Research Scientist in Health System and Policy Research in China

Harvard University

United States


Title: Research Scientist in Health System and Policy Research in China

School: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Position Description:
The Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health seeks to hire a Research Scientist to contribute to and develop a growing and vibrant research program on China’s health care system under the school-wide Harvard China Health Partnership. The Harvard China Health Partnership is a platform through which Harvard faculty and researchers collaborate with Chinese research institutions and governments to advance rigorous and policy-relevant research. The successful candidate will work with Professor Winnie Yip, faculty director of the Harvard China Health Partnership, to expand upon a strong record of research and capacity-building to inform Chinese health policy formulation for advancing the well-being of millions of Chinese citizens.

In particular, we seek a Research Scientist to advance three strategic areas of research:

1) Social experimentation of innovative health systems: this includes the design, implementation, evaluation and potential scaling-up of innovative health system models with some focus in lower-income regions. Some ongoing experiments include regional-based accountable care, primary care based integrated delivery, quality-based provider payment incentives, strategic purchasing, etc.

2) Integrating multi-site cohort epidemiological data with health policy/system research: leveraging partnerships with multi-site cohort epidemiological/clinical data from research organizations and government agencies, this stream of work focuses on linking these cohort data with policy/system research to evaluate the impacts of various aspects of China’s dynamic health care reform to inform policymakers.

3) Using big data analytics to improve clinical decision-making for primary care in rural China: this program aspires to build a strong and sustainable primary health care system in rural China that is enabled by a decision support system based on big data analytics in which providers are held accountable for improving population health.

For more information about the Harvard China Health Partnership, please visit:

About the Role. We seek a dynamic and rigorous Research Scientist to join our team, bringing stellar scholarship as well as a passion for applied research to inform better health policy formulation in China. Specific responsibilities include:
• Contribute substantially to the design, implementation and evaluation of social experiments in innovative models of financing, health care delivery, strategic purchasing and/or governance
• Leverage existing partnerships to integrate epidemiological cohort data with health policy/system research
• Assist in strategizing the use of big data analytics for enhancing quality health care
• Guide and supervise Boston-based research assistants in relevant areas of expertise
• Guide and train local collaborators if needed
• Write up research results, including contributing to project reports and co/lead-authoring scientific papers and publishing in leading journals
• Actively engage in dissemination activities and delivering effective presentations for various audiences
• Seek and develop new opportunities that are synergistic to the project objectives and priorities
• Significant travel and time in China will be required, approximately 35% of effort, to work with local partners and liaise with stakeholders
• The initial appointment of a Research Scientist is for three years with opportunity for renewal depending on funding and performance

Basic Qualifications:
• Doctoral degree in health policy, public policy, economics or health systems research
• At least four years of postdoctoral or equivalent research experience in the areas of public policy, health policy, or health systems
• Excellent methodological skills especially in quantitative evaluation methods for large cohort data
• Experience in conducting field research in lower and middle income countries
• Major contributions to refereed publications beyond thesis papers
• Demonstrated ability to work independently and collaboratively to fulfill the objectives and priorities of the project
• Demonstrated record of creative thinking and entrepreneurship
• China language or familiarity
• Evidence of leadership in scientific administration, including the supervision of research staff
• Excellent interpersonal skills and be able to collaborate with and supervise diverse partners
• Ability to travel and work independently
• Evidence of ability to excel in research

Appointment as a Research Associate may also be possible for appropriate qualified applicants with less experience.

Additional Qualifications:
• Experience in the application of big data analytics to health policy would be viewed favorably
• Prior experience designing surveys is preferred
• Prior experience working in China is preferred
• Strong writing skills

Contact Information: Elizabeth Osborn

Contact Email:

Equal Opportunity Employer:
We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions or any other characteristic protected by law.

Minimum Number of References Required: 2
Maximum Number of References Allowed: 2

Applicant Documents
Required Documents
Curriculum Vitae
Cover Letter

In your application, please refer to


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