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Policy Research Assistant

Policy Research Assistant (Health Care Payment and Delivery Focus)
Robert J. Margolis, MD, Center for Health Policy
The Robert J. Margolis, MD, Center for Health Policy at Duke University (Duke-Margolis) seeks to address critical health policy challenges and improve health, health equity, and the value of health care through practical, innovative, and evidence-based policy solutions. The interdisciplinary nature of Duke-Margolis brings together policy experts, researchers, health care professionals, and students from across Duke’s schools of medicine, nursing, law, public policy, business, and engineering, and fosters extensive relationships with stakeholders both internal and external. These relationships span foundations, private sector organizations, state and federal governments, and global entities. The Center fosters excellence, leadership, and scholarship at every level.
Occupational Summary
This position supports Duke-Margolis projects with a variety of complex activities in research, writing, and analysis of quantitative and/or qualitative data within the scope of research and policy projects at Duke University. Primary responsibilities include conducting health policy-focused background research, drafting summary documents, performing literature reviews, contributing to a range of written deliverable types (e.g., policy briefs, white papers, blog posts, peer-reviewed publications), and supporting Center events and convening. This will include support for project activities through coordination and logistics management.
The worksite for this position will be the Duke-Margolis offices in either Washington, DC or on the Duke University campus in Durham, NC. Employees are currently working in a hybrid capacity with a combination of teleworking locally and in-person team collaboration.
Work Performed
Support and perform a variety of complex activities in research, writing, and analysis of quantitative and/or qualitative data within the scope of research projects at Duke University, focused on specializations in health policy. Contribute to one large or multiple smaller projects under the oversight of a principal investigator and/or senior researcher. In addition to health care delivery and payment reform, may also contribute to projects in areas of relevance in the health policy domain such as (but not limited to): biomedical innovation, medical product development, real-world data and evidence, regulatory science, medical device and pharmaceutical policy, health equity, global health, health systems transformation, and the intersection of scientific and regulatory advancement with broader US health policy reforms.
Collaborate with senior researchers to conduct research, perform literature reviews, draft summary documents, and perform extensive writing for a range of deliverable types (e.g., policy briefs, white papers, blog posts, public reports and recommendations, peer-reviewed journal articles) as assigned on a broad range of health policy topics.
Contribute to the identification of potential sources of qualitative and quantitative data, evidence, and information as appropriate for addressing project questions and objectives. Evaluate and interpret data collected from diverse sources. Synthesize and translate complex information from a wide range of inputs into clear and accessible written material for a range of audiences. Prepare oral and/or written reports and analyses to present findings, establish progress, analyze trends.
Produce high-quality written work products and deliverables. Implement and coordinate activities to execute assigned elements of plans and projects.
Support the execution of Duke-Margolis public and expert convenings (e.g., workshops, roundtables, seminars, other varied stakeholder meetings) through topic-focused policy research, preparatory analysis and writing to craft clear and concise materials for stakeholder and expert review and response, coordination, and logistics management for events ranging in size from focused expert panels to large-scale public events.
Support principal investigators and senior researchers in developing draft presentations and speaking points.
Maintain liaison with project participants, project personnel, faculty members, and other relevant parties to support project deliverables and objectives. Coordinate project activities and logistics with stakeholders, industry representatives, and policy professionals as required to support project execution, data collection, and/or dissemination of findings.
Support senior researchers in event planning and preparation. Coordinate with senior researchers and administrative staff to organize and plan convening activities and events relevant to targeted scientific and policy issues.
Contribute to strong and supportive working relationships across the project team(s) and Center.
Desired Skills:
  • Strong research and writing experience is required.
  • Policy research skills, including the ability to synthesize content from a broad range of sources, are required.
  • Strong written communication skills and the ability to transform complicated information into easy to understand materials are required.
  • Ability to interact professionally with senior-level individuals (e.g., local, state, and national policymakers), stakeholders, and organizations is required.
  • Ability to work effectively both independently and as part of a collaborative team is required.
  • Must be comfortable working in a fast-paced environment with varied responsibilities and able to respond flexibly to changing needs.
  • Proficient in use of standard computing software (including Microsoft Word, Outlook, Excel, and PowerPoint); capacity to learn additional job-specific programs as required.
  • Training or experience in the fields of health policy, public policy, public health, data science, or patient safety is preferred.
  • Administrative, project coordination, and/or project management experience is preferred.

Minimum Qualifications



Typically requires a Bachelor's degree in a field related to the position (e.g., policy, public health, public administration, economics, science, engineering, law, or field directly related to the position).


No experience required above education/training requirements.

Engagements are renewable annually upon funding availability from the Center. Candidates seeking work experience prior to pursuing graduate or other professional school training are encouraged to apply.

To be considered for this position, applicants must submit materials online. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. As part of Duke University's COVID-19 policies and procedures, all faculty and staff are required to have a COVID-19 vaccination or an approved medical or religious exemption as a condition of employment.
The intent of this job description is to provide a representative and level of the types of duties and responsibilities that will be required of positions given this title and shall not be construed as a declaration of the total of the specific duties and responsibilities of any particular position. Employees may be directed to perform job-related tasks other than those specifically presented in this description.
Duke University was created in 1924 through an indenture of trust by James Buchanan Duke. Today, Duke is regarded as one of America’s leading research universities. Located in Durham, North Carolina, Duke is positioned in the heart of the Research Triangle, which is ranked annually as one of the best places in the country to work and live. Duke has more than 15,000 students who study and conduct research in its 10 undergraduate, graduate and professional schools. With about 40,000 employees, Duke is the third largest private employer in North Carolina, and it now has international programs in more than 150 countries.

Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.
Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.