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Research Assistant, Health Promotion, Public Health Ontario

Toronto, Ontario
Deadline September 29, 2016

Job ID: 16-0292

Organizational Overview

Public Health Ontario (PHO) is an arm's-length government agency dedicated to protecting and promoting the health of all Ontarians and reducing inequities in health. As a hub organization, OAHPP links public health practitioners, front-line health workers and researchers to the best scientific intelligence and knowledge from around the world.
PHO provides expert scientific and technical support relating to infection prevention and control; surveillance and epidemiology; health promotion, chronic disease and injury prevention; environmental and occupational health; health emergency preparedness; and public health laboratory services to support health providers, the public health system and partner ministries in making informed decisions and taking informed action to improve the health and security of Ontarians.
For more information about PHO, visit

Position Details

Position Title: Research Assistant
Department: Health Promotion, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention
Duration: 5 months
Location: 480 University Avenue, Toronto
Compensation Group: AMAPCEO
Position Status: Open
Job Code: 16-00292
Salary: $43,980 - $57,330 annually
Posting Date: September 15, 2016
Closing Date: September 29, 2016
Working in the Health Promotion, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention department, the Research Assistant will primarily support the Healthy Kids Community Challenge process implementation evaluation. Tasks and responsibilities may include: quantitative and qualitative data entry and analysis, literature review, generating reports, and other tasks, as required.

Key Responsibilities

  • Assists with literature reviews by creating and running search strategies for web-based search tools, selecting relevant documents by reviewing abstracts for inclusion/exclusion criteria, and drafting summary annotations of key articles. 
  • Creates and maintains reference management files (e.g., Refworks, Endnote, and Refman) including peer-reviewed and grey literature required for literature reviews, manuscripts and reports; compiles and prepares research project bibliographies, as required.
  • Develops and pilot tests primary data collection tools (e.g., surveys, interview and/or focus group guides); may administer data collection protocols.
  • Screens participants for inclusion criteria, recruits study participants (e.g., mail invitations, telephone follow-up, liaise with referring physicians) and schedules data collection tasks; facilitates informed consent procedures (e.g., collection of consent forms, documenting verbal consent) and communicates study benefits and risks.
  • Administers questionnaires, surveys and/or key informant interviews following protocols established for data collection.
  • Extracts data from existing sources according to a defined chart review or coding scheme.
  • Assists with qualitative data collection by maintaining field notes, and transcribing audio tapes.
  • Assists with qualitative data analysis by applying thematic coding schemes to transcribed data and validating coding by applying inter-rater reliability methodology.
  • Completes data entry and data cleaning, performs quality checks.
  • Performs basic statistical analysis including descriptive analyses in Excel; summarizes results in tabular and graphical form for use in PowerPoint presentations, manuscripts, and other reporting formats.
  • Prepares for and supports investigator and advisory committee meetings, by coordinating logistics including speaker management, travel and catering; preparing materials, such as developing agendas and other materials; providing on-site support such as taking meeting minutes and managing attendee registration.
  • Manages documents and processes on SharePoint to ensure systems are set up to orderly archive and access relevant materials, such as research ethics approvals, and authorization of funds.
  • Assists scientific team with additional research tasks, such as preparation of CVs, abstract submissions, poster preparations, manuscript submission and grant applications.
  • Other duties as assigned.
  • Knowledge and Skills
  • Knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research methodology and related software applications (Excel, SPSS, SAS, NVivo), in order to assist with literature reviews by creating and running search strategies for web-based search tools, and selecting relevant documents.
  • Experience or familiarity with Excel functions (e.g., entering and managing data, creating variables, creating pivot tables)
  • Skill and expertise conducting literature searches and summaries, such as creating and maintaining reference management files (e.g., Refworks, Endnote, and Refman) including peer-reviewed and grey literature required for literature reviews, manuscripts and reports.
  • Skill and the ability to work in a matrix management structure and within cross disciplinary teams.
  • Planning, organizing, project management skills and initiative in order to work efficiently under conditions of multiple deadlines and changing priorities with meticulous attention to detail.
  • Skills and ability to approach and manage assignments in a fast-paced environment.
  • Office computer and data management skills with proficiency in MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Project); familiarity with SharePoint in order to manage documents and processes on SharePoint.
  • Education and Experience
  • Bachelor’s degree in public health, social sciences or related discipline, in order to provide support to study investigators to implement research projects. Master’s degree preferred.
  • 1-3 years’ experience supporting research at an academic department, research institute or organization related to health promotion and the primary prevention of chronic diseases and injuries.

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