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Job Opportunity: Project Lead: for HRA’s Inclusive Grantmaking Initiative, Civic Science Associate Position

Posted by on Thursday, September 8, 2022 in Announcements, Job Opportunities .


Position Background
The Health Research Alliance (HRA) is seeking a Project Lead for our new Inclusive Grantmaking Initiative (IGI). The Project Lead will also be a Civic Science Associate and part of the Rita Allen Foundation’s Civic Science Program.
HRA has long been committed to increasing the diversity of the scientific workforce and decreasing health disparities. A lack of diversity adversely impacts researchers’ promotion rates, grant funding attainment, mentorship opportunities, and representation in leadership positions. In addition, troubling health disparities result from socioeconomic inequity, bias, and structural racism. Striving for a more diverse healthcare workforce not only improves patient care outcomes, but also allows organizations to be more productive, creative, and innovative.

HRA has undertaken numerous projects across many of HRA’s Communities, to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts among HRA members and across the wider biomedical research funding community. To bring these many diverse yet synergistic endeavors together, we have created a singular effort: the HRA “Inclusive Grantmaking Initiative” (IGI). Through the IGI, we are working to learn, share, and implement successful strategies to eliminate racism, discrimination, and bias not only in research but across the broad healthcare ecosystem.

The launch of the IGI was spurred by “Strategies for inclusive grantmaking”. This commentary was written by several HRA members including the DEI Community cochairs and was included in Nature Medicine’s Future of Cancer Research issue (April 2022). The commentary highlighted the fact that grantmaking organizations play a crucial role in increasing diversity and equity in the biomedical workforce. The commentary’s authors suggest that collecting demographic data, increasing the diversity of applicants, and reducing bias in peer review are three valuable strategies to achieve these goals. The IGI Project Lead will identify and design studies to test and evaluate the success of strategies to achieve all of these goals. Of course, dissemination and adoption of successful strategies will be essential to the IGI’s success.

Position Summary
The IGI Project Lead: Civic Science Associate is a one-year fulltime position with the potential for a second year. The Project Lead will use their administrative, scientific, and cultural competency experience to manage the operations of the IGI, and work with HRA members to pilot studies to test interventions identified thus far. The Project Lead will also have the opportunity to research other promising strategies, analyze effectiveness data (where available), identify partners and projects, and design studies to test interventions. They will also be an integral part of the analysis and dissemination of the results.
Working with HRA staff and volunteers from HRA member organizations, the Project Lead will expand the initial efforts of the DEI Community to identify potential strategies in at least three areas (Peer Review, Diversity Strategies, and Demographic Data Collection) that were identified in the DEI Community’s survey analyses.

Ongoing/Potential Projects Include:
1. Development of a guide to equitable and informative data collection
2. Creation of Bias Reduction Training Models for staff and reviewers
3. Studying of the value of and challenges to redacting grant applicant identifiers (“blinded” peer review) as part of grant review
4. Exploring mentoring strategies including high-touch mentoring models
5. Developing guidance to encourage and enhance applicant resubmission

The Project Lead will have the opportunity to attend all HRA hosted in-person and remote learning and networking opportunities, including Professional Development Program events and HRA’s in-person Members Meetings.

Additional Program Resources
The IGI Project Lead: Civic Science Associate will also be part of the Civic Science Associate Pilot program which is part of the broader Rita Allen Foundation’s Civic Science Program. Civic Science Associates will become part of the Civic Science Fellows network with opportunities to participate by:
• Taking part in plenary gatherings with other members of the civic science network with Civic Science Fellows and host and funding partners;
• Participating in other network events and opportunities, e.g., workshops, panels, and celebrations;
• Having access to a civic science resource library, including tools, recordings, and other learning components developed through the Civic Science Fellows program, and opportunities to contribute to these resources;
• Participation in design review teams and other feedback- and collaboration-focused opportunities to inform and help shape program resources, events, and structures;
• Having access to a program Slack channel and other communication channels available to the network to share ideas, asks, offers, and opportunities for connection.

Civic Science Associates will also have opportunities to meet with other Associates and be invited to join a peer coaching circle. The Peer Coaching Circle model was shared with the Rita Allen Foundation by Rita Allen’s program equity advisor and collaborator Joyce Yen, Director of the ADVANCE Center for Institutional Change at University of Washington, as an active-listening and question-asking structure to help identify and meet personal and professional goals.

The salary range is $60,000 to $80,000, based on experience and skills.
Required Education, Experience, Knowledge, Skills, and Ability
• Advanced degree in life sciences, statistics, or other related fields
• Research background, including experience designing and analyzing studies, and data management
• Project management experience
• Demonstrated experience with diversity, equity and inclusion concepts, and the ability to articulate such concepts to enhance others’ understanding
• Strong communication skills (both written and verbal)

Valued Non-Essential Education, Experience, Knowledge, Skills, and Ability
• Experience with grant/proposal review process
• Demonstrated understanding of cultural values and norms of various communities, particularly of traditionally underrepresented or marginalized communities
• Sensitivity toward and understanding of barriers that may lead to lack of access and engagement in the research enterprise
• Ability to collaborate, build coalitions, and work effectively with a diverse set of stakeholders

How to Apply
Send an email to with the Subject Line “IGI Project Lead”. Please attach a cover letter, resume, and a separate document describing your experiences in the three areas below. Please limit responses to no more than 250 words per response.
1. Project management
2. Designing and analyzing studies (include any relevant publications)
3. Advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion
The application deadline is September 26, 2022.

Hiring Statement
The Health Research Alliance (HRA) is a 501(c)(3) public charity, and collaborative member organization of nonprofit research funders committed to maximizing the impact of biomedical research to improve human health. HRA and HRA members are committed to providing a friendly, safe, and welcoming environment for all, respecting the full spectrum of race, color, religious creed, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, and all other classifications protected by law.

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