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Data Analyst / Technical Writer (ZIM2101.21)

Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Research (PAVIR) is seeking a full-time Data Analyst / Technical Writer to join Team Participatory System Dynamics (Team PSD) in leading a national quality improvement program in the Veterans Health Administration.

As the Data Analyst / Technical Writer you will support Team PSD's efforts to change the way health care quality improvement decisions are made across all layers of the Veterans Health Administration. It is rewarding to know that your hard work as a Data Analyst makes a difference in the lives of others.

You will interface among the Team PSD quantitative workgroup and other health system and scientific stakeholders. The quantitative workgroup includes data engineers, data scientists, co-investigators, Team PSD's management team and the Principal Investigator (PI) Dr. Lindsey Zimmerman - Implementation Scientist at the National Center for PTSD, Dissemination and Training Division of the Veterans Health Administration.

The quantitative workgroup responsibilities include: 1) NIH and VA-funded scientific research, and 2) quantitative quality improvement resources with frontline VA addiction and mental health staff who are participating in the quality improvement program, entitled Modeling to Learn.

This is a full-time position located in Menlo Park, CA.

PAVIR offers generous benefits including comprehensive health insurance, 13 paid holidays, paid vacation, sick pay and a 401(k) with a fully vested 6% company match and 3% profit share. Plus, we pay for life, short-term disability, and long-term disability insurance.


Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Research (PAVIR) facilitates research and education activities conducted at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS). At PAVIR we work with more than 160 uniquely talented medical scientists across a broad spectrum of research areas as we fulfill our purpose of driving Veterans' health innovation. Our researchers have an active appointment with the VA Palo Alto Health Care System and most maintain an academic appointment or are affiliated with Stanford University.


Teamwork and Collaboration:

Function as the primary team member who interfaces between the Quantitative Workgroup, who structure and analyze datasets, and the a) system dynamics modelers, principal investigator and co-investigators and other scientific team members and scientific stakeholders at VA and NIH who use these data, and the b) frontline healthcare staff, Modeling to Learn;

In conjunction with "HQ" and the quantitative workgroup, develop goals and timelines, work breakdowns and time estimates, on the Team PSD GitHub kanbans (the "issue tracker" and "feature tracker");

Prepare for and effectively use Workgroup Leads meetings, Support Workgroup Leads meetings and Quantitative Workgroup meetings to keep the project progressing, and keep meeting time minimized;

Communicate, translate, interpret, synthesize, and summarize technical information effectively in collaboration with other highly interdependent workgroups across Team PSD, including the Simulation Workgroup, Facilitation workgroup, etc;

Develop data, code management, and documentation protocols to ensure high-quality, transparent and reproducible code for use by a variety of Team PSD colleagues and VHA stakeholders, including the public.

Data Communication/Dissemination:

Use the Team PSD public-facing, open science platforms for daily workflow and documentation of specifications, definitions, requirements, caveats, and methods on GitHub, Open Science Framework, Lucid Meetings, and Basecamp;

Create, update and maintain documentation for study set-up, directories, quality assurance monitoring, and Team PSD cross-training;

Support the Lead Data Scientist and P.I. to create detailed online and written data presentations and information for scientific, operational and frontline audiences;

Contribute to data preparation for peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts, NIH and VA project reports and grant submissions, generate tables and graphs for publication under the instruction of the Lead Data Scientist and PI.

Modeling to Learn Responsibilities:

Support a multi-site implementation research study to improve the delivery of evidence-based addiction and mental health services among the Veteran population nationally;

With support from the lead SQL Programmer/Analyst, run queries and conduct analysis and estimation of parameters of data extracted from the VA Corporate Data Warehouse (CDW) for use in research reports and in existing Modeling to Learn system dynamics simulation models and simulation User Interface;

With support from the lead, Data Scientist, produce data analytic reports and visualizations using R;

Clean-data, identify problems with data or coding, and resolve technical problems;

Participate in code-reviews to identify efficient and well-annotated code for use by other Team Members and scientists;

Monitor and document datasets and statistical deliverables for quality assurance;

Report any methodological issues or data interpretation issues to the lead Data Scientist and PI.


A bachelor's degree or equivalent experience

1 or more years of related experience interfacing between data analysts/programmers and a multidisciplinary research team or a multidisciplinary healthcare team


Master's degree

2 or more years of related experience

Project management professional certification and/or experience

Prior work using SQL and R; SQL expertise

Fluency translating R and SQL code into written and oral English

R and R studio expertise

Experience working with health care datasets and electronic health record data

Experience writing and publishing peer reviewed scientific manuscripts

Experience with clinical trials

Experience with regulated, federal data stores

Experience with federally funded health research at national scale

Exceptional interpersonal skills, excellent verbal communication and written skills

Commitment to use of Markdown and open science principles and platforms

Ability to work well both independently and in a collaborative team

Ability to communicate data requirements, as well as limitations to team members of a variety of disciplinary backgrounds

Capability to produce reference documents and to outline work processes in writing

Organized, detail-oriented, self-directed, and dependable

Strong time management skills and ability to prioritize workload

ARE YOU READY TO JOIN OUR TEAM? Please fill out our initial 3-minute, mobile-friendly application. We look forward to meeting you!

PAVIR engages in nonprofit medical research and works with sponsors and the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) in administering funds for conducting research to find new and improved ways to combat human disease and help people with disabilities. Please refer to our website for additional information:

PAVIR is pleased to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. Minorities, Women, Veterans, and Individuals with a Disability are encouraged to apply. We welcome and encourage diversity in the workplace regardless of race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. If you need special assistance or an accommodation to apply for a posted position, please contact - Human Resources department.


Location: 94025

For more information, or to apply now, you must go to the external link on Handshake Please DO NOT email your resume to us as we only accept applications through our website.