Senior Professional Research Assistant

Job description


University of Colorado – School of Public Health

Senior Professional Research Assistant


The University of Colorado Denver l Anschutz Medical Campus seeks individuals with demonstrated commitment to creating an inclusive learning and working environment.  We value the ability to engage effectively with students, faculty and staff of diverse backgrounds.

 NATURE OF WORKThe Colorado School of Public Health has an opening for a full-time Senior Professional Research Assistant (Sr. PRA) who will be primarily responsible for assisting with promoting preventive cancer screening and increasing screening rates among the medically underserved. The grant-supported programs collaborate with safety net, primary care clinics and their service partners statewide to implement evidence-based interventions for preventive cancer screening to medically underserved individuals focusing on patient navigation as the primary activity.

The Sr. PRA will work with the Program Director and other program personnel to help design, implement, and evaluate interventions to increase cancer screening rates (specific focus on colorectal cancer screening, lung cancer screening, family history and genetic screening for high risk families, and also breast and cervical cancer screening) and examine sustainability of the role and function of patient navigation. This position utilizes existing data and program implementation frameworks and processes for navigation and preventive screening public health programs addressing cancer prevention through clinics, health systems and community-clinical linkages. The Sr. PRA will help the clinics develop improved practices for patient navigation, assist with education and training of clinic personnel, provide technical assistance in intervention implementation and evaluation, and ensure clinics and patient navigators meet program requirements and guide patients through preventive cancer screening. The position must use expertise in clinic policies and workflow, health systems transformation, data management tools, and evaluation approaches for evidence-based strategies in health systems to increase preventive services. This position frequently intersects with all levels of health systems staff to develop, implement and evaluate projects. This position also provides expertise of the evidence base behind interventions, related surveillance data, and current literature on promising practices, resources, and trends in the field. The position also requires assistance with administrative tasks such as budget monitoring.

Knowledge of and ability to work with health professionals from health care systems, clinical quality improvement strategies, clinical workflow and policies, quantitative and qualitative data analysis and familiarity with electronic health records. Strong written and oral communication skills with individuals in a variety of roles are key to the position.  General quantitative evaluation strategies will be required for this position with experience in qualitative research approaches.

The Sr. PRA will work closely with the program’s clinical teams, administrative leadership, partners in evaluation and training efforts. The Sr. PRA will collaborate with other programs such as the American Cancer Society, Rocky Mountain Public Health Training Center, Colorado Cancer Coalition, regional and national organizations to implement and examine evidence-based interventions and sustainability approaches. Weekend and off-hour activities are sometimes required. Some overnight travel may also be required.

SUPERVISION RECEIVEDDirector, Andrea (Andi) Dwyer, Colorado Cancer Screening Program  


Possible mentor/preceptor of student MPH workers; potentially could include direct supervision of permanent staff.


Program Administrative Activities

  • Serve as lead in project management of grant related activities
  • Coordinate and schedule meetings across several teams and agencies
  • Organize routine meetings with program teams to meet primary goals and objectives
  • Ensure coordination approaches to maintain momentum of team and meet the goals of short and longer term objectives
  • Serve as primary liaison for the participating safety net clinics, evaluation and health system teams for implementation and evaluation strategies related to screening and sustainability.
  • Monitor screening allocations, coordination with fiscal department and program Director for review of budget and planning.
Program planning and implementation

  • Coordinate and facilitate discussions with program leadership and key opinion leaders in the area of evidence-based interventions related to preventive cancer screening and patient navigation
  • Help design and carry out interventions to increase cancer screening rates by helping the clinics to develop and improve practices for patient navigation and care coordination for the medically underserved    
  • Work with subject matter experts and assist in developing and carrying out training and technical assistance for clinic personnel about evidence-based strategies to increase preventive cancer screening rates.
  • Assist in the development of educational materials and teaching tools and supplements for use by the safety net clinics as well as working with community organizations, such as local public health agencies for interventions to promote CRC screening and measure their effectiveness    
  • Collaborate with other programs such as the Colorado Cancer Coalition, the American Cancer Society, CDPHE regional and national organizations.
Program evaluation activities using qualitative and quantitative techniques

  • Work closely with senior investigators to develop and implement evaluation strategies, data collection instruments, and analytic plans. 
  • Collect, code, and analyze quantitative data through survey and reporting instruments; analyze data in analytical software, and distill key themes based on knowledge of programs, relevant theory, and key evaluation questions.
  • Collect qualitative data through participant observation using structured protocols; develop data collection tools for key informant interviews; focus groups, and other techniques.
  • Coordinate logistics of data collection.
  • Provide technical assistance to community clinic personnel to assure proper data collection, data entry and submission 
  • Serve as an evaluation liaison to assigned client groups (involves attending client meetings, participating in national/international conference calls, documenting calls and meetings).
  • Lead in development of reports, visual presentations, monthly, quarterly and annual reports and grant applications
  • Collect, analyze data and generate reports, visual presentation, and grant applications that aid the program and for dissemination of program outcomes, effectiveness, and quality improvement to clinics and stakeholders.
  • Carry out scientific literature reviews of effective patient navigation and health intervention studies to promote cancer screening, and to identify policies and practices that increase screening rates in safety net settings; synthesize findings and apply insights

  • Proficiency in collecting quantitative data through survey platforms and electronic databases and building reports and summarizing data from these platforms. 
  • Proficiency in collecting qualitative data through interviews and structured observation.
  • Proficiency in MS-Office software, Qualtrics, at least one quantitative analytic software (e.g., SPSS, SAS, R) and at least one qualitative analytic software (e.g., nVivo, Atlas.TI, NUD*IST). 
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively in a dynamic team.
  • Proficient analytic and problem-solving skills to prioritize and execute tasks under pressure.
  • Strong writing and verbal communication skills; ability to tailor written, visual and verbal presentations to specific audiences.
  • Ability to develop task lists and timelines in response to established deadlines. 
  • Ability to communicate effectively with individuals from a broad spectrum of disciplines and personal experiences.
  • Excellent attention to detail.
Salary and Benefits:

The salary range for this position has been established at $58,750-$62,250 annually.  

The University of Colorado offers a full benefits package. Information on University benefits programs, including eligibility, is located at Employee Services.


University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus is dedicated to ensuring a safe and secure environment for our faculty, staff, students and visitors. To assist in achieving that goal, we conduct background checks for all new employees prior to their employment.


The Immigration Reform and Control Act requires that verification of employment eligibility be documented for all new employees by the end of the third day of work. Alternative formats of this ad are available upon request for persons with disabilities.


Your total compensation goes beyond the number on your paycheck. The University of Colorado provides generous leave, health plans and retirement contributions that add to your bottom line.



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Diversity and Equity:


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Office of Equity:


The University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus is committed to recruiting and supporting a diverse student body, faculty and administrative staff. The university strives to promote a culture of inclusiveness, respect, communication and understanding. We encourage applications from women, ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities and all veterans. The University of Colorado is committed to diversity and equality in education and employment.


  • Master’s Degree in Public Health or Science in Public Health or related field

  • Experience with program evaluation

  • At least 1 year of experience applying quantitative evaluation techniques.

  • Demonstrated ability to manage and complete multiple, ongoing assignments

  • Proficient user of MS-Office applications. 

  • Experience in Qualtrics and RedCAP; and building reports and summarizing data from these platforms. 

  • Proficiency in quantitative analytic software (e.g., SAS, SPSS, Stata, R). 

  • Experience in data collection, entry and analysis.

  • Demonstrated professional report-writing experience.

  • Must have the ability to lift up to 25 pound boxes

  • Must have reliable transportation and valid driver’s license and ability to travel statewide.

Applicants must meet minimum qualifications at the time of hire.


  • Proficiency in qualitative analytic software (e.g. nVivo, Atlas.TI, NUD*IST). 

  • One (or more) years of experience in cancer control or preventive cancer screening

  • Experience working with safety net community clinics to carry out preventive cancer screening

  • One (or more) years of experience in patient navigation, community health work or care coordination in safety net clinics

  • Prior publication of technical report/ manuscripts and/or presentations of research

  • Experience with healthcare environment

  • Bilingual and/or bicultural

  • Familiarity with EMR and claims databases, and possible uses and limitations to data from these sources

  • Demonstrated ability to work well in a strong team environment 

Job Category: Faculty
Primary Location: Aurora
Schedule: Full-time
Posting Date: Sep 14, 2020
Unposting Date: Ongoing




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Job No:
Posted: 9/18/2020
Application Due: 10/20/2020
Work Type: