Job Opportunities



Research Associate 

International Program in Healthcare Policy 

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 society's most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, minority Americans, young children, and elderly adults. The Fund carries out this mandate by supporting independent research on health care issues and making grants to improve health care practice and policy. An international program in health policy is designed to stimulate innovative policies and practices in the United States and other industrialized countries. The Fund has an endowment of $750 million, and an annual budget of $35 million.

International Health Policy and Practice Innovations

Across the industrialized world, health care policymakers face mounting pressure to “bend the cost curve” while at the same time maintaining access to the latest in medical technologies, improving the quality and safety of care, and making the health system more responsive to patients’ needs and preferences. How other advanced countries address these challenges should be of particular interest to the United States, which spends far more on health care―per person and as a percentage of the nation’s economic output―than any other nation and yet receives less in return than most.

The Commonwealth Fund’s International Health Policy and Practice Innovations program seeks to learn about successful approaches taken by other advanced countries to ensure access to high-quality, cost-effective health care, and then share those lessons among our peer nations. The program promotes cross-national learning by:

  • Annually surveying the public, patients, and physicians in 11 countries to compare health system performance.
  • Organizing an annual International Symposium on Health Care Policy, attended by health ministers and senior government officials, as well as other multinational forums.
  • Sponsoring the Harkness Fellowships in Health Policy and Practice, which enable promising health care policy researchers and practitioners in nine countries to spend up to 12 months in the U.S. conducting policy-oriented research, gaining firsthand exposure to innovative models of health care delivery, and working with leading policy experts. The fellowship has a number of international cosponsors.
  • Commissioning research on health policy reforms in other industrialized countries that can inform U.S. efforts to improve access, quality, and efficiency.
  • Identifying and disseminating information about health care delivery system innovations abroad that might also work in the U.S. and working with U.S. delivery systems to pilot the most promising models.

Description of Position

Reporting to the Vice President and Director of the International Health Policy Program (VP&D), the Research Associate works closely with the VP&D and the other program staff to provide research, writing and analytic support on an on-going basis. The Research Associate researches and tracks health care policy developments in industrialized countries for program development; provides research support to and co-authors the Fund’s annual international health policy surveys; provides support to the VP&D who oversees the International Issue Briefs and Case Study series; authors selected Issue Briefs and an annual OECD Data Brief; develops other research projects that can provide cross-national lessons learned for U.S. audiences; develops key content for the IHP website (e.g. providing analyses of country health care innovations and system reforms, synthesizing Harkness and IHP-commissioned research studies, etc.); co-edits and coordinates the International Health Policy Newsletter; analyzes Harkness Fellows’ projects and publications and their impact on U.S. and home country policy; researches and prepares PowerPoints for VP&D presentations, and drafts IHP program-related reports and materials for the Board; and, as a member of the IHP team, supports the planning and implementation of IHP program meetings, e.g. the International Symposium on Health Policy and the Harkness seminars. Specifically, the Research Associate’s responsibilities include:

IHP Research Support:
  • Researches, conducts Internet literature reviews, and tracks policy issues and international innovations in industrialized countries for IHP program planning and project development;
  • Prepares PowerPoint presentations for outside presentations by the VP&D (approximately 15 a year);
  • Supports VP&D who commissions an International Issue Brief and Case Study series and papers for IHP meetings (e.g. International Symposium and Pennyhill Park), including conducting background research and literature reviews on selected topics, coordinating work by commissioned international experts, and reviewing and editing manuscripts.
  • Develops research projects that can provide cross-national lessons learned for U.S. audiences and authors two International Issue Briefs or other publications.
  • With the Deputy Director and Program Associate for Fellowships, designs a system for and tracks Harkness Fellows’ project findings and their impact on U.S. and home country policy.
  • Creates the annual cross-national comparisons of OECD data for inclusion in the International Symposium Briefing Book and Chartpack for the Fund’s website;
  • Authors an annual Data Brief or article for submission to Heath Affairs based on the latest OECD data.
  • With LSE team and VP&D, co-edits annual International Profiles of 20 Health Care Systems.
  • Develops IHP capacity to be a resource for policymakers, academics and journalists.
International Symposium on Health Policy, Commonwealth Fund-Nuffield-Trust International Quality Meetings, International Alliance for Health Reform Briefings, Congressional Retreat International Session, etc:
  • Drafts substantive content for the Briefing Books for major IHP meetings, (e.g. the International Symposium and Commonwealth Fund-Nuffield-Trust International Quality Meeting, Harkness Fellowships seminars, and international Alliance Briefings), including: synthesizing the commissioned papers submitted by international authors, drafting cross-national comparative papers/briefs based on panel themes and descriptions of country health care systems and international innovations.
  • Prepares other meeting-related materials, such as background readings and materials for press events.
  • Works with the VP&D to identify potential international authors and conducts background research on policy issues and speakers in other countries.
  • Reviews and provides substantive and editorial comments on commissioned papers and PowerPoint presentations for IHP meetings.
  • As a member of the IHP team, attends and provides on-site administrative and logistical support, as needed.
Annual International Health Policy Survey Responsibilities:
  • Assists in developing the survey themes and the survey questionnaire for the annual International Health Policy Survey.
  • Does background research on other surveys and related questionnaires, and updates each iteration of the survey, as needed.
  • Under the direction of the SVP for Research and Evaluation creates the exhibits for each year’s survey from the 11-country Banner Books, checks and re-checks numbers for accuracy, prepares 60-80 survey charts for VP &D’s presentations, including at the International Symposium and for the Fund’s website.
  • Drafts the Methods and other sections for the Health Affairs article, and co-authors the Health Affairs article.
  • Co-authors follow up journal articles, abstracts, and Fund publications on the IHP Survey data, and submits research to Academy Health Annual Research Meeting or other meetings.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
  • Part of the team charged with the ongoing methodological review of the Fund’s Mirror, Mirror Report
  • Responsible for the ongoing mapping of indicators from IHP Surveys for the Mirror, Mirror Advisory Group Meetings; presenting the indicators in an organized and digestible way for the Fund internal team and external Advisory Group
  • Participates in the Mirror, Mirror Advisory Group Meetings and contributes to the design of the next report
  • Assist in the data analysis and writing of any reports related to Mirror, Mirror
IHP Dissemination Responsibilities:

Works with the Deputy Director to develop the IHP website as a resource for outside audiences, by:

  • Integrating the findings from the OECD annual analyses, international surveys, IHP commissioned papers, and other sources into chartpacks, infographics, and data analyses that provide a cross-national perspective on US health care system performance;
  • Writing policy syntheses for the IHP website that summarize the key messages and findings from IHP commissioned papers, IHP Small Grants, and Harkness Fellows’ findings;
  • Providing website content on health reforms and innovations in Australia, Canada, China, France, Denmark, Israel, India, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States and other countries of interest.
  • Works with Communications Department to launch, maintain, and update content for the International Health Policy Microsite which contains information pulled from the Profiles, OECD Data, and IHP Surveys. This is a new project and developments will be made to expand and improve the purview of the website.
  • Responsible for tracking health policy and political news in partner countries including Australia, Canada, France, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and any other countries IHP works with (Israel, Brazil, Singapore, etc).
  • Co-editor and Coordinator of the International Health Policy Newsletter, a bimonthly publication that summarizes the highlights of the health policy news in partner countries. Works with Harkness Fellows that have been selected as correspondents in non-English speaking countries – Germany, France, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland –as well as other Fund staff to create the newsletter.
Harkness Fellowships in Health Care Policy and Packer Policy Fellowships Activities:
  • Works with Program Associate for Fellowships and Research on any ad hoc Harkness-related activities, including Selection Meetings, compiling background materials for Harkness Seminars; prepares background Reading List for incoming Harkness class and all meetings.
  • Drafts, with the VP&D and the Senior Fellowships Adviser input, a List of Suggested Projects for Harkness applicants to be posted on the Fund’s website.

As a member of the IHP team, works with the VP&D to ensure smooth and efficient day-to-day management of the international program annual calendar of activities.

  • Drafts IHP program–related reports and prepares materials for the Fund and Board, such as, Completed Grants Reports, the IHP Annual Report section, and Making a Difference
  • Assists the VP&D in preparing Annual IHP Program Plan, Board Updates, etc.
  • Works with the VP&D to develop Board proposals and Small Grants proposals;
  • Prepares general correspondence in response to inquiries about the International Program.
  • Assists on IHP special projects.

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 for other program areas or departments if the need arises.

Qualifications

A Masters degree in Public Health, Health Policy or Public Administration, at least two years of related work experience is required. A combination of related work experience and education will also be considered. Demonstrated interest in health policy is essential: familiarity with U.S. health care system, current health care financing and delivery issues, current health policy research. Preference will be given to applicants with prior research assistant experience and to those with experience writing for public audiences and working with statistical software (SAS and STATA).

Candidates must have strong writing and analytic skills as well as organizational and administrative skills. The ability to manage and work on multiple tasks and prepare graphics and tabular data presentations in a fast paced environment is essential. Flexibility and skill in working as a team member as well as independently are a must as the position requires working in a high demand, multiple task environment with changing priorities. The successful candidate will be intellectually curious and able to gather, assess and synthesize information from various sources.

The Fund has a relatively small staff, and 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).

Qualified Candidates Only:

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

 

Note: If the recruiting team decides to pursue the candidacy, applicants will be asked to provide college and graduate school transcripts, to take a test on a substantive area and to submit at least two writing samples demonstrating writing and analytic skills. For these, a preference will be given to work-related products with no co-authors.



RESEARCH ASSOCIATE
DELIVERY SYSTEM REFORM PROGRAM - VULNERABLE POPULATIONS
The Commonwealth Fund, Washington, D.C., Office 

 

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 society's most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, minority Americans, young children, and elderly adults. The Fund carries out this mandate by supporting independent research on health care issues and making grants to improve health care practice and policy. An international program in health policy is designed to stimulate innovative policies and practices in the United States and other industrialized countries. The Fund has an endowment of $750 million, and an annual budget of $35 million.

THE PROGRAM ON HEALTH CARE DELIVERY SYSTEM REFORM – VULNERABLE POPULATIONS PORTFOLIO

The Commonwealth Fund’s Health Care Delivery System program aims to improve outcomes and lower the overall costs of care for two populations: high-need, high-cost patients and vulnerable populations. To achieve a high-performance health system for this second group—defined as low-income individuals, including but not limited to, racial and ethnic minorities, the uninsured and undocumented immigrants—it is critical that the providers that serve them have the support necessary to deliver equitable, high-quality, comprehensive, and affordable patient care. The vulnerable populations program seeks to achieve a high performance health system where people can obtain quality, equitable, and affordable care that meets their physical, behavioral, and nonmedical health needs. Strategies for pursuing this goal include:

  • Building an evidence base to increase understanding of vulnerable populations’ needs and the health system’s capacity to serve them.
  • Assessing and propagating promising models and strategies to improve care for low-income individuals.
  • Investigating payment and policy reforms that support delivery system reform for vulnerable populations.
  • Training physician leaders committed to improving health care for minority, low-income, and other vulnerable populations through the Commonwealth Fund Mongan Fellowship in Minority Health Policy.

SUMMARY POSITION DESCRIPTION

Reporting to the Assistant Vice President, Delivery System Reform (DSR) in the Fund’s Washington, DC Office, the Research Associate is an important part of a team supporting the Delivery System Reform Program. The primary responsibility of the Research Associate is to research and track health care policy developments relevant to the delivery of care for low-income, minority, and other vulnerable populations—in particular related to Medicaid and safety net providers—and provide analytic support for the Vulnerable Populations portfolio of the DSR program. The Research Associate will participate as part of Fund staff research teams in writing reports, issue briefs, blogs, and journal articles to support the capacity of the Delivery System Reform Program to be a resource for policymakers, providers, academics, and journalists.

Research and Analysis (70%)

  • Provides research, data analysis and writing assistance. Provides background research including literature reviews and Internet searches. Monitors journals, working papers, financial reports, surveys, and other information relevant to priorities of the Vulnerable Populations portfolio. Obtains and organizes data from various national/state data surveillance systems, published sources, online databases, and commissioned data runs. Compile and analyze data; create report exhibits and presentations; draft and edit briefs, reports, and publications.
  • Drafts and assists with revisions to Fund reports, issue/data briefs, and blog posts; creates graphics to pair with text; proofreads and checks for data accuracy. May serve as lead author or co-author on Fund publications.
  • Provides research support in the analysis of data from Fund-supported surveys. Assists in, statistical analyses (using Excel, STATA, SAS, or equivalent statistical software), tables and chart preparation, report writing, and survey development as needed.
  • Prepare charts and tables for public presentations and presenting findings to professional and policy audiences. May also be asked to prepare presentations for other members of senior management.
  • Assure high quality, policy relevant Fund publications based on grantee and staff work. Critique grantee and staff papers submitted for Fund publication; participate in the final review; prepare executive summaries and issue briefs based on grantee work.
  • Participate in Fund supported health policy work beyond the DSR program as needed.

Grants Management (15%)

  • Assists in the development of grant proposals and budgets and in the preparation of project summaries for Fund board meetings which occur three times a year. This involves communicating with potential grantees, conducting background research on the proposal topics, compiling and distributing proposal review materials to the executive management team and assisting in internal reviews of proposals.
  • Corresponds with current and prospective grantees, consultants, and experts reviewing proposed projects; assembles and provides materials on Fund program, projects, and other activities as requested by grantees and other individuals.
  • Manages all aspects of the grant process: preparation of summaries and materials to support Board-level Grants and Small Grants, payment and review schedules, and letters of agreement; tracking of program and grantee products, including papers and conferences, and scheduling grant payments accordingly; helps plan meetings, forums or conferences related to grantee work, and helps to maintain overall Fund-grantee relationships. Responsible for streamlining grant tracking methods and communication between the program and grantees to ensure timeliness of reports and products.

General Administrative Support (15%)

  • The AVP and her team are supported by a part-time program associate. The RA provides back-up administrative support as needed for the Assistant Vice President and the DSR program which can include: calendaring, telephone, travel, meetings, expense reports, correspondence, and distribution of program work. Calendaring can include arranging appointments and scheduling meetings as needed, including reserving meeting rooms and arranging for food, beverage, and audiovisual needs.
  • Prepares materials, slides, and charts for internal meetings, including project briefing meetings, and proposal review meetings.
  • Prepares materials, slides, and charts for external meetings and presentations on behalf of the Assistant Vice President. This involves research and assembling materials and detailed information about projects in the program areas
  • Acts as a liaison with Communications to ensure the dissemination of grant products, including: coordinating the review of draft grantee publications by Fund staff and the promotion of grantee-published articles; drafting language for the Fund website that publicizes grantee work; developing web-based grant products for placement or promotion on the Fund website; reviewing and providing program updates to the Fund website as needed; coordinating with grantees and Communications staff to produce webinars, podcasts, and other multimedia to promote grantee work.

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 for other program areas or departments if the need arises.

QUALIFICATIONS

The ideal candidate for this policy focused position will have a masters degree (MS, MPH, MPA) in a field related to health services research or health policy. The position requires a strong background in statistical data analysis using STATA, SAS or other statistical software. Candidates must also have a working knowledge of health care delivery and policy issues relevant to the care of vulnerable populations. Experience in survey design and methodology is preferable.

We would also consider candidates who are interested in a part-time position with an exclusive focus on the research components of this position.

Applicants should demonstrate strong health policy, economic and research analytical skills, including competence in the use of quantitative data. Excellent oral and written communication skills will include the ability to write about and discuss complex issues. Will have coordination and project management skills, be well organized with concern for details, accuracy and deadlines and have the ability to set priorities and work with a minimum of supervision. Computer skills: experience with statistical software analysis, facility with Internet searches, word processing, spreadsheets, and graphical presentations. Excellent interpersonal skills: capable of being a team member as well as a team leader and a willingness to participate in general workflow of office.

The Fund has a relatively small staff, and 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 cover letter with a cv or resume, two writing samples and salary expectations via e-mail to: 

dd@cmwf.org

Diana Davenport
Vice President, Administration
The Commonwealth Fund
One East 75th Street
New York, NY 10021-2692

 


Employment at The Commonwealth Fund is based upon personal capabilities and qualifications without discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual preference, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, medical condition, disability, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.



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