Research Associate, RPCA @ Boston College

April 13, 2021
Job Description

Research Associate

Competitive salary commensurate with relevant experience.

The Research Program on Children and Adversity (RPCA) at the School of Social Work is an applied research program dedicated to improving the evidence base on the epidemiology of mental health problems and family functioning as well as intervention research to develop and test mental health services for children and families affected by multiple forms of adversity, including armed conflict, poverty, and infectious disease. The Scaling of an Evidence-Based Playful Parenting Intervention project links with an evidence-based, home-visiting model (Sugira Muryango; SM) that supports playful parenting, father engagement, improved nutrition, care seeking and family functioning -- to promote Early Child Development, positive parent-child relationships, and healthy child development. This scaling out implementation science hybrid design will enable RPCA to 1) expand SM to younger children (0-6 months); 2) increase by almost tenfold the number of children impacted by the intervention; 3) increase the use of technology to accelerate feedback; and, 4) test an evidence-based implementation strategy, the Promoting Lasting Anthropometric Change and Young Children’s Development (PLAY) Collaborative, to engage local stakeholders and frontline providers and supervisors to ensure quality improvement and sustainability. The Research Associate reports to Dr. Theresa S. Betancourt, RPCA Director and Principal Investigator.

Government and Stakeholder Relations (50%): Create an in-country Implementation Science Consortium of NGOS, policymakers, and academics from the University of Rwanda to leverage in-country expertise, build capacity, and create a community of practice around implementation science that is relevant to the Rwandan context. Collaborate with fellow Research Associate to engage in-country networks and work across the PLAY Collaborative. Assume supportive role to community leaders ensuring vital implementation science indicators are captured and fed back to government parties.

Quantitative and Qualitative Data Analysis Management (50%): Develop a data dictionary that standardizes data across sites
Develop and implement procedures for data quality checks; Ensure that all processes for data entry and query resolution meet Good Clinical Practice requirements for the entry and reporting of clinical data; Develop a data quality plan and data management plan in coordination with study investigators; Develop and maintain multiple databases for study clinical and implementation science data Prepare study data for analysis in STATA statistical software package. Design, develop and execute implementation-science-informed statistical analysis leveraging research study databases in conjunction with study staff and other statisticians. Apply statistical analysis using multilevel modeling, coding, and multiple imputations to address missing data using STATA. Produce tables and figures depicting results of analyses, along with written interpretation. Utilize mixed methodologies to triangulate, analyze and interpret qualitative and quantitative data using STATA and MAXQDA.

Working Conditions: This will be based in Rwanda with expected travel between Boston and Rwanda. Within Rwanda, travel between sites in required.


Doctoral degree, preferably in Public Health, Implementation Science, Social Work, Developmental Psychology, Mental Health, Epidemiology, or other related field. Strong ability in the use of advanced statistical and computational programming. Proficiency in utilizing computer applications including Microsoft Office, STATA, R, MAXQDA, and other applicable quantitative and qualitative data analysis platforms. Knowledge of programming using a common language like R. Strong background in implementation science to include hybrid design, cluster randomized control trials, longitudinal studies, and quality improvement approaches to fidelity and supervision that relate to long-term sustainability and scalability. Some background related to conducting research in culturally diverse contexts, preferably in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs). Publication record that demonstrates the candidate's capacities is also desirable. Expert knowledge of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies including mixed-methods. Understanding of the application of technology both for data collection as well as routine symptom monitoring, fidelity monitoring and quality improvement efforts in global mental health and child development.

Apply here.