Hiring: Research Assistant

Hiring: Research Assistant
August 27, 2020 Center for Surgery and Public Health

JOB TITLE: Research Assistant II

FLSA: Non-Exempt

GRADE: 420Z JOB CODE: 00920R

REPORTS TO: Principal Investigator (BWH: Goralnick/Overall: Miller)                 

DEPT: Center for Surgery and Public Health/Department of Surgery

Established in 2005 as a joint initiative of Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), CSPH’s (Center for Surgery and Public Health) mission is to advance the science of surgical care delivery by studying effectiveness, equity, and value at the health system and population levels, to inform policy, and to provide support for faculty and trainees committed to excellence in surgical health services research (HSR). CSPH’s expertise in HSR also informs its work in addressing the burden of surgical disease in lower and middle-income countries and resource-limited settings.


The Research Assistant will work on one project at the CSPH: Evaluating and Improving the Accuracy of ICD-Coded Hospital Data Systems in Estimating the Incidence of Nonfatal Firearm Injuries by Intent Type. Estimates of nonfatal firearm injury drawn from routinely collected hospital billing data underestimate assaults and overestimate unintentional injuries. This project will describe the extent to which these discrepancies occur across several states, identify the underlying reasons for biased estimates, and develop approaches that accurately classify hospital-treated firearm injuries.

The project involves investigators from multiple sites/universities/departments, including Northeastern University, The Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

The Research Assistant will work under the supervision of the site Principal Investigator and the research team. The RA will be trained to conduct chart reviews and subsequently conduct protocolized medical record reviews to establish “gold standard” classification of firearm injuries by intent type.   Review will be with electronic health records (EHR) that include discharge summaries, clinical notes, and behavioral health/social worker notes. These reviews will include coding of charts. In addition, the RA will assist in assembling tables from national and statewide hospital and mortality data to summarize expected and actual distribution of firearm injuries by intent and will conduct interviews with hospital managers responsible for overseeing or outsourcing ICD coding. 


  1. Assists in and conducts database management, data processing (e.g., collecting data and assembling tables), and data analysis.
  2. Conducts chart review and case classification.
  3. Assists in method development and study evaluation.
  4. Assists in conducting interviews with hospital managers responsible for ICD coding systems.
  5. Maintains confidential patient records and participant database.
  6. Answers any phone calls and inquiries regarding study protocol.
  7. Maintains regulatory documents and IRB as needed. Assists in report writing.
  8. All other duties, as assigned.


Bachelor’s degree or above in healthcare, informatics, or related fields. 1-2 years of professional experience in public health or clinical research.

Required Skills:

  • Good oral and written communication skills; no barriers to telephone interviewing.
  • Careful attention to detail.
  • Some familiarity with ICD diagnosis coding and medical records management
  • Excellent organizational skills and ability to prioritize a variety of tasks.
  • Ability to demonstrate professionalism and respect for subjects’ rights and individual needs.
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, Outlook).

Desired Skills:

  • Knowledge of clinical research protocols.
  • Knowledge of data collection and analysis programs (such as Stata, Atlas.ti, SAS).
  • Experience working in a medical records coding environment.




Each area should include working conditions specific to position. Please also include any specific physical requirements – lifting, bending, etc.

  • Work conditions are likely to be remote for at least the first quarter, and possibly longer.
  • Must have access to internet and ability to participate in online meetings.

For more information, please contact:

Melissa Poleo, MS

Administrative Director, CSPH