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Non-Faculty Academic Position, Specialist (Full-Time)

Recruitment Period

Open date: May 21st, 2020

Next review date: Friday, Jun 5, 2020 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Sunday, Nov 21, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.


Non-Faculty Academic Position, Specialist (Full-Time)
The Institute for Health & Aging
School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco

The Institute for Health & Aging at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Nursing announces a search for an academic, non-faculty position to be filled by July 1, 2020 (or as negotiated). Appointment will be in the Specialist series. This position is permanently based in San Francisco, CA.

The Institute for Health & Aging (IHA) is an organized research unit that aims to foster multidisciplinary collaborative research, education, and public service in the fields of health policy, population health, economics, and social science research, including the process of aging over the life course. Faculty at the Institute represent multiple disciplines and health professions, including sociology, psychology, anthropology, political science, economics, public administration, public health, social work, nursing, medicine, and law.

We are seeking a Research Specialist with expertise in human-centered design (HCD) and mixed methods research to collaborate on a new study that aims to evaluate how self-injection (SI) of the contraceptive method DMPA-SC (depot medroxyprogesterone acetate administered subcutaneously) can be implemented to support informed contraceptive choice and use from the perspective of women in Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, and Uganda.

This study is designed to obtain a deeper understanding of women’s contraceptive decision-making and identify promising approaches to help unlock the full potential of SI to meet women’s needs and support reproductive autonomy. Through a spectrum of different research methods to be implemented in Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, and Uganda, we will: 1) explore which women are most likely to be interested in using SI; 2) identify and test promising program implementation approaches across a variety of settings, channels, and user groups that directly support the needs of women who can benefit from SI to access and effectively use it; and 3) investigate the relationship between SI and sexual and reproductive empowerment and autonomy. This study is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and will be carried out in collaboration between researchers from various departments within the Schools of Medicine and Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco, and academic partners in the four study countries.


We are seeking a research specialist with a strong background in human-centered design and mixed methods research to contribute to the program development and piloting component of the project over the course of two years. The research specialist will be part of the larger study team based at UCSF. Working in close collaboration with the study Principal Investigators, Dr. Jenny Liu and Dr. Kelsey Holt, the research specialist will significantly contribute to and lead certain primary data collection activities across different study countries, as well as conduct analyses of resulting data for publication in peer-reviewed academic journals and other dissemination materials. They will collaborate with other team members of each study country, including co-Investigators, UCSF research staff (e.g., Project Director, research assistants), and in-country research teams to oversee implementation of data collection, insight generation, solution convergence, prototype and A/B testing, and intervention piloting and evaluation. The research specialist will work closely with all teams to conduct data analyses, synthesis, manuscript preparation, and information dissemination.

An important role of the research specialist will be to support capacity building of in-country partners in human-centered design. The research specialist will be expected to travel a substantial amount over the course of two years to facilitate collaboration with, and capacity building of, in-country research teams.

The research specialist will be supported to lead planned study analyses. In collaboration with study PIs, the research specialist may also propose supplemental research questions or activities that may contribute to their own research agenda, subject to feasibility and agreement by in-country study partners. Opportunities to further pursue independent research (e.g., through collaboration on other research projects and/or with other PIs, grant writing, skills building workshops or trainings) is also encouraged and can be discussed as opportunities arise.


We are looking for someone who is enthusiastic, self-directed, and highly collegial. The Research specialist must possess (or in process of obtaining) a PhD (or the equivalent) in a social science, engineering, or health science field. Applicants must have obtained the required degree by the time of hire. Applicant’s materials must list (pending) qualifications upon submission. The research specialist should have strong track record demonstrating mastery of mixed methods research and/or human-centered design approaches. Ideally, the research specialist should have some prior knowledge and research implementation experience related to sexual and reproductive, maternal, or child health. Research experience in low-resource settings, especially in Africa, and ideally in at least two of the study countries, is highly valued. Ability to make at least four international trips per year is expected. Excellent communication and exemplary writing skills, effective time management and organization, and attention to detail and precision are imperative.

To Apply:

Interested applicants should submit the following materials at

• Cover letter that includes: qualifications based on the position details above; description of prior research experience including methods used; dates of availability
• Names and contact information for at least three references
• Statement of Research
• Current CV
• Academic writing sample

UC San Francisco seeks candidates whose experience, teaching, research, and community services have prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and excellence.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status.

Job location

San Francisco, CA


Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter - Cover letter that includes: qualifications based on the position details above; description of prior research experience including methods used; dates of availability

  • Statement of Research

  • Statement of Teaching (Optional)

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity (Optional)

  • Academic Writing Sample

Reference requirements
  • 3 required (contact information only)