The Income and Development Brain study is a path breaking random assignment study that will offer monthly unconditional cash supplements to eligible low income mothers of infants for the first three years of their child’s life. The aim is to understand the causal effects of income on the family and on very early child development, in order to inform policy. Two hundred fifty mothers will be recruited from hospitals at the time of their child’s birth in each of four sites—New York City, New Orleans, St. Paul, Minnesota, and Omaha, Nebraska. Half of the mothers in each site will be randomized to receive $333/month in cash and half will receive $20/month in cash. The NIH-funded study is led by principal investigators Greg Duncan (UC Irvine), Lisa Gennetian (NYU), Katherine Magnuson (UW at Madison), Kimberly Noble (Teachers College, Columbia University), and Hirokazu Yoshikawa (NYU). PIs are also collaborating with a team of neuroscientists at each site who will lead measurement of children’s brain development at 36 months old. Recruitment of study participants will begin in Spring 2018 with data collection occurring just after birth, and at child ages 12, 24 and 36 months. More about the study and its motivation can be found here, here and here. We are seeking an experienced researcher and project manager to serve as a project director for this multi-institutional, multi-site, multi-year study. The candidate will supervise multiple technical aspects of the project, serve as the liaison among PIs, the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan, neuroscientists and site stakeholders, contribute to methodological and operational decision-making, research design, data collection, analysis, and reporting. The candidate should have at least two years of experience coordinating and managing complex, multi-university research projects.
The position will be located in New York City with an appointment through Teachers College, Columbia University. Some travel is expected to each of the study sites, team meetings or gatherings at one or more of the university partners, and Ann Arbor, Michigan, to meet with survey field researchers and attend training. Salary is commensurate with experience.
Manage and supervise the development and testing of survey instruments, manage processing and monitoring of baseline and follow-up survey data files with Survey Research Center
Manage relationship with debit card company and transaction of cash through debit cards to study participants
Serve as a point of contact for study participants who encounter difficulties with using the debit cards
Liaise between field operations, PIs and research assistants to provide on-the ground insights and inputs into key research design decisions and troubleshooting of any research-related issues that arise.
Coordinate across a range of colleagues, contractors, research partners, funders and advisors
Prepare project updates and funder progress reports
Assist with obtaining and maintaining IRB approvals
Communicate with funders and assist with writing grant applications as needed
Organize and assist with study findings’ dissemination
Master’s degree and two or more years’ experience in survey research, behavioral or social sciences, public policy, or related field strongly preferred. Qualified persons without a Master’s degree are encouraged to apply. Flexibility to set up as a multi-year post-doctorate appointment if appropriate.
Availability for at least a three-year commitment starting as early as January, 2018
Strong management and research skills
Experience with research project management, survey research, and study implementation, preferably in a multi-site, multi-university study
Experience with cognitive, behavioral, and/or neural assessments in young children a strong plus.
Proven analytical skills in the design, collection, and analysis of survey data
Oral and written fluency in Spanish; fully bilingual/bicultural a plus
Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
Experience with experimental (randomized) study designs a plus
Additional Salary Information: commensurate with experience
Kimberly Noble, MD, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. As a neuroscientist and board-certified pediatrician, she directs the Neurocognition, Early Experience and Development (NEED) lab where she and her team study how socioeconomic inequality relates to in children's cognitive and brain development.? Her work examines socioeconomi...c disparities in cognitive development, as well as brain structure and function, across infancy, childhood and adolescence. She is particularly interested in understanding how early in infancy or toddlerhood such disparities develop; the modifiable environmental differences that account for these disparities; and the ways we might harness this research to inform the design of interventions. Along with a multidisciplinary team from around the country, with funding from NIH and a consortium of foundations, she is currently planning the first clinical trial of poverty reduction to assess the causal impact of income on children’s cognitive, emotional and brain development in the first three years of life. Dr. Noble received her undergraduate, graduate and medical degrees at the University of Pennsylvania, completed postdoctoral training at the Sackler Institute of Developmental Psychobiology of Weill Cornell Medical College, and completed her residency in pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center / Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York - Presbyterian. She was awarded a 2017 Association for Psychological Science Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions. Her work linking family income to brain structure across childhood and adolescence has received worldwide attention in the popular press.
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