Research Assistant – SARS-CoV-2 Epidemiology And Response in Children (SEARCh) Project

About IVAC:

IVAC’s mission is to accelerate equitable and sustainable access to life-saving vaccines through the generation, synthesis, and use of evidence to inform decision-making and action. Our work focuses on disease epidemiology, vaccine economics, and advocacy and communications activities. IVAC’s Policy, Advocacy, and Communications (PAC) Team supports global, regional, and country-level advocacy and immunization policy efforts, translating evidence to facilitate policy decision-making and support advocacy that advances national priorities in low- and middle-income countries.

Project Background:

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to pose a grave threat to human health and society. Fortunately, children are usually spared the worst of this disease, yet they have suffered substantial indirect harms as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with ongoing threats to their well-being through missed immunizations, school and day care closures, and loss of family income. Policies for resumption of pre-pandemic activities for children are being developed with incomplete data, particularly with respect to infection of children and their ability to transmit within households

About the project:

To address these issues, we are conducting a longitudinal prospective cohort study among households with young children, which we call the SARS-CoV-2 Epidemiology And Response in Children (SEARCh) Project. SEARCh focuses specifically on households with children ages 0-5 years, for 3 reasons: 1) other studies (e.g., the CDC-sponsored C-HEaRT study), will study household transmission in school-aged children, but may generate little data from this younger age group; 2) home-based child care settings are more likely than schools to remain open or to reopen during the pandemic and could potentially be a source of infection for households with young children; 3) rates of hospitalization in children have been reported to be highest among children under 2 years of age.

Position summary:

A student research assistant is needed to help with data management, cleaning and exploratory and descriptive analyses, including generating tables and figures. Work will mostly be conducted independently and can be conducted from any location with reliable Internet connection. We can work with the student for this experience to meet Master’s practicum requirements and/or for data to be used in a capstone if that is of interest.

Expected start date:

June 2021 (through December 2021)

Responsibilities may include:
  • Working with the project analysts to properly manage and clean data.
  • Assisting in developing figures, tables or project deliverables.
  • Regularly interacting with the project team members in weekly conference calls, including reporting progress to project analysts.
  • Responding to ad hoc analytical requests as needed.
 Qualifications:
  • Student pursuing Master’s degree or PhD.
  • Completed core epidemiology and biostatistics courses.
  • Experience using R (particularly data management and visualization) outside of coursework, experience using REDCap a plus.
  • Strong quantitative abilities and experience with analysis outside of coursework.
    Detail oriented.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage academic and work responsibilities and excellent time-management abilities.
  • Interest in infectious disease epidemiology.
  • Ability to communicate well with study team members.
  • Fluency with Microsoft Office software applications including PowerPoint, Word, Excel.
  • Familiarity with public health studies, especially cohort studies.
  • Strong writen and verbal communication.
  • Fluency in English required.
To apply:

Interested students should send their resume and a brief cover letter to Marissa Hetrich (mhetric2@jhmi.edu). Use “SEARCh Research Assistant Position” in the email subject line. If possible, include sample R code.