Study Coordinator for CDC-funded water contamination and health study

 (via Idealist)
Silent Spring Institute
Newton, MA, United States
Position Type: 
Full-Time
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)
Apply By: 
ASAP

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Silent Spring Institute is hiring a study coordinator for a new study of health effects associated with PFAS exposures from drinking water in two communities in Massachusetts. This study is being conducted as part of the PFAS Multi-Site Health Study, funded and coordinated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Silent Spring is partnering with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Eastern Research Group, Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC), and People of Ayer Concerned about the Environment (PACE). 

For this study, we will recruit 1,000 adults and 300 children in Hyannis and Ayer, Massachusetts. The study will include collecting blood and urine samples, administering questionnaires, conducting neurobehavioral testing in children ages 4-17, and reconstructing historical PFAS exposures from drinking water. Blood and urine samples will be analyzed for PFAS, serum lipids, and markers of liver, kidney, thyroid, immune, and other biological function. In addition to routine PFAS analyses, our study will include measurements of novel and unidentified PFAS compounds through total organofluorine and non-targeted analytical methods. Participants in the study will receive customized reports with their personal results using Silent Spring’s innovative Digital Exposure Report-Back Interface (DERBI). CDC/ATSDR will coordinate combined analysis of data from this study and similarly funded studies in six other states in a broader epidemiological study of associations between PFAS exposures from drinking water and health effects. 

The study coordinator will work under the supervision of the study PIs and project collaborators and will be responsible for setting up the infrastructure and implementing the research plan. 

Responsibilities include:

  • Working with PIs to oversee implementation of study protocols.
  • Recruiting and enrolling participants into the study.
  • Responding to participant questions and requests for updates.
  • Collaborating with study partners to oversee recruiters and data collection staff in field offices in Hyannis and Ayer.
  • Standardizing techniques for collecting biospecimens and interview data and training research staff on study protocols, data collection, and sample transfer.
  • Monitoring quality of data being collected and implementing corrective action when needed to meet data quality objectives.
  • Coordinating with CDC/ATSDR staff on establishment of study protocols and attending regular meetings with CDC/ATSDR staff and members of other study teams.
  • Securing IRB approval for modification of human subjects protection protocols.
  • Scheduling and confirming interview and sample collection appointments.
  • Conducting interviews with study participants.
  • Coordinating biospecimen sample transfer to CDC/ATSDR and our research partners, including institutional transfer agreements, shipping, and tracking protocols.
  • Overseeing database development in REDCap and implementation of data entry protocols for chemical and biomarker testing results and questionnaire data.
  • Supporting reconstruction of historical PFAS levels in public water supplies and individual PFAS exposures from drinking water over time.
  • Collaborating on statistical analysis under supervision of the PIs and other collaborators.
  • Preparing annual written reports to CDC/ATSDR on research activities and progress.
  • Assisting PIs as needed with writing manuscripts and with the development of presentations for diverse scientific, policy, and lay audiences.
  • Coordinating regular communications and meetings among members of the study team.
  • Coordinating meetings with community advisory boards in both communities and providing updates to advisory board members.  
  • Coordinating logistics for community events, including some evening and weekend responsibilities.
  • Assisting with developing report back protocols within the DERBI framework and coordinating community-level aggregate report back.

Qualifications:

  • Prior work experience coordinating research studies that involve community-engaged components.
  • Prior experience conducting environmental health or epidemiological research.
  • Basic knowledge of data collection methods and analytical methods in public health.
  • Experience conducting in-person interviews to complete study questionnaires.
  • Experience with REDCap or other data entry and storage programs.
  • Outstanding organizational, written and oral communication, and problem solving skills.
  • Experience working thoughtfully and constructively as part of a team.
  • Proficiency in using computer applications for word processing, data entry, spreadsheet preparation, and statistical analysis (such as R).
  • Environmental fate and transport modeling, particularly groundwater systems.
  • Dedication to rigorous science in the public interest.
  • Ability to work independently within a multidisciplinary research team.
  • Bachelor’s degree or MPH/MS in public health, environmental health (or related field) and/or equivalent work experience. Chemistry, epidemiology, and engineering coursework an asset for this role. 

Silent Spring Institute is an independent non-profit research organization dedicated to identifying—and changing—the links between the environment and women's health, especially breast cancer. Our research focuses on breast cancer and environmental pollutants, especially hormone disruptors and animal mammary gland carcinogens. We develop and apply new technologies to differentiate hazardous and safer chemicals, to measure exposures, and to identify effective exposure reduction strategies. We are funded by grants from the NIH, EPA, CDC, and other federal and state agencies, as well as private foundations and charitable contributions. Our publications list is here.