to detail, accuracy, and follow-through. 
  • Effective problem-solving skills; must demonstrate excellent analytical skills, sound judgment and good decision-making.
  • Must demonstrate flexibility; must be able and willing to work in a changing environment, and to proactively manage and adapt to shifting priorities, demands and timeline.
  • Must demonstrate eagerness to learn new techniques, procedures, processes, and computer programs as needed.


Department: Continuous contact with CHI Center faculty and staff (35%)

University: Frequent contact with collaborating faculty, staff and students across the CWRU community (25%)

External: Regular contact with diverse community partnering individuals and organizations, including those from health care systems, local public health departments, social service agencies, neighborhood residents, and collaborating Centers and individuals across the US and in other countries. (30%)

Students: Regular contact with students working with the CHI Center on various projects. (10%)


The Research Associates will supervise a growing staff of research and development employees and student workers.


Experience working on multiple cross-disciplinary projects is required.  Experience with mixed methods research is highly desirable.  This may include system dynamics, computational modeling, large and small data analyses, quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, and participatory methods.

Education/Licensing: a doctoral or other terminal degree in a relevant health, social science or quantitative field and experience in modern techniques is required.


  1. Knowledge and understanding of commonly-used concepts, practices, and procedures in several of the following fields: computational modeling, large database analysis, ethnographic or case study methods, survey research, participatory research methods, system dynamics, social network analysis, agent-based modeling, and mixed methods. 
  2. Ability to perform multivariable parametric statistical analysis and simulation modeling, and interest and willingness to acquire new quantitative skills including machine learning methods; or ability to perform qualitative analyses and ability to organize and conduct small group participatory research.
  3. Ability to independently and collaboratively gather and manage qualitative research data and to conduct coding, thematic analyses, and interpretive analyses.
  4. Demonstrated ability to write and revise grant applications for NIH, NSF, and foundations, preferred.
  5. Professional and effective oral and written communication and data visualization skills; and good interpersonal skills with the ability to work and communicate with various individuals within and external to the University.
  6. Strong organization skills; ability to work on multiple projects, prioritize and meet deadlines.  Must demonstrate attention to detail and accuracy, time management skills, and reliable, proactive follow-through.  
  7. Excellent team development skills; ability to maintain effective working relationships and address the potential and current needs of diverse collaborators and sometimes competing partners.
  8. Effective management skills; ability to lead, train, work with, and elicit cooperation from team members and staff. 
  9. Ability to work with sensitive information and maintain confidentiality.  
  10. Ability to maintain familiarity and demonstrate knowledge of CHI Center and collaborators’ priorities, leadership and programs.
  11. Effective problem-solving skills; must demonstrate excellent analytical skills, sound judgment and good decision-making. 
  12. Must demonstrate flexibility and ability to work under pressure when required; must be able and willing to work in a self-funded, changing environment, and adapt to shifting priorities, demands and timeline. 
  13. Ability to use statistical analysis, computational modeling, and/or qualitative analysis software programs to manage data and conduct analyses. 
  14. Knowledge and experience with isee Systems Stella Architect including model development and interface design is desirable.
  15. Assist in the development of computing resources (hardware + software licenses + custom toolkits for production work) that can support research on a class of Ssystems dynamics modeling problems in human service organizations and community health that benefit from and are uniquely suited to high performance computing based on advanced graphics processing units and more broadly through cloud computing (e.g., Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud).  Must demonstrate willingness to learn new techniques, procedures, processes, and computer programs as needed.
  16. Previous publications in peer-reviewed journals strongly preferred.


The position involves working in a highly-collegial, collaborative office; working in community and group settings; and travel to work with local partners.  When pandemic-related travel restrictions end, there will be opportunities for national and possibly international travel to work with diverse partners and to present research findings and attend professional meetings.


In employment, as in education, Case Western Reserve University is committed to Equal Opportunity and Diversity.  Women, veterans, members of underrepresented minority groups, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Send all application materials to