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The Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Research (PAVIR) is seeking a SQL Programmer / Data Engineer to support Team Participatory System Dynamics (Team PSD) in leading a national quality improvement program in the Veterans Health Administration. Additionally, this position supports a multi-site implementation research study to improve the delivery of evidence-based addiction and mental health services among the Veteran population nationally.
The primary responsibility for this position is use of Structured Query Language (SQL) to query VA administrative data for two purposes: 1) NIH and VA-funded scientific research, and 2) use with frontline VA addiction and mental health staff who are participating in the quality improvement program, entitled Modeling to Learn.
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.
Modeling to Learn SQL/CDW Programming and Analysis Responsibilities:
  • Use Structured Query Language (SQL), SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS), and SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) to extract, analyze, and dashboard complex data from the VA Corporate Data Warehouse (CDW);
  • Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) data into warehouse databases, as well as large amount of code including numerous JOINs, complex JOINs, subqueries, stored procedures, indexes, temp tables and CTEs, and query optimization;
  • Perform analysis and estimation of parameters 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;
  • Maintain and update the Modeling to Learn data "User Interface" (Excel & SQL), which enables frontline staff to query the VA Corporate Data Warehouse (CDW) directly themselves.
  • Sustain and update the national Modeling to Learn data reports and visualization splash page on a VA Microsoft Business Intelligence Service Line (BISL) SharePoint Site;
  • Clean data, identify problems with data or coding, and resolve technical problems;
  • Monitor datasets and statistical deliverables for quality assurance;
  • Resolve any methodological issues or data interpretation issues.
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;
  • Create detailed online and written data presentation and information for scientific, operational and frontline audiences;
  • Contribute data preparation for peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts, NIH and VA project reports and grant submissions. Generate tables and graphs for publication.
Teamwork and Collaboration:
  • Function as the primary upstream data engineer in the Team PSD Quantitative Workgroup data "pipeline" who structures datasets for use by the system dynamics modelers, lead data scientist, principal investigator and co-investigators;
  • Develop goals and timelines, work breakdowns and time estimates on the Team PSD GitHub kanbans (the "issue tracker" and "feature tracker");
  • Practice advance preparation for and effective use of Workgroup Leads meeting, Support Workgroup Leads meeting and Quantitative Workgroup meeting to keep the project progressing and keep meeting time minimized;
  • Coordinate effectively with VA Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention programmers (OMHSP), VA engineers, project co-investigators and mentees to meet project goals;
  • Collaborate with other highly interdependent workgroups across Team PSD, including the simulation workgroup, facilitation workgroup, etc;
  • Develop data and 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;
  • Conduct analyses independently, yet solicit input and make adjustments based on input from team members; Produce analyses for iterative improvement based on stakeholder feedback.
Other Programming:
  • Write computer code to acquire data from primary or secondary data sources, implement and maintain data systems.
Required: Bachelor's degree (or equivalent experience) in computer science, statistics, mathematics, informatics, engineering or another quantitative field;
Desired: Master's degree in computer science, statistics, mathematics, informatics, engineering or another quantitative field.
Required: 3 years or more of related experience using SQL to program, manipulate and analyze large data sets;
  • Prior work using SQL in the VA Corporate Data Warehouse (CDW) environment;
  • Expertise in at least one statistical programming language (R and/or Python) is desired;
  • Experience working with clinical datasets;
  • Experience with regulated, federal data stores.
Knowledge / Skills / Abilities:
  • Comfortable dealing with large data sets;
  • SQL 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;
  • 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;
  • Effective interpersonal skills, excellent verbal communication and written skills.
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.