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Research Economist – Global Health

Bellevue, Wa, Washington, United States

Ref#: 3366

Date published: 02/02/17

The Institute for Disease Modeling (IDM), part of Intellectual Ventures’ Global Good program, is a collaborative effort to simulate the eradication of infectious diseases using computer software. The IDM team is a highly dynamic organization with a work environment that is defined by innovation and collaboration. Our team is composed of research scientists and software professionals who focus on creating powerful and innovative disease modeling and data analysis tools to help researchers and policy makers understand diseases, their causes, the way they spread, and the best types of interventions to employ in each of a variety of situations. The IDM team architects advanced models of disease transmission, develops computational tools to inform global disease eradication policy, conducts analysis of epidemiologically- and policy-relevant data, and identifies critical knowledge gaps. As part of our work, we routinely collaborate with groups at the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, PATH, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, ministries of health in the developing world, as well as universities and research institutes. IDM is committed to improving and saving lives in developing countries through the use of quantitative analysis.

The research economist will work within the Institute for Disease Modeling, a team of researchers and software developers at Intellectual Ventures Laboratory, located in Seattle. The Institute is tasked with studying and modelling global disease eradication, focusing principally on malaria, polio, HIV, and tuberculosis. Our group constructs advanced models of disease transmission, develops computational tools to inform global disease eradication policy, conducts innovative analyses of policy-relevant data (programmatic data, financial data, clinical trial data, and cluster survey data), and identifies epidemiologically critical knowledge gaps. As part of our work, we routinely collaborate with groups at the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PATH, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, ministries of health in Africa and Asia, as well as multiple universities and research institutes.

As part of this group, the research economist will work to answer policy-relevant questions by conducting cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analyses of ongoing disease control and eradication programs, of proposed novel programs, e.g., vaccine introduction, treatment guideline expansion, as well as clinical trials and other data gathering efforts. This work will involve building cost models and financial projections, as well as gathering cost and program expenditure data from published literature and in collaboration with ongoing public health programs. The research economist will also participate in analysis of analyze historical morbidity and mortality data, as well as in the exercise our internal suite of disease models to build projections and estimates of disease burden. In support of these functions, this position will be partly responsible for the curation and management of large cost and disease burden data sets.

As the research economist gathers experience, he or she is expected to gain country-specific and disease-specific expertise. This may include travel to Africa and Asia as part of collaborative research projects. Joining our group provides unique opportunities to interact with global health policy makers, to collaborate with world-class research laboratories and non-profit organizations, and to contribute to global and national disease eradication strategies. 

Our group seeks individuals with demonstrated achievements and a passion for excellence. Our compensation package is in line with this commitment. This is a regular full-time position.

Responsibilities (other duties may be assigned)
  • Design, lead, or participate in diverse research projects
  • Conduct literature reviews with emphasis on extracting data pertinent to economic evaluation
  • Gather and manage data related to global health program costs and disease burden
  • Conduct economic analyses to inform decision making, including practical aspects of costing
  • Draft project deliverables (reports, dossiers, protocols, spreadsheets, manuscripts, etc.)
  • Travel may be necessary
Qualifications and Skills
  • Doctoral degree, in econometrics or similar quantitative field of study. Strong quantitative skills with solid understanding of statistics.
  • Essential to have knowledge of cost-effectiveness, budget impact analyses, epidemiology, and mathematical modeling. Knowledge of public health issues in developing world settings is a plus
  • Experience in managing and organizing large data sets is a plus
  • Ability to read & write code in a language like Matlab or R or Python
  • Must have understanding and interest in global health economics
  • Must be able to maintain a network across academia and global health professionals
  • Must work well in a team
  • Must be a clear and effective communicator
  • Must be self-motivated and results-minded
We are an equal opportunity employer

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