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Data Analyst / Technical Writer

The Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Research (PAVIR) is seeking a Data Analyst / Technical Writer to support Team Participatory System Dynamics (Team PSD) in leading a national quality improvement program in the Veterans Health Administration. The primary responsibility for this position is to interface among the Team PSD quantitative workgroup, which includes SQL programmers and data scientists, the Principal Investigator (PI) and co-investigators, Team PSD's management team, as well as other health system and scientific stakeholders.
This position will also support a multi-site implementation research study to improve the delivery of evidence-based addiction and mental health services among the Veteran population nationally.
The Quantitative Workgroup responsibilities include: 1) NIH and VA-funded scientific research, and 2) quantitative quality improvement resources with frontline VA addiction and mental health staff who are participating in the quality improvement program, entitled Modeling to Learn.
The ideal candidate will have expertise with reviewing, reading, documenting and communicating SQL and R code.
About Team PSD: we are working to change the way health care quality improvement decisions are made across all layers of the Veterans Health Administration. More details are here: and
This is a full-time position. Job location: Menlo park, CA.
  • Medical Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vacation
  • Sick Pay
  • 13 paid Holidays
  • Life Insurance - paid by PAVIR
  • Long-term Disability Insurance - paid by PAVIR
  • Short-term Disability Insurance - paid by PAVIR
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • 401(k) Retirement Plan with Company Match and Profit Share
  • Wellness Program
  • Commuter Benefits
PAVIR is affiliated with the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS). As a condition of employment, all PAVIR employees are required to have an approved appointment with VAPAHCS and complete a background check.
Teamwork and Collaboration:
  • Function as the primary team member who interfaces between the Quantitative Workgroup, who structure and analyze datasets, and the a) system dynamics modelers, principal investigator and co-investigators and other scientific team members and scientific stakeholders at VA and NIH who use these data, and the b) frontline healthcare staff (Modeling to Learn);
  • In conjunction with Team PSD's management team (known as "Headquarters" or "HQ") and the quantitative workgroup, develop goals and timelines, work breakdowns and time estimates, on the Team PSD GitHub kanbans (the "issue tracker" and "feature tracker");
  • Prepare for and effectively use Workgroup Leads meetings, Support Workgroup Leads meetings and Quantitative Workgroup meetings to keep the project progressing, and keep meeting time minimized;
  • Communicate and collaborate effectively with other highly interdependent workgroups across Team PSD;
  • Collaborate with other highly interdependent workgroups across Team PSD, including the Simulation Workgroup, Facilitation Workgroup, etc.;
  • Develop data, code management, and documentation protocols to ensure high-quality, transparent and reproducible code for use by a variety of Team PSD colleagues and VHA stakeholders, including the public.
Data Communication/Dissemination:
  • Use the Team PSD public-facing, open science platforms for daily workflow and documentation GitHub, Open Science Framework, Lucid Meetings, BaseCamp;
  • Create, update and maintain documentation for study set-up, directories, quality assurance monitoring, and Team PSD cross-training;
  • Support Lead Data Scientist and PI to create detailed online and written data presentations and information for scientific, operational and frontline audiences;
  • Contribute to data preparation for peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts, NIH and VA project reports and grant submissions. Generate tables and graphs for publication under the instruction of the Lead Data Scientist and PI.
Modeling to Learn Responsibilities:
  • Support a multi-site implementation research study to improve the delivery of evidence-based addiction and mental health services among the Veteran population nationally;
  • With support from the lead SQL Programmer, run queries and conduct analysis and estimation of parameters of data extracted from the VA Corporate Data Warehouse (CDW) for use in research reports and in existing Modeling to Learn system dynamics simulation models and simulation User Interface;
  • With support from the Lead Data Scientist, produce data analytic reports and visualizations using R;
  • Clean-data, identify problems with data or coding, and resolve technical problems;
  • Participate in code-reviews to identify efficient and well-annotated code for use by other Team Members and scientists;
  • Monitor and document datasets and statistical deliverables for quality assurance;
  • Report any methodological issues or data interpretation issues to the lead Data Scientist and Principal Investigator.
Required: Bachelor's degree (or equivalent experience) in statistics, public health, social science, informatics, engineering or another quantitative field;
Desired: Master's degree in public health, business, or social science field with an emphasis on quantitative skills.
  • 1 year or more of related experience interfacing between Analysts/programmers and a multidisciplinary team;
  • Prior work using SQL and R.
  • Experience working with health care datasets;
  • Experience writing and publishing peer reviewed scientific manuscripts;
  • Experience with clinical trials;
  • Experience with regulated, federal data stores.
Knowledge / Skills / Abilities:
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills, excellent verbal communication and written skills.
  • Fluency translating R and SQL code into written and oral English;
  • SQL expertise;
  • R and R studio expertise;
  • Commitment to use of Markdown and open science principles and platforms;
  • Ability to work well both independently and in a collaborative team;
  • Ability to communicate data requirements, as well as limitations to team members of a variety of disciplinary backgrounds;
  • Capability to produce reference documents and to outline work processes in writing;
  • Organized, detail-oriented, self-directed, and dependable;
  • Strong time management skills and ability to prioritize workload;
  • Able to learn VA regulations and procedures regarding research.
Physical Demands: Lifting up to 20 lbs occasionally, sitting and standing for long periods of time, bending, repetitive motion, etc.
Environmental Conditions: Office environment.
PAVIR engages in nonprofit medical research and works with sponsors and the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) in administering funds for conducting research to find new and improved ways to combat human disease and help people with disabilities. Please refer to our website for additional information: 
PAVIR is pleased to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. Minorities, Women, Veterans, and Individuals with a Disability are encouraged to apply. We welcome and encourage diversity in the workplace regardless of race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. If you need special assistance or an accommodation to apply for a posted position, please contact - Human Resources department. 

For more information, or to apply now, you must go to the website below. Please DO NOT email your resume to us as we only accept applications through our website.