• Operations Research Scientist

    United States
    Full Time
    Program (Division)
    Access Programs - Laboratory Services
  • Overview

    The Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc. (CHAI) is a global health organization committed to saving lives and reducing the burden of disease in low-and middle-income countries, while strengthening the capabilities of governments and the private sector in those countries to create and sustain high-quality health systems that can succeed without our assistance. For more information, please visit: http://www.clintonhealthaccess.org


    Diagnostics is one of the principal priorities of the Access To Medicines Program (AXP) within CHAI. The Laboratory Services Team (LST) plays the lead role in coordinating work on access to diagnostics, working closely with test manufacturers, governments, and multilateral organizations to lower prices, scale up use of proven diagnostic tools and products that expand service delivery, and accelerate the entry and uptake of new innovative products for HIV, TB and HCV. LST’s work often catalyzes the market in an environment where funding streams are limited; LST works with high-volume, early-adopter countries to build a healthy, competitive global market for novel point-of-care (POC) and central lab-based products.


    Optimizing laboratory systems to ensure the right test is available to accurately and promptly diagnose and monitor diseases for patient management is critical. Selecting appropriate lab-based and POC products and implementing efficient sample transport and result delivery systems so that testing can be simplified to enable tasks to shift to lower cadres of healthcare workers, particularly in rural areas, are all aspects that can strengthen overall diagnostic systems. Several POC products for diagnosis, disease staging, and treatment monitoring have recently become available or are in development, with the potential to dramatically increase access to treatment, improve patient retention, and make healthcare systems more efficient. However, despite the potential advantages of new technologies, there are barriers that prevent adoption and scale-up in resource-limited settings (RLS), including regulatory hurdles and limited guidance on how to decentralize testing to lower-health tiers in more remote areas and integrate lab testing into broader primary health care. The OR Scientist, as part of LST’s technical team, will support the generation of critical evidence to promote the prompt and sustainable adoption of new technologies and integrated laboratory systems.


    The OR Scientist will support designing and conducting implementation science and operations research projects within LST’s portfolio of grants, with the aim of generating evidence on optimal service delivery of high quality and affordable diagnostic testing that will directly inform the development of evidence-based policy and expedite access to and scale up of high-quality diagnostic services.


    This role includes, but is not limited to, the following responsibilities:



    • Serve as a key technical advisor to CHAI country teams, governments and other partners to support the initial piloting and subsequent wide-scale implementation of new diagnostic products and ensure high quality testing, including training and quality assurance programs
    • Assist CHAI country teams and Ministries of Health to conduct evaluations of new diagnostic products (lab-based, POC and/or self-administered tests) as needed
    • Create research outputs that can be translated directly into practice, to drive market-shaping, investment cases and policy changes
    • Serve as a technical resource for LST and country team staff and interpret complex technical topics into digestible information


    Diagnostic Service Implementation:

    • Develop and conduct operational research studies that address critical diagnostic gaps, both globally and country-specific, and/or inform the design of optimal laboratory systems to maximize patient impact: develop human subjects research protocols, data collection tools, provide in-country support throughout the duration of studies and/or pilots, assist with data analysis and report/manuscript generation.
    • Identify critical gaps in current infectious disease diagnosis and monitoring, including conducting systematic literature reviews and meta-analyses in collaboration with other global LST members or other teams at CHAI.


    New Product Introduction:

    • Work with CHAI country teams to support governments to technically evaluate new technologies: develop evaluation and study protocols, data collection tools, patient consent forms and additional study materials; strengthen the technical capacity of governments to evaluate and implement these technologies
    • Provide technical advice on the scientific merits and pros and cons of various technologies to CHAI teams, government partners and external stake-holders: regularly monitor and keep up-to-date with the literature on diagnostic products, relevant to RLS; critically review, and develop materials to concisely share to varied audiences, both within CHAI and externally


    We are seeking a highly motivated individual with strong scientific credentials, analytical ability, and communication skills. The Scientist must be able to function independently and flexibly and have a deep commitment to excellence. CHAI places great value on relevant personal qualities: resourcefulness, responsibility, tenacity, independence, energy, and work ethic. This position will report directly to the HIV/HCV Scientific Lead on LST and will work in close collaboration with other LST staff.


    • Master’s degree in public health, microbiology, virology, immunology, epidemiology, or related biomedical field, plus 3-5 years work experience in a relevant field; or Ph.D in the same areas with relevant work experience
    • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to prepare and deliver compelling presentations, write concept notes and memos for non-scientific audiences and prepare manuscripts for publication;
    • Demonstrated expertise in rigorous quantitative and analytical methods including research/study design and implementation, design and data analysis, and dissemination
    • Ability to think strategically, handle ambiguity and work in a fast-paced, limited-structure, multicultural environment;
    • Ability to learn on the job quickly;
    • Detail-oriented with strong organization skills;
    • Ability to handle multiple work streams simultaneously and work independently;
    • High level of proficiency in Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint and Word;
    • Experience living or working abroad, particularly in resource-limited settings;


    Preferred experience:

    • Previous CHAI experience;
    • Familiarity with designing and analyzing qualitative research;
    • Demonstrated ability to conduct and promote the use of research for the scale up of successful interventions;
    • Proficiency in statistical packages (STATA, SAS or similar);
    • Familiarity with global health issues.



    • Available for travel up to 50%


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