Medical Social Sciences

Research Assistant Professor or Research Associate (non-faculty)

We are recruiting for a research faculty or research associate (non-faculty) position in Medical Social Sciences, a department within Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. The Department provides a unique scientific home for applied researchers who integrate biomedical and social science approaches to improvement of health and health care delivery across the lifespan.

The research faculty member will join the Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing (ISGMH), which is directed by Dr. Brian Mustanski, and the IMPACT LGBT Health and Development Program. The IMPACT Program conducts translational and community-engaged research that improves the health of the LGBT community, with a particular focus on HIV prevention in youth. It also seeks to develop the clinical research capacity of the community. Since 2008, IMPACT has been the home to over a dozen federal- and foundation-funded research and training projects. The IMPACT Program’s multidisciplinary team includes eight doctoral-level scientists, multiple masters’ level staff, a team of data managers, and full-time program managers and assistants for research and administrative support.

The research faculty or research associate will serve as the Project Director for a study evaluating the efficacy of a couples-based HIV prevention and healthy relationship program for young same-sex male couples, which was recently funded by NIH (PI: Dr. Michael Newcomb). The goal of this project is to integrate primary and secondary HIV prevention activities for couples, and to conduct a comparative effectiveness randomized controlled trial of the program relative to existing practice. The Project Director will be involved in all phases of the project from design to deliverables, will identify critical tasks and personnel required to complete projects successfully, and will monitor project status and ensure that tasks and deliverables are completed on time.
Specific Responsibilities:

  • Hire, train, and supervise project staff, including the Scheduling & Retention Coordinator, Research Assistants, and intervention facilitators.
  • Direct day-to-day operations of the project: (1) drafting and adapting research and IRB protocols; (2) overseeing participant recruitment and retention; (3) overseeing trial implementation; convening Data Safety Monitoring Board meetings; (4) overseeing data collection; and (5) assuring compliance with all data collection standards.
  • Manage project budgets, track expenditures, and fulfill reporting requirements.
  • Disseminate study findings through trainings with local CBOs and the IMPACT Program website; Possibilities exist for participating in the preparation of journal publications and presenting findings at regional and national meetings.
  • Conduct and lead project planning meetings and/or conference calls when required.
  • Develop new skills as needed to meet project demands.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Successful candidates must have a Ph.D. or equivalent and a minimum of 2 years of relevant research experience in a medical or social science research environment.
  • Minimum 1-2 years of experience with project coordination including scientific proposals, budgets, contracts and tracking of project timelines.
  • Ability to plan, direct and coordinate a research project proposal, needing minimal direction in addressing day-to-day tasks.
  • Ability to manage competing priorities.
  • Ability in high-level problem solving.
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to communicate effectively one-to-one, in small groups and in public speaking contexts.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • More than 5 years experience in a medical or social science research environment including experience in study design, project coordination, and data analysis.
  • Experience working with multidisciplinary teams of researchers.
  • Experience in HIV research, research with YMSM, and/or LGBT health.
  • Experience with clinical trials.


Please send a curriculum vitae and a detailed cover letter outlining your relevant experience, training, and skills to Michael Newcomb, Ph.D. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

The level of appointment will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.   Northwestern University is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States. Download PDF of the announcement.