Research Scientist

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas
Closing date
May 31, 2022

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Health Sciences
Organization Type
The Research Scientist in the Department of Health Services Research plans, organizes, coordinates, directs and participates in scientific research projects conducted by the Toumazis Lab. The Research Scientist determines specific goals or objectives to be attained and revises techniques or approaches to work problems. The Research Scientist will take the lead on developing decision-analytic models to address vexing problems throughout the cancer care continuum, designing research protocols, and presenting research findings to professional groups. The Research Scientist will supervise the design, development, validation, and implementation of decision analytical models and participate in dissemination and implementation research studies. S/he will compile, write, and submit reports and prepare documents for publication as well as attend staff and research team meetings while working in cooperation with trainees and research collaborators in support of the Lab's research agenda. The Research Scientist serves as a representative of the Lab and carries out the research agenda. The Research Scientist will serve as an enthusiastic, professional, and self-motivated team member and leader in a growing, fast-paced environment.

Key Functions

Decision Analytic Modeling
  • Develops mathematical models to optimize sequential medical decision-making under uncertainty.
  • Develops microsimulation models for decision analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis.
  • Coordinates the design, development, and validation of decision-analytic models.
  • Analyzes data extracted from cancer registries and/or institutional databases to inform the decision models.
  • Maintains production and source documents.
  • Understands scientific and technical writing, accurately summarizing technical messages for various audiences.

General Project Implementation
  • Creates and manages multiple complex timelines with varying contingencies and feedback loops. Exudes flexibility and understanding in instances of uncertainty.
  • Intuitively anticipates project barriers and reassesses project milestones and timelines as needed, focusing on achieving end goals within set time frames.
  • Maintains, encourages, and enhances communication with multiple parties at various project sites simultaneously, proactively responding to numerous demands in a time-sensitive manner.
  • Maintains open lines of communication with project sites. Is comfortable and skilled in communication in person and by phone and email. Actively listens to team members and project contacts.
  • Exhibits excellent organizational and project management skills, identifying project deliverables and implementing study initiatives to achieve measurable change.
  • Fastidiously documents processes, communications, and project decisions for later use in publications and reporting. Uses previous notes and data to improve future performance.

  • Develops and maintains regulatory binder, source documents, and research databases.
  • Writes, submits, and maintains study protocols.
  • Develops and maintains standard procedures and protocols to ensure the quality and integrity of research data to be obtained.
  • Creates procedure manuals, trains staff on protocol procedures, and assists with preparation for IRB audits.

Leadership Guidance
  • Serves in a leadership role for project implementation, provides feedback to faculty members, and receives instruction from principal investigators.
  • Determines specific goals or objectives to be attained, evaluates research data, and revises techniques and approaches to work problems.
  • Informs the principal investigator of project developments and advises on best steps to ensure project completion, adherence to regulatory standards, and quality of data.
  • Identifies and implements strategies to enhance collaboration between investigators and clinical or research scientists.

Data Management and Analysis
  • Prepares data and information related to protocols, grants, abstracts, and manuscript submissions as needed.
  • Facilitates data entry and data management in study databases with precision and in a timely manner.

Professional Publications and Meetings
  • Independently composes technical reports, abstracts, slide presentations, spreadsheets, posters, and manuscripts for submission to corporate and federal sponsors, conferences, and scientific journals.
  • Assists investigators with the preparation of grants and papers, including drafting documents, scientific analysis, and editing.
  • Presents findings of research projects to professional groups.
  • Proofreads galley proofs of manuscripts nearing publication.
  • Prepares documents for publication by reviewing analyses and interpretations of data to ensure accuracy and alignment with research data. Ensure clarity of expression.
  • Prepares reports for project funders and presentations or publications for dissemination of information related to the project.

Other duties as assigned.

Required: PhD in one of the natural sciences or related field or Medical degree.

Preferred: PhD industrial engineering, operations research, computer science, health services research, epidemiology, health-outcomes research, biostatistics, data science or a related quantitative field

Required: With PhD, no experience required. With Medical degree, two years of experience in experimental or scientific work.

  • Prior experience in data analytics, applications of operations research to public health and medical decision making is highly desired.
  • Previous grant writing experience.
  • Expertise in Markov decision process (MDP)/partially observable MDP (POMDP) is required
  • Possess a logical and independent mind.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills such as patience, determination, flexibility, and decisiveness.
  • Excellent listening, verbal and written communication, analytical, and research skills.
  • Excellent scientific and numerical skills with meticulous attention to details and accuracy.
  • Ability to work in a multi-disciplinary team environment, to participate actively, to collaborate and to motivate others.
  • Adaptable to change and able to think creatively to address issues.

It is the policy of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to provide equal employment opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, age, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or any other basis protected by institutional policy or by federal, state or local laws unless such distinction is required by law.

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