Duke University, Margolis Center for Health Policy

Position ID:Duke-MCHP-21155_RDARDHCT [#21155, 1094/1361]
Position Title: Research Director or Assistant Research Director (Focus in Health Care Transformation)
Position Type:Other
Position Location:Washington, District of Columbia 20004, United States [map] sort by distance
Subject Area: Health Policy and Health Services Research
Appl Deadline:2022/04/30 11:59PMhelp popup finished (2022/02/11, finished 2022/11/05, listed until 2022/04/30)
Position Description:   Remote  

*** this position has been closed and new applications are no longer accepted. ***

The Robert J. Margolis, MD, Center for Health Policy at Duke University (Duke-Margolis) seeks to address critical health policy challenges and improve health, health equity, and the value of health care through practical, innovative, and evidence-based policy solutions. The interdisciplinary nature of Duke-Margolis brings together policy experts, researchers, health care professionals, and students from across Duke’s schools of medicine, nursing, law, public policy, business, and engineering, and fosters extensive relationships with stakeholders both internal and external. These relationships span foundations, private sector organizations, state and federal governments, and global entities. The Center fosters excellence, leadership, and scholarship at every level.

Occupational Summary

The Robert J. Margolis, MD, Center for Health Policy at Duke University has an opening for a Research Director or Assistant Research Director focused on health care transformation issues, especially with a focus on payment and delivery reform policy at the national level.

At the Research Director Level:

This position leads the strategic design, management, and direction of a health policy program area within Duke-Margolis. The Research Director is responsible for oversight and direction of a portfolio of projects within this area that are managed either personally or by staff supervised by the individual in this role. The Research Director is a subject matter expert, and interacts regularly with an array of external project sponsors and collaborators including government agencies, academic centers, advocacy organizations, medical product manufacturers, and health care organizations. The individual collaborates with Duke-Margolis executive leadership and manages implementation of research and policy objectives to contribute to successful execution of the Center’s strategic goals. The Research Director has significant responsibility for cultivation of funding opportunities and management of program area personnel.

At the Assistant Research Director Level:

The Assistant Research Director position is responsible for developing major components of research and policy analysis for Duke-Margolis through management of a portfolio of health policy projects within a specialized area of expertise. The Assistant Research Director provides substantial subject matter leadership in managing the execution of complex research and policy projects within the portfolio, including engagement with high-level government and private-sector entities. This position actively drives portfolio development and regularly interacts with project funders, collaborators, stakeholders, Duke University faculty, and senior Duke-Margolis leadership to develop the strategic plan for the portfolio, manage successful execution of research and policy projects, and advance efforts to identify and secure research funding.

The worksite for this position will be the Duke-Margolis offices in either Washington, DC or on the Duke University campus in Durham, NC. Employees are currently working in a hybrid capacity with a combination of teleworking locally to the base office area (DC/MD/VA or NC, respectively) and in-person team collaboration.

Work Performed

At the Research Director Level:

Collaborate with the Duke-Margolis leadership team, Center faculty, and senior researchers to develop project direction, focus, priorities, and strategies to meet the research and project needs within a program area. Manage execution.

Recognized as a context expert in national payment and delivery reform policy. Provide content leadership and direct project staff in substantive content components of work products.

Interact closely with external collaborators including government agencies, research and/or policy organizations, industry and health system or health care organizations, and other stakeholders.

Develop, secure, and manage research funding. Identify and pursue opportunities for collaboration and funding, including developing and maintaining relationships with external collaborators and funders, drafting proposals, and engaging with Duke University faculty to identify related project or staffing opportunities.

Monitor and keep abreast of developments of significance to the research portfolio and area(s) of expertise in the government, press, biomedical, health policy, service delivery, or health financing literature as applicable, and in the actions of key external organizations.

Develop systems for the establishment and refinement of guidelines in the collection and/or analysis of data and administration of research projects; design and evaluate alternative methodology as necessary.

Engage high-level research and writing skills to create project documents and reports and refine materials drafted by others. Ensure quality and accuracy of project deliverables which may include event-related materials, research papers, policy briefs, policy analyses, blog posts, white papers, peer-reviewed publications, and/or other high-impact knowledge products.

Seek opportunities for collaboration and cross-pollination of research and policy work across program areas within the Center.

Serve as an articulate and effective spokesperson for Duke-Margolis. Represent Duke-Margolis and Duke University at conferences and other key meetings to present findings and foster relationships.

Interact closely with external collaborators including government officials, research and/or policy organizations, industry and health system or health care organizations, and other stakeholders to gather and disseminate information and to initiate, build and expand working relationships.

Support other key activities of the Center on an as-needed basis, which may include teaching, student mentorship, or other work related to the educational mission of Duke-Margolis.

Collaborate with Center leadership to set, define, and reach performance goals for the program area. Identify strengths, gaps, constraints, and needs. Allocate and forecast resource utilization. Contribute to operational sustainability planning for the program area, ensuring timely tracking of project status, personnel allocation projections, and cost projections.

Develop, implement, and oversee the execution of portfolio research and administration, typically in collaboration with faculty principal investigators (PIs) for individual projects. May serve as PI when appropriate.

Work with Center leadership, project PIs, and financial and compliance staff to create, negotiate, and monitor budgets from the proposal stage through project completion; ensure project staffing and activities are within budget projections and scope; adhere to Duke University policies; and meet contractual obligations. Demonstrate fiscal responsibility.

Consider the full breadth of implications, benefits, and risks, including financial, when evaluating varied project approaches and operational strategies.

Work collaboratively with leadership and project teams to develop and implement work plans, deliverable content, research agendas, and timelines and direct communication strategies and event management and planning. Coordinate execution of work.

Work with staff to develop, document, and implement best practices to promote knowledge management and efficiency of future projects.

Recruit, manage, and directly supervise staff, including formulating performance standards, conducting evaluations, and recommending personnel actions. Assess hiring needs in consideration of projected workload and funding.

Support project team members and direct reports to ensure their success; foster a productive team environment that encourages professional growth. Mentor junior staff (direct reports and others) in management of work activities, prioritization, and career interests.

Serve as a point of contact for current and potential sponsors to discuss potential support and partnerships. Facilitate ongoing communication with sponsors, program staff, and key stakeholders to advance projects effectively and maintain positive external and internal relationships.

Communicate effectively with others, regardless of reporting relationship, to accomplish shared work objectives.

At the Assistant Research Director Level:

Lead a content-specific portfolio of research and policy projects at the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy. Plan and manage the execution the portfolio with responsibility for project timelines, budgets, financial management, and contractual obligations; develop and monitor staffing plans to ensure successful project completion.

Provide substantial subject matter expertise in specialized areas of health policy to advance research goals. Contribute substantial expertise and skill in planning research, designing and conducting qualitative and/or quantitative analyses, and writing for both technical and non-technical audiences.

Provide guidance to research teams' work in research, outlining, drafting, and editing of project materials. Ensure quality, accuracy, and clarity of project deliverables.

Interact with internal and external collaborators including government agencies, research and/or policy organizations, and health systems to gather and disseminate information and to build and expand working relationships.

Collaborate with senior researchers, faculty, and external collaborators to write white papers, peer-reviewed publications, policy memos, and other related research and policy deliverables.

Represent Duke-Margolis at events and conferences to disseminate research findings; begin to develop recognition as an expert in the portfolio focus area and as a spokesperson for the Center.

Monitor content areas of significance to the research portfolio, remaining up-to-date on current developments and identifying areas of potential collaboration or synergy within the Center and with external partners.

Develop strategic plans for project-related convening events (e.g., expert roundtables, workshops, conference panels, seminars, large-scale public events), including identification of proposed speakers or panelists, content, work plans, and meetings. Oversee implementation and execution.

Track and manage progress to achieve project milestones, deliverables, and timeline goals through collaboration with colleagues, subcontractors/vendors, and external stakeholders. Coordinate internal and external communication as needed for team projects.

Interact with sponsors to advance project deliverables, ensure productive communication and clarity in expectations, and maintain positive relationships.

Work with Center senior researchers, executive leadership, project principal investigators, and financial staff to monitor budgets; ensure project staffing and activities are within budget projections and scope, adhere to Duke University policies, and meet contractual obligations. Forecast resource allocation and needs. Demonstrate fiscal responsibility.

Collaborate with Center executive leadership, faculty, and other senior researchers to develop and implement work plans, deliverable content, research agendas, and timelines. Lead execution of work by project teams.

Work collaboratively with Center and external partner events and communication teams to direct communication strategies, event management and planning, and dissemination activities.

Collaborate with Duke-Margolis leadership to identify and select priority research areas and projects as part of the strategic planning of the Center.

Recognize and capitalize on project and funding opportunities to build the portfolio; collaborate with Research Directors and the Center executive team on funder relationship management and business development support.

Liaise with external funders, collaborators, and Duke-Margolis leadership to develop project proposals. Provide project leadership to oversee efforts to identify financial support and prepare grant proposals for the successful development, planning and execution of these projects.

Formulate and organize opportunities for faculty to collaborate on specific research projects.

May contribute to Duke-Margolis educational programs in varied ways, including developing course materials, teaching or guest lecturing, and mentoring interns or Duke students at the graduate or undergraduate levels.

Support and mentor project team members. Guide junior staff in developing an understanding of timelines, responsibilities, and deliverables, and in developing skills and knowledge in area(s) of health policy expertise.

May recruit, manage, and directly supervise staff, including management of personnel functions (hiring, professional development, performance appraisals, promotions).

Education/Experience Requirements

At the Research Director Level:

  • Work requires analytical, communications, and organizational skills generally acquired through completion of a Master’s degree or higher (e.g., PhD, PharmD, MD, JD) in a field relevant to the specific position (e.g., health policy; public health; health economics; data science; population health; epidemiology; or other relevant scientific, engineering, or other technical fields). Advanced degree preferred.
  • With Master’s degree, 10 years of progressive experience in policy/research/data analysis or other relevant position.

Or an equivalent combination of relevant education and/or experience.

At the Assistant Research Director Level:

  • Work requires analytical, communications, and organizational skills generally acquired through completion of a Master's degree or higher in a field relevant to the specific position (e.g., health policy; public health; health economics; data science; population health; epidemiology; or other relevant scientific, engineering, or other technical fields).
  • With Master's degree, 6 years of progressive experience in policy/research/data analysis or other relevant position, which may be met by a combination of relevant education and experience.

Or an equivalent combination of relevant education and/or experience.


  • Strong organizational and interpersonal skills, high initiative, discretion, poise, and mature judgment.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in policy research with strong analytical skills. Proven track record of successfully managing teams, mentoring, and developing staff.
  • Proven ability to write business documents and manage project execution, including budget development and financial management.
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills; ability to communicate complex information to diverse audiences clearly and precisely.
  • Ability to cultivate and maintain relationships with senior-level individuals, stakeholders, and complex organizations.
  • Professional demeanor with a positive approach to working in a team environment and demonstrated proficiency in managing teams to achieve project objectives.
  • Comfortable working in a fast-paced environment with varied responsibilities; able to assess the impact of and respond flexibly to changing conditions.
  • Specialized experience in areas of health policy relevant to the position, including familiarity with current trends and applicable regulations.
  • Record of impactful policy-relevant publications.
  • Flexibility to work at alternate times (evening, early morning, weekend), if required.
  • Ability to travel approximately 10% (travel is currently limited in consideration of COVID-19 conditions).

The above statements describe the general nature and level of work to be performed in this position and are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and duties required. Employees may be directed to perform job-related tasks other than those specifically presented in this description.

Engagements are renewable annually upon funding availability from the Center. To be considered for this position, applicants must submit materials online. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. As part of Duke University’s COVID-19 policies and procedures, all faculty and staff are required to have a COVID-19 vaccination or an approved medical or religious exemption as a condition of employment.

Application Materials Required:

  • Cover letter
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Three references (names and email addresses)

Duke University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas-an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

Further Info:


1201 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Suite 500

Washington, DC 20004

Application Materials Required:
Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:
And anything else requested in the position description.

Further Info:
Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy
1201 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20004