ATLANTA BASED RDS OPPORTUNITIES
The Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP), Behavioral and Clinical Surveillance Branch (BCSB), is seeking exceptional candidates interested in an opportunity to be part of the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System (NHBS). NHBS is a large sentinel surveillance system that collects data among three populations at high risk for HIV infection: men who have sex with men, injection drug users and heterosexuals at increased risk. Data from this system are used to monitor the prevalence of and trends in HIV-related risk behaviors and use of HIV prevention services. NHBS is currently conducted in 20 US cities with the highest AIDS prevalence. Grantees for NHBS include state and directly-funded city health departments. NHBS grantees work in cooperation with various community based organizations, academic institutions, and other public health agencies concerned about trends in the local HIV epidemic. Before each NHBS cycle, grantees conduct formative research to learn more about the populations and collect data that helps specify the sampling areas. Each cycle uses a different sampling method, based on what is known about reaching the specific population. The MSM cycle uses time location sampling, which is venue-based. Respondent driven sampling is used for both the IDU and the HET cycles; this is a type of chain referral sampling. There are multiple job openings in the Branch including the following:
The Data Analyst assists researchers in developing overall survey design and analysis. The main tasks are:
• perform analysis of data for epidemiological studies,
• manage or assist in the management of an NHBS field site,
• conduct epidemiologic analyses by applying appropriate statistical techniques,
• develop and present analytical data files to researchers and grantees,
• formulate data quality management strategies,
• participate in publication work-groups,
• develop reports for internal and external stakeholders, and
• provide technical assistance for data analysis to grantees.
Preferred qualifications: include experience with data analysis and in working with large data sets; demonstrated experience and understanding of SAS, SAS/SUDAAN, and/or SPSS, and skill in using RDSAT is desired.
Activity Lead for Methods
The activity lead for Methods has the primary responsibility of providing leadership in the area of methodological research for populations most at risk for HIV infection, in particular for sampling strategies such as respondent driven sampling and venue based sampling. The main tasks for this position are:
• assess the performance of recruitment methods used in NHBS populations and recommend improvements when appropriate,
• research cutting-edge methods to recruit hard-to-reach populations to inform the implementation of NHBS,
• evaluate current operations and identify efficiencies in the implementation of NHBS,
• facilitate optimal implementation of the NHBS,
• supervise the preparation of guidance documents and operations manuals, and
• present results at scientific conferences, prepare manuscripts and scientific publications.
Preferred qualifications: masters level degree with 3 years’ experience in epidemiological studies, or a Ph.D. in a health related field, experience with research or surveillance of hard to reach populations, ability to manage multiple priorities in a fast-paced work environment; ability to work independently of close supervision and work collaboratively with other scientists; ability to develop scientific manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals.
The position of health scientist provides guidance in the development of sampling weights for complex survey designs and conducts statistical research relevant to the NHBS. The main tasks for this position include:
• evaluate the design and data quality of the NHBS,
• analyze complex statistical research data,
• develop strategies that enable the NHBS to adapt to future changes in methods for recruiting hard-to-reach populations,
• provide general statistical support to NHBS grantees,
• monitor the quality of the data collected by the NHBS field sites,
• recommend data quality measures that impact the accuracy of the data,
• conduct project officer responsibilities with assigned NHBS grantees,
• provide guidance for project officers about key data quality issues for assigned grantees and data collectors,
• develop reports and technical documentation on changes to NHBS data collection and weighting,
• develop and submit manuscripts to peer-reviewed scientific journals and abstracts for presentation at scientific meetings.
Requirements: masters level degree with 3 years’ experience in statistics, or a Ph.D. in a relevant field for the position, knowledge of complex survey design, processing and weighting for population-based surveys; knowledge of computing measures of data quality and response rates for surveys; experience with data analysis and in working with large data sets; knowledge of statistical methods including logistical regression, multiple regression, and trend analysis; demonstrated experience and understanding with SAS, SAS/SUDAAN, and/or SPSS, demonstrated ability to handle multiple priorities in a fast-paced work environment; demonstrated ability to work independently of close supervision and work collaboratively with other scientists; demonstrated ability to develop scientific manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals.
For more information about these positions, please contact Dawn Gnesda