Research Assistant - Advocacy and Policy Impact (Food Policy)

Job No: GEORGE154
Location: Newtown, Australia

  • Full time (1 FTE) fixed term for 12 months
  • Respected global research organisation
  • Make an impact on global health outcomes

‘The George’ is 700+ people globally focused on improving the health of millions of people. A medical research institute affiliated with leading universities and with projects in approximately 50 countries, we are challenging the status quo in healthcare to find the best ways to prevent and treat chronic disease and injury, and to influence policy and practice worldwide.

Here is a sample of the things we are doing to achieve our goal of having the greatest possible impact on global health:

• We are identifying better and safer treatments for our biggest killers like stroke, heart disease and high blood pressure
• In many countries, our award winning FoodSwitch smartphone app is helping people make healthy food choices when shopping
• In China, we ran a successful education and awareness program to reduce the amount of salt eaten by people by 25% each day
• In rural India, we have shown that mobile technology can help diagnose mental health, as well as help treat cardiovascular disease, and we’re looking at similar approaches to treating chronic diseases in Indonesia and China
• Together with Aboriginal communities in NSW, Australia, we have developed an innovative community led program to assist young Aboriginal drivers attain their license, now implemented in a dozen of locations 
• We are developing an affordable dialysis machine, with potential to save millions of lives each year and transform the way kidney disease is treated globally
• And much more...

An exciting opportunity exists for a Research Assistant to join our growing organisation. The Research Assistant is required to support the research and advocacy work as well as being responsible for some of the administrative responsibilities of the team. There is scope for the right candidate to progress to undertake a PhD within the team.

The Advocacy and Policy Impact (API) team has a cross-cutting remit to strengthen advocacy and policy impact throughout the organization, and a strong focus on food and nutrition policy impact. We have four main areas of work:
1. Support countries to research and implement evidence-based salt reduction interventions as the designated World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Population Salt Reduction (WHO CC SALT). This includes providing direct support to WHO and countries, producing and disseminating resources and extending the evidence base. Current contracts include research in Malaysia, Indonesia, Africa and Europe.
2. Research on food policy and advocacy intervention: with existing programs of research on food policy in the Pacific Islands, salt reduction programs in Vietnam and Victoria and ongoing program of regularly updated systematic reviews.
3. Harvard-TGI Collaboration on Access to Care for Cardio-metabolic Diseases: This includes secondary analysis of routinely monitored data and capacity building in low and middle income countries including plans to establish a collaboration on Small Island Nations (Pacific and Caribbean).
4. Strengthening research impact: through developing and testing frameworks for research impact and contributing to communications and advocacy (thought leadership) programs.

Duties and Key Responsibilities
• Contributing to systematic review, collating materials and drafting copy for peer-reviewed journal articles relating to the above work
• Provide administrative and technical support to study team
• Providing support for the development of tools and resources to support salt reduction, food reformulation and monitoring of the food supply
• Conduct literature searches and assist with the preparing of grant applications
• Assist with ethics applications and documentation
• Assist in the development of communicational materials
• Assist with planning and organising regular meetings
• Assist with the preparation of study-related presentation materials
• Data entry, ensuring data quality, accuracy, completeness and timeliness of data completion
• Preparing paperwork required by the study and any study materials
• Assist in managing effective communication with the key stakeholders (participants, clinicians and investigators)
• Assist with the preparation of reports and publications about the study as required
• Ad hoc project work as required.

Skills, Knowledge and Experience
Essential
• Masters or equivalent qualifications in science, nutrition or healthcare discipline
• Good understanding of complexities of global health
• Experience in quantitative or qualitative research methodologies
• Excellent written language communication skills and ability to draft a wide range of documents
• Excellent organisational skills, having the ability to organise, take initiative and follow up independently
• Methodical and systematic, with good attention to detail
• Proficient in the use of the Microsoft Office suite of products, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook and the Internet
• Ability to be flexible and adaptable in the face of changing organisational priorities
• Ability to work well within a research team and excellent interpersonal skills
• Strong focus on quality of work.

(Desirable - Interest to progress to undertake a PhD within the team)

Closing date: Wednesday 4th September 2019

We offer a flexible and inclusive work culture with excellent staff benefits including, salary packaging arrangements and sound learning opportunities.

The George Institute is an equal employment opportunity employer committed to equity, diversity and social inclusion. Applications are encouraged from people with a disability; women; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; people who identify as LGBTIQ; mature-aged adults and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

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