Job Opening: Research Data Coordinator (Research Assistant IV, non-lab)

The Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies (HCPDS) is a university-wide initiative dedicated to interdisciplinary research focused primarily on the quantitative social science of population change, socioeconomic development, and public health. Our goal is to produce population-based evidence that will better inform policies needed to create healthy and resilient societies.

Job Summary

The HCPDS is seeking a full-time Research Data Coordinator (RDC) to support its NIH-funded study, Health and Aging in Africa: Longitudinal Studies in South Africa (HAALSA). HAALSA began as a community-based longitudinal cohort study nested within the heath and socio-demographic surveillance system (HDSS) in Agincourt, South Africa. HAALSA has recently been renewed for the next 5-year period, which will include continuation of the community cohort study as well as the launch of a nationally representative survey in South Africa. The goal of this research project is to explore aging in South Africa, with focal areas in cognitive health, cardiometabolic disease, HIV and HIV treatment, public policies, social determinants of health, and health inequalities. Research focuses on exploring the interrelationships between: Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias; physical and cognitive functioning; lifestyle risk factors; household income & expenditure; depression and mental health; social networks and family composition; HIV infection; and cardiometabolic disease. HAALSA is currently collecting a fourth wave of data on the community cohort, and the team is concurrently preparing to launch the nationally representative survey.
The RDC performs a wide range of research procedures and conducts complex support tasks for HAALSA’s individual studies and cross-study efforts. The RDC serves as a primary source of information regarding HAALSA-specific coding, cleaning, merging, analysis, archiving or other miscellaneous data-related questions for both internal or external researchers. Candidates are asked to visit the project and HCPDS websites for more information.

Duties and responsibilities

  • Serve as a source of information or reference on specific research techniques, and trains others in technical procedures or operations
  • Process (receiving data collected electronically), organize (merging and creating analytic data sets), summarize (summary statistics using Stata or similar software), and analyze data (regression analysis using Stata or similar software). Assist in assessment or judgment of data validity.
  • Prepare HAALSA datasets for archiving, based on protocols for public/restricted access; liaison with IQSS and Dataverse; prepare codebooks for release; manage restricted access requests.
  • Contribute to and co-author publishable papers using HAALSA data. This can include: reporting results in a publishable format using statistical software applications or other program platforms; drafting and/or editing material for the preparation of research papers and manuscripts; and presenting HAALSA findings to academic audiences.
  • Collate, organize, draft, and edit progress reports, grant applications and similar documents.
  • Work with an international team to harmonize variables across studies.
  • Coordinate, conduct and oversee designated ad-hoc and long-term research tasks and projects, making use of selected methodology and materials, field work, library research, statistical analysis, or other investigative techniques
  • Maintain complex databases and data records, software needs assessment, or other technological resource management or oversight.
  • Using data experience, participate in the design of experiments or field work and assist with training on electronic data collection.
  • Work with project team and the HCPDS data compliance specialist on data security, IRB, and data use agreements.
  • Willingness to learn new software programs to adapt to the needs of the HCPDS.\
  • Assist in preparation of PowerPoint slides for team presentations.
  • Lead presentations on the HAALSA data and promote opportunities for data use to students and other prospective data users.
  • Assist with logistics related to survey launches and field staff trainings.
  • Research and data management assistance may be required on other HCPDS projects as assigned.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

PLEASE NOTE: Finalists may be required to take a data skills assessment. The position is based in Cambridge, MA and is expected to be on site at least 2 days per week. Specific days and schedule will be determined in consultation with the RDC’s supervisor. The start date will begin on/around July 15, 2024. This position has a one year appointment from date of hire with the possibility of extension. Travel to South Africa up to two times per year for 2 week durations may be required.


  • A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in global public health, biostatistics, epidemiology, psychology or related field is preferred.
  • At least 4 years of related experience is required; a combination of education and experience may be considered.
  • Experience with statistical software such as STATA (strongly preferred), R, SAS, and/or other statistical software is required
  • Demonstrated experience with research project coordination
  • International work/travel experience
  • Experience in working with complex longitudinal data sets such as HRS, SHARE, and related international sister studies or experience working on NIH studies
  • Experience with data collection and management in a research setting
  • Prior oversight of teams and/or capacity building experience
  • Excellent organizational, interpersonal, writing, and communication skills
  • Ability to resolve problems and issues that arise
  • Ability to work independently and also effectively as part of a diverse, multidisciplinary team.
  • Culturally sensitive with excellent interpersonal skills to facilitate team-based work and interaction with research. participants

Application Process

This position is posted on the Harvard Jobs website and is open to both internal and external candidates. If you have any questions, please email Laura Price, Deputy Director at