Public Health Research Scientist
***The Center for Health Statistics offers optional telework to its team members and this position is eligible for telework. ***
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) seeks highly qualified candidates to fill the Public Health Research Scientist position within the DSHS Center for Health Statistics (CHS), Agency Analytics Unit (AAU). The position offers an exciting opportunity to develop and implement innovative research projects, work with various public health datasets, and be part of a dynamic team environment.
The purpose of CHS is to make a difference every day by delivering public health data to meet public health practice and research needs.
CHS offers telework to its team members and this position is eligible for telework. In addition to rewarding, meaningful work, DSHS offers a variety of benefits, which can be found at https://ers.texas.gov/Benefits-at-a-Glance, and generous leave based on years of service. A list of State of Texas holidays is available at: http://www.hr.sao.texas.gov/Holidays
This position, a part of the Advanced Analytics Team within AAU:
Initiates and conducts advanced professional research and epidemiological projects related to state and community public health, health status, health utilization, and health care quality using CHS data and other available health-related data. Plans, applies, tests, and evaluates highly specialized statistical methods to research data based on scientifically sound principles. Creates and disseminates data analyses and products in support of public health situational awareness in the state. Coordinates the acquisition and management of datasets used for analysis and in support of other AAU teams. Procures and provides data to meet the needs of decisionmakers internal and external to DSHS. Develops and implements data management and analysis methods. Prepares research briefs, peer-reviewed journal articles, and other materials to disseminate the findings of data analyses. Proposes long-range research objectives and contributes to the team’s research agenda. Plans, schedules, and provides technical assistance to internal and external stakeholders. Reviews projects of other staff.
Work is performed under general direction from the Advanced Analytics Team Lead and AAU Director, with extensive latitude for the use of initiative and independent judgment.
Essential Job Functions:
EJF 1: Initiates and conducts advanced professional research and epidemiological projects in support of Advanced Analytics Team goals and objectives. Projects support the Center for Health Statistics (CHS) and Department of State Health Services (DSHS) decision makers, related to state and community public health, health status, health utilization, and health care quality using CHS data and other available health related data. Projects typically involve the analysis of complex data sets using advanced statistical techniques and specialized computer software. Study results are used to guide state and community health assessments, agency-wide program planning and evaluation, and state and national health policy development. Position prepares advanced research materials in formats appropriate for indicated target audience. (40%)
EJF 2: Prepares and manages data in response to requests from other DSHS program areas and agency staff, public health researchers, other governmental agencies, and the public. Responses to data requests typically involve processing and analysis of complex data sets using advanced statistical techniques and specialized computer software. Coordinates with other agency staff to collect and prepare datasets for analysis, data visualization, and dissemination. (30%)
EJF 3: Provides technical assistance to DSHS programs, data users, DSHS Leadership, and external partners related to analytical methodologies and best practices for using CHS and other public health data. Acts as a subject matter expert on research design, statistical methods, and analysis of CHS datasets. (25%)
EJF 4: Other duties as assigned include but are not limited to actively participating and/or serving in a supporting role to meet the agency’s obligations for disaster response and/or recovery or Continuity of Operations activation. Such participation may require an alternate shift pattern assignment and/or location (5%)
Knowledge Skills Abilities:
Knowledge of epidemiological research methods and principles.
Knowledge of quantitative and qualitative analysis methods.
Knowledge of database management and query methods.
Knowledge in information visualization theories and practices.
Knowledge of public health data sources including, but not limited to, vital events, health care utilization, and behavioral surveillance.
Knowledge of health data privacy and security standards and protocols.
Knowledge of advanced statistical concepts.
Knowledge of principles of informatics.
Skills in technical writing and documentation.
Skill in both verbal and written communications.
Skill in conducting literature reviews to inform research and epidemiological projects.
Skill in using SAS, R, or other analytical and statistical software.
Skill in manipulating large datasets.
Skill in both oral and written communications.
Skill in ensuring data quality, consistency, and accuracy.
Ability to effectively interact, and communicate with stakeholders and wide variety of audiences.
Ability to work in a team environment.
Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships.
Ability to demonstrate creativity, initiative, and innovation.
Ability to plan, organize and conduct complex research projects.
Ability to manage and analyze large databases.
Ability to interpret and publish research findings.
Initial Selection Criteria:
An advanced degree in social sciences, statistics, public health or a related field and at least two years of relevant public health work experience. Alternately, applicants with a bachelor's degree and at least 5 years of experience will also be considered.
Education/experience demonstrating utilization of data management and statistical software packages, as well as the application of epidemiological principles, statistical data analysis, and research methods and principles.