[Libs-Or] Job: Health Science Specialist (Portland VA Research and Development Service)

Robin Paynter robinpaynter at gmail.com
Wed Jul 13 12:03:06 PDT 2016


*Health Science Specialist (GS-9) *

To apply, please submit CV/resume, cover letter, and list of 3 references
to nicole.floyd at va.gov.

*Salary range*: $51,683 to $67,183

1.0 FTE

*Background *

This position is housed in Research and Development Service located at the
VA Portland Health Care System in Portland, Oregon. The incumbent will
serve as a Health Science Specialist (Research Associate/Health
Informaticist) for the Evidence-based Synthesis Program Coordinating Center
(ESPCC) of the Evidence-based Synthesis Program, a national research

Health Services Research and Development Service (HSR&D) established the VA
Evidence-based Synthesis Program to provide timely and accurate syntheses
of scientific research evidence on targeted healthcare topics of particular
importance to VA clinicians, managers, and policymakers, as they work to
improve the health and healthcare of Veterans. This national research
program is comprised of four research centers located at the Minneapolis,
Durham, Portland, and West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Centers,
each with an active university affiliation and close links to the Agency
for Health Care Research & Quality (AHRQ) Evidence-based Practice Centers.
The ESP synthesizes scientific research evidence on important clinical
practice topics, and these reports help the VHA: 1) develop clinical
policies informed by evidence, 2) implement effective services to improve
patient outcomes and to support VHA clinical practice guidelines and
performance measures, and 3) set the direction for future research to
address gaps in clinical knowledge. The ESP disseminates these reports
throughout the VHA, and many evidence syntheses have informed the clinical
guidelines of large professional organizations. The program receives
approximately $1.5 million in HSR&D/QUERI funding per year, which is used
to support over 25 staff involved in conducting dozens of evidence
synthesis projects each fiscal year.

The ESPCC is charged with oversight of national ESP program operations,
program development and evaluation, and dissemination efforts. The ESPCC
establishes standard operating procedures for the production of evidence
synthesis reports; facilitates a national topic nomination, prioritization,
and selection process; manages the research portfolio of each Center;
facilitates editorial review processes; ensures methodological consistency
and quality of products; produces Rapid Response Evidence Briefs at the
request of VHA senior leadership; collaborates with HSR&D Center for
Information Dissemination and Education Resources (CIDER) to develop a
national dissemination strategy for all ESP products; and interfaces with
stakeholders to effectively engage the program.


*Major Duties *

The Health Science Specialist’s primary focus will be to support the
conduct of Rapid Response Evidence Briefs and initial scoping of review
topics for assignment to ESP Centers. Review topics often focus on health
services delivery and policy and process of care and address the broader
social issues among Veterans. Because of the emphasis on collaboration
between VA operations and the evidence review team, ESP work products can
have a strong impact on national policy.

Best-qualified candidates will have knowledge of the principles, practices,
procedures, and techniques for conducting systematic reviews of scientific
literature; ability to read and assess the internal validity and strength
of evidence of scientific research studies; and proficiency with providing
specialist information retrieval support for a wide range of health topics
from a variety of scientific bibliographic databases across multiple
platforms. Preference will be given to those with a master’s degree in
library sciences, public health, epidemiology, health policy, health
services, medical anthropology, or behavioral sciences, and 3 years of
experience working in a research setting. *KSAO'S or JOB ELEMENT *


1. Knowledge of the principles, practices, procedures, and techniques for
conducting systematic reviews of scientific literature.

• Assists PI in developing and refining Key Questions and
inclusion/exclusion criteria for evidence synthesis reports.

• Reviews abstracts and full texts of scientific research studies for
inclusion/exclusion; extracting relevant data.

• Assesses the internal validity of studies using pre-established
quality/risk of bias criteria; assesses the strength of the evidence using
a structured tool.

• Drafts components of evidence synthesis reports including: background,
methods, results, data synthesis, discussion, and executive summary for PI

• Adjudicates peer review comments; makes appropriate revisions to draft,
and finalizes evidence synthesis report.

2. Skill in providing specialist information retrieval support for
developing and conducting scientific literature and grey literature
searches on a variety of health services and clinical topics.

• Plan and undertake specialized scoping searches to evaluate feasibility
for potential systematic reviews (free-text, subject headings, synonyms,
related terms, truncation, proximity operators, etc.).

• Plan and undertake searches for the conduct of rapid response evidence
synthesis reports.

• Searches non-bibliographic database sources, to identify grey literature (
*eg*, patient information, unpublished trials, and other evidence

• Retrieves full-text articles and orders necessary documents from
intra-library loan as needed.

• Follows quality standards for searches; keeps abreast of the latest
methodological developments in the field.

3. Skill in systematic review data synthesis.

• Data abstraction of scientific research studies
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