Duke University, Margolis Center for Health Policy

Position ID:Duke-MCHP-SRA [#18748, 1094]
Position Title: Senior Research Director
Position Type:Other
Position Location:Washington, DC, District of Columbia 20004, United States [map]
Subject Area: Health Policy and Health Services Research / health policy
Appl Deadline:2021/06/25 11:59PMhelp popup* (listed until 2021/06/25)
Position Description:    

Senior Research Director Positions

Robert J. Margolis, MD, Center for Health Policy


Senior Research Director Positions

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

Duke-Margolis is seeking Senior Research Directors to lead key Center health policy research domains of (1) health care delivery and payment reform and (2) biomedical innovation. Two hires are anticipated, one in each domain.

In addition to leading the strategic design, management, and direction of a substantial health policy research domain, the Senior Research Director serves as a strategic and management leader across Duke-Margolis. The Senior Research Director will help develop the Center-wide strategic vision and the capabilities necessary to execute the Center’s mission. Through this role, they will support the engagement and development of our community of researchers, faculty, and students.

Specific goals for the Senior Research Director position include (1) successfully leading the strategic development and execution of Center activities in the research domain; (2) identifying and guiding cross-cutting opportunities to increase the impact of and financial support for the Center’s research priorities; (3) developing and/or leading key components of Center priorities that are synergistic with but distinct from domain research objectives, e.g. educational, operational, or analytic initiatives; (4) engaging high-profile external audiences to increase the visibility and impact of the Center’s work and expertise; (5) leading opportunities for mentoring and professional development for staff and faculty; and (6) advancing the financial sustainability of the Center. In this role, the Senior Research Director will look beyond their specific heath policy domain/areas of focus and foster the success of the Center as a whole.

The worksite for these positions is anticipated to be the Duke-Margolis office in Washington, DC. Employees are currently teleworking locally to the area (DC, VA, MD) while on-site access is restricted due to COVID-19. Candidates seeking to be based in Durham, NC would also be considered.

Work Performed

  • Hold senior strategic program responsibilities in design, development, execution, and operational sustainability planning for multiple portfolios of research projects comprising the domain, including cross-cutting work. Serve as principal investigator (PI) of individual projects when appropriate. Ensure collaboration between portfolios in and across programs; increase and enhance collaboration with faculty and researchers from across the Center.
  • Oversee the execution and administration of work in the research domain in collaboration across Center leadership, project PIs, and financial and compliance staff. Provide content leadership in policy research work products – both within the domain and to advance synergies across research topic areas.
  • Assist the Duke-Margolis Director in developing, communicating, implementing, sustaining, and evaluating organizational strategic initiatives.
  •  Engage in regular deliberations across Duke-Margolis leadership to collaborate in developing and executing Center strategy and operations effectively, and to develop strategies for expanding projects and positioning Duke-Margolis as a national and international health policy leader.
  •  Work across Center leadership and support units to determine fiscal requirements for the research domain and for endeavors with broader Center impact, prepare budgetary input and recommendations, and develop short-and long-term budgets that support financial sustainability goals for both the target programs and the Center as a whole.
  •  Work collaboratively with leaders across Duke-Margolis and Duke University to share topic area expertise and develop synergies that will enhance the Center’s work, heightening overall reach and impact.
  •  Provide leadership in development and implementation of key components of Center priorities that are synergistic with but distinct from the management of domain research objectives; e.g. educational, operational, or analytic initiatives. Serve in corresponding leadership roles for those initiatives as appropriate.
  •  Collaborate across Center leadership and the development team to identify prospects for philanthropic support and grant/contract funding aligned with the Center’s priorities, develop target concept briefs, and support other activities to strengthen the Center’s financial sustainability and ability to carry out its mission.
  •  Lead cross-Center process improvement efforts as needed.
  •  Recruit, manage, and directly supervise Center staff, working collaboratively across Center leadership to ensure appropriate staffing levels and advance Center human resources and management goals, including those of diversity, equity, and anti-racism.
  •  Serve as a mentor for staff across levels, fostering both health policy expertise and leadership skills. Provide guidance and support for the Center’s Research Directors and other senior staff to aid in career advancement.
  •  Aid in the development of faculty health policy specialization through sharing of content expertise, health policy mentorship, and identification and development of research synergies with faculty interests.

Minimum Required Qualifications 


  • Work requires analytical, communications, and organizational skills generally acquired through completion of a master’s degree or higher in a relevant field (e.g., health policy; public policy; public administration; public health; health economics; relevant scientific, engineering, or other technical fields; or related discipline). Advanced professional degree preferred.


  • With Master’s degree, fifteen years of progressive experience in policy/research/data analysis or other relevant position.
  • Significant senior or executive-level experience in a leadership capacity preferred.

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


  • Excellent organizational, communications, and interpersonal skills. Strong initiative, discretion, poise, and good judgment. Able to communicate complex information to varied audiences clearly and precisely.
  • Proven proficiency in obtaining funding, managing research projects/ teams to achieve programmatic and financial objectives, mentoring, and developing staff.
  • Able to coordinate a variety of complex activities simultaneously and provide senior-level advisement across multiple teams and programs effectively.
  • Able to function independently and collaborate effectively with diverse teams.
  • Must have strong research, writing, and analytical skills.
  • Specialized, high-level content expertise in areas of health policy research relevant to the position.
  • Must be comfortable working in a fast-paced environment with varied responsibilities; able to assess the impact of and respond flexibly to changing conditions.
  • Flexibility to work at alternate times (evening, early morning, weekend), if required.
  • Ability to travel approximately 10%. 
  • Track record of publication in peer-reviewed journals and/or impactful policy-relevant sources is required.
  • Knowledge of and direct internal experience with Duke-Margolis research, processes, and operations preferred. 

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.

Application Materials Required:

  • Cover letter, including statement of health policy domain and work location sought
  • 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.

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:
1201 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20004

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