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Director of Research Job Description

The American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) is a cross disability national non-profit 501(c) (3) organization dedicated to ensuring health equity for children and adults with disabilities.  AAHD accomplishes its mission through research, education, policy and public awareness efforts at the federal, state and community level.  AAHD strives to reduce health disparities in people with disabilities, advocate for full community inclusion and accessibility.  The official journal of AAHD is the Disability and Health Journal (www.disabilityandhealthjnl.com).

Two of the major initiatives of AAHD are the Disability Community Engagement Partner Project (DCEPP) and the Disability Community Engagement Partner Project-Pediatrics (DCEPP-Peds), funded by the National Institutes of Health All of Us Research Program. The All of Us Research Program is inviting one million people across the U.S. to help build one of the most diverse health databases in history to foster research that improves lives and expands individualized health care. The major goals of DCEPP are to increase awareness and recruit adults with a range of disabilities into the All of Us program and facilitate interest by disability and health researchers in the program.  The major goal of DCEPP-Pediatric is to develop and implement a pilot program for recruiting children, youth, and infants with a range of disabilities into the All of Us Research Program and then expand it so that research can be initiated to improve understanding of health and disease, identify opportunities to reduce disparities, and enable more precise approaches to care.

AAHD is recruiting a full-time Director of Research. One of the primary functions for the Director of Research will be to lead the DCEPP and DCEPP-Pediatrics Projects as Principal Investigator/Program Director.  The Director of Research will also play a key role in advancing the AAHD research agenda and provide strategic leadership on AAHD research projects.  Position responsibilities will consist of the following:

  • Ensures that projects are on track to meet milestones as described in the grant applications.
  • Manages project personnel ensuring that there are clear roles and responsibilities and supervises staff, including mentoring and performing staff evaluations.
  • Develops and implements strategies to evaluate project effectiveness.
  • Monitors project’s financial status and ensures that project stays within budget limits.
  • Monitors sub-awardees performance on funded projects.
  • Maintains, collects and analyzes project research data and materials and implements and maintains an NIH approved data security plan for all participating institutions as needed.
  • Completes monthly and annual reports in a timely manner and adheres to deadlines.
  • Assists in setting and advancing the AAHD research agenda and oversees a research portfolio that aligns with AAHD’s mission.
  • Writes applications for continued funding and assists in identifying new funding opportunities and writing proposals for new grants, contracts and other opportunities.
  • Represents AAHD at conferences, workshops and other research related events.
  • Disseminates research findings to the disability and health community, healthcare professionals, local, state, and national policymakers, allied health professionals, public health professionals and the public.
  • Other tasks as assigned.

Requisite Qualifications:

  • Terminal degree (i.e. PhD or equivalent) in health, public health, disability studies, epidemiology, social sciences or related field.
  • 10+ years’ experience in leading research projects related to adults and children with disabilities.
  • Demonstrated success in acquiring and managing research grants.
  • Prior experience working as a Principal Investigator on multiple research grants.
  • Significant contribution to the scientific world of disability research through peer-reviewed publications and presentations.
  • Experience managing, designing, implementing and evaluating multiple projects.
  • Proficiency in research methodologies, statistical analysis and knowledge translation.
  • Understanding of the different models of disability.
  • Understanding of health equity with knowledge of how health is affected by social determinants and other lived experiences at the intersection of disability and other identities.
  • Proficient in using Microsoft Office, Zoom, survey tools and other applicable software programs.
  • Excellent organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills, including public speaking.
  • Strong analytical, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to collaborate and work as part of a team.
  • Understanding of the ethical, legal and social issues on recruiting and enrolling individuals with intellectual disabilities into research programs and experience with developing protocols for enrolling individuals with intellectual disabilities into research programs.
  • Experience with recruiting pediatric populations for research studies.

Benefits & Compensation:

  • Salary – commensurate with experience.
  • PTO– AAHD offers competitive leave packages, to include vacation, sick and compassionate leave.
  • Health Insurance– AAHD provides health insurance for full-time employees and shares the cost with employees.
  • 401K Plan – Employees are entitled to participate in the 401K plan at time of hire, with employer matching that vests at two years of service.
  • Remote Working – This position is available for remote work, but occasional travel to project meetings and events will be required.

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, resume or CV, salary requirements and writing sample to AAHD Executive Director, Karl Cooper (kcooper@aahd.us) by January 29, 2024.

AAHD is a nationally recognized, cross disability, non-profit organization that values a diverse and culturally competent team, celebrating people with disabilities, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other communities that are traditionally marginalized. We are proud to be committed as an equal opportunity organization that welcomes applicants of diverse backgrounds and lived experiences. Individuals who promote diversity and a culture of inclusion are encouraged to apply. Reasonable accommodations to the hiring process may be requested by contacting Karl Cooper at kcooper@aahd.us.

(Updated December 22, 2023)