Job Opportunities

Read Employee Empowerment: The Key to Foundation Staff Satisfaction from the Center for Effective Philanthropy.

 

RESEARCH ASSOCIATE 

Policy & Research 

The Commonwealth Fund 

THE ORGANIZATION 

The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation that aims to promote a high performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for two groups of people: High-need and high-cost individuals – the sickest 5 percent of Americans who account for 50 percent of health care costs, and America’s most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, ethnic and racial minorities, and the elderly. The Fund carries out this mandate by supporting independent research on health care issues and making grants to improve health care practice and policy. In so doing, the Fund has become a national leader in investigation and policy development related to tracking the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, reforming the health care delivery system, international health policy and practice, cost control and Medicare. The Fund has an endowment of $700 million, and an annual budget of $32 million, approximately 60 percent if which is spent extramurally on grants and 40 percent intramurally on developing programs, conducting research, and communicating results to influential audiences. 

SUMMARY POSITION DESCRIPTION 

The Research Associate reports to the Senior Vice President for Policy and Research and supports all of his efforts:

  • The Senior Vice President for Policy and Research (SVP-PR) reports to the Executive Vice President for Programs and serves as a member of the Fund’s Executive Management Team (EMT). In this inherently cross cutting role the SVP-PR adds value to the organization’s work in all of its core areas. This includes working with other Fund staff to develop the research design of grant proposals and future publications as well as reviewing those proposals or publications. The SVP-PR participates in deliberations about the Fund’s strategic direction, leads initiatives that are critical to the mission of the Fund, and contributes to Fund publications and journal articles as co-author or lead author with analyses based on findings from Fund surveys or external databases. 

THE POSITION 

The Research Associate serves in both an administrative and research role. The position provides general administrative support to the SVP-PR and provides writing, editing and research in support of analysis of Fund sponsored surveys and policy analysis and public presentations. Specific responsibilities include: 

  • Provides research, data analysis and writing assistance to the SVP-PR. These responsibilities include compiling and analyzing data; creating report exhibits and presentations; and drafting and editing briefs, reports, and publications. 
  • Drafts and assists with revisions to Fund reports, issue/data briefs, professional journal articles, and Congressional testimony; creates graphics to pair with text; proofreads and checks for data accuracy. 
  • Develops presentation slides and handouts for the SVP-PR’s speaking engagements. May be called to attend engagement and provide meeting support. 
  • Assists the SVP-PR in developing additional publications that focus upon specific areas of policy related to the Fund’s work. May be called upon to serve as co-author and lead-author on Fund issue/data briefs or reports. 
  • Obtains and organizes data from various national/state data surveillance systems, published sources, online databases, and commissioned data runs. 
  • Conducts complex data analysis using Excel spreadsheets and functions and prepares tables, charts, and graphs using PowerPoint. 
  • Provides research support in the analysis of data from Fund-supported surveys. Assists in survey development, statistical analyses (using Excel, STATA, SAS, or equivalent statistical software), tables and chart preparation, and report writing. 
  • Provides background research including literature reviews and Internet searches. Monitors journals, working papers, financial reports, surveys, and other information related to special projects. 
  • Coordinates data requests, project activities, and funding with external researchers/grantees. Supports paper and grants management tasks, including preparing project summaries and schedules. 
  • Provides office/administrative support to enhance communication and operations to support project teams which include the Fund’s SVP-PR working with other Fund staff. 
  • Administrative responsibilities include coordinating schedules and the SVP calendar; setting up meetings and arranging travel as necessary; drafting correspondence to senior Fund staff and outside experts; preparing documentation for meetings and/or distribution; maintaining electronic and paper filing system; and processing expense reports. 
  • Supports team meetings and schedules meetings with other researchers as needed. This includes reserving meeting rooms, arranging for audiovisual needs and any other meeting logistics needed. 

 The Fund’s philosophy on successful performance in the job includes the willingness on the part of all staff members to handle any assignment necessary to further the goals of the institution. This may include taking on responsibility in other program areas or departments if the need arises. 

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Bachelor’s degree and two or more years of demonstrated research and analytic work experience. Masters level education preferred and a preference will be given to applicants with research experience and/or formal education in economics, statistics, mathematics or public policy. Demonstrated interest and experience in health care policy or health services research a plus. 
  • Detail oriented with strong quantitative and analytic skills. Demonstrated ability to gather, analyze, and synthesize data from various sources and produce graphics and tabular data presentations. 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills. 
  • Organized and self-motivated. Ability to manage multiple tasks and meet demands of a fast-paced environment with changing priorities.
  • Dedicated team player with flexibility to work with and without supervision. 
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite of products. Familiarity with spreadsheet analysis and SAS, STATA or similar statistical software a plus. And ability to prepare charts and exhibits for presentations. Candidates must be willing to learn new computer skills as necessary. 

The Fund has a relatively small staff so judgment, integrity, and the ability to listen with sensitivity to others are traits that are particularly important in an organization of the Fund’s size where teamwork is essential to effectiveness. The ability to work collegially with a variety of Fund staff and interest in and strong commitment to the Fund’s mission and grants programs are key qualifications. 

COMPENSATION 

Commensurate with background and experience. The Fund offers an excellent benefits package (medical/dental insurance, life/disability insurance, pension plan, tuition reimbursement, ample vacation and lunch in staff dining room). 

CONTACT 

Send resume and cover letter via e-mail to: dd@cmwf.org 

Diana Davenport 

Vice President, Administration 

The Commonwealth Fund 

One East 75th Street 

New York, NY 10021-2692 

The Commonwealth Fund values diversity and is committed to the recruitment and retention of individuals of diverse backgrounds, sex, race, religion, and sexual orientation.