Full Job Description
The Scholars Strategy Network (SSN) seeks a Health Policy Associate. As a matchmaker and coach, the Associate will help scholars convey their research to policymakers and the public in ways that can improve policy and strengthen democracy. This is designed as an entry-level position for an individual with an interest in health policy who is motivated to build relationships between university-based researchers and public officials and civic organizations involved in policymaking.
The Health Policy Associate is a full-time position with an annual salary between $50,000-$55,000, based on qualifications and experience. SSN’s highly competitive benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance; 403b retirement plan with employer match, generous paid time off, flexible hours, remote work options, and opportunities for professional development. Before COVID-19, this was not meant as a fully remote position, however, SSN is working remotely at present, and continued remote work for some time is expected and will be supported. SSN has offices which we hope to re-open eventually in Inman Square, Cambridge. This position reports to SSN’s Director of Policy. This is a grant-funded position for 18 months. Although the grant is expected to end in 18 months, the hope is that additional funding will be obtained to extend employment.
As a large organization with a relatively small staff, SSN has a lean, productive Policy team that supports and creates opportunities for a large and growing network of over 1,400 members who work in more than 330 colleges and universities across the US. SSN also supports a network of 40 chapters led by volunteer members in 33 states. Among other tasks the Health Policy Associate will:
Connect health policy scholars to key stakeholders
Broker relationships: The Associate’s primary job is to connect health policy scholars and their research to policymakers and civic organizations at the federal, state, and local levels across the US. The Associate will do this by advising scholars on how to reach out, and by responding to requests from these stakeholders for connections to scholars.
Seize opportunities: The Associate will identify opportunities for research to inform policy, activate scholars around those opportunities, and advise on how to engage audiences outside academia. To do this, the Associate will track policy debates, legislation, regulation changes, and impact litigation on issues that impact health; and build their own relationships with policymakers and civic organizations.
Coach and support: The Associate will coach and support health policy scholars on how to engage in the policy process. This will include advice on relationship building, feedback on written documents like research briefs and testimony, and training on the policy process.
Train and support a cohort of health policy scholars
Establish a cohort: The Associate will oversee the creation of a cohort of 12-18 health policy scholars from under-represented backgrounds, geographies, and types of institutions that will receive tailored support from SSN staff.
Execute a Research Equity Accelerator program: The Associate will work closely with SSN’s Director of Policy to plan and facilitate a Research Equity Accelerator. This series of convenings will provide the health policy cohort with the training, tools, advice, network, and support needed to execute best practices in rigorous research and public engagement.
Facilitate SSN trainings: Along with other SSN staff, the Associate will facilitate various in-person and online trainings for health policy scholars, including SSN’s policy engagement workshop: Training Researchers to Improve Policy (TRIP).
Support and grow a diverse network of health policy scholars
Recruit new scholars: The Associate will increase racial, geographic, and institutional diversity across SSN-supported health policy scholars.
Share opportunities: The Associate will share grant and professional development opportunities with a broad range of health policy scholars to increase diversity amongst grant-winners. The Associate will be part of a team that thinks critically about how programs and institutions can address problems that reduce equity, diversity, and inclusion in research, research funding, and public engagement.
The successful candidate will be a self-starter with a deep interest in making research matter and improving health policy. The ideal candidate for this position would be:
An individual with 1-3 years of experience in health policy, advocacy, or organizing; or at least 1 year of experience and a relevant advanced degree (such as MPP, MPH, PhD).
Someone with a solid understanding of policymaking processes (e.g., legislative processes, administrative/agency processes, implementation and evaluation, etc).
Someone with a solid understanding of academia, including research funding processes.
Comfortable - and ideally somewhat experienced - working with policymakers on both sides of the political aisle.
Experienced in how to do basic research, especially legislative and policy research.
An excellent writer and proofreader, capable of translating complex concepts into easy-to-understand language.
A good facilitator and excited to teach others new skills and information.
Comfortable with occasional travel (when safe).
Proficient in Microsoft Office, Google Docs, Dropbox, Salesforce, virtual meeting channels like Zoom, and content databases.
Committed to SSN’s mission and fully understand how to make use of SSN’s structure as a voluntary, federated network of member researchers.
SSN is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, class, color, disability, ethnicity, faith, gender, national origin, race, sexual orientation, or gender identity. People of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ individuals, and women are strongly encouraged to apply. Candidates who fill some, but not all of the qualifications above are still encouraged to apply. We encourage you to view SSN’s statement on diversity, equity, and inclusion, located here.
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