Research Assistant – SPEAC

About IVAC:

The mission of the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is to accelerate global access to life-saving vaccines through the development and implementation of evidence-based policies. The work of IVAC focuses on disease epidemiology, vaccine economics and supply, monitoring and evaluation of vaccine introduction and Center programs, and advocacy and communications activities to increase the profile of and global action on vaccine-preventable disease.

About the Project:

COVAX’s Vaccine Safety Working Group (VSWG) is tasked with monitoring the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in use worldwide. The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) has partnered with the Brighton Collaboration in funding the Safety Platform for Emergency vACcines (SPEAC) project through the Task Force for Global Health. IVAC is assisting these partners to collate, display and make publicly available a landscape assessment of planned studies to evaluate COVID-19 vaccine safety with respect to vaccine product, specific outcomes assessed and population evaluated to understand gaps and what emerging evidence will be available. IVAC is looking for students to work closely with experts in vaccine safety, epidemiology and communication at IVAC and at SPEAC to collect information on COVID-19 vaccine safety studies and to visualize the data on a website platform, VIEW-hub. The data will come from the survey on Active Vaccine Safety Surveillance (AVSS) and from vaccine manufacturer’s Risk Management Plan (RMP) documents. The work will result in a comprehensive global summary of all planned safety assessments of COVID-19 vaccines.

VIEW-hub is IVAC’s vaccine data visualization tool launched in 2016 which collates and presents data on vaccine introduction, use, coverage, access, impact, and disease burden for a variety of vaccines. VIEW-hub aims to be the one-stop shop for anyone looking for data on vaccines, including researchers, country and global decision makers, funders, and other stakeholders. Currently, there are seven vaccines on the platform including the recently added COVID-19 vaccine module. The COVID-19 vaccine module, which is still in development, displays information on vaccine characteristics, vaccine introduction and use, studies of vaccine efficacy, effectiveness and impact and now also of safety.

Position Summary: The students will support the collection and abstraction of characteristics of ongoing COVID-19 vaccine safety studies. The opportunity will expose students to the ways in which vaccine safety is evaluated at a global level and enable the student to directly contribute to the global effort to control the COVID-19 pandemic. Specific activities will include (depending on timing hired and skills/abilities): 

  • Assist with survey design and implementation
  • Review RMP documents for relevant data
  • Data abstraction of relevant safety study’s characteristics
  • Data management
  • Communication with study investigators/manufacturers for clarifications if needed
  • Data summarization
  • Contribute to data visualization decisions for display on VIEW-Hub
  • Provide additional support as needed
Expected Start Date:

Available immediately through December 31, 2021.

  • Current enrollment in a public health program
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently and with others
  • Fluent in English (reading, writing, and speaking)
  • Experience with Excel, Google Sheets, REDCap, Mail Chimp, Survey Monkey a plus
How to apply:

Please send a cover letter and current CV or resume to Marley Jurgensmeyer ( and Melissa Higdon ( with subject header “Student Opportunity: COVID-19 Safety”.