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    Research Specialist III

    Texas Health & Human Services Commission
    1100 W 49Th St, Austin, TX 73301
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    Job Description

    The Research Specialist will provide analytic and research support for the Division for Regional and Local Health Operations (RLHO). The position will support the Office of the Associate Commissioner (OAC), including the following program areas: Texas Syndromic Surveillance (TxS2), Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Specialized Health and Social Services, Texas Block Grant, Texas Center for Infectious Disease, DSHS Public Health Regions, Office of Border Public Health (OBPH), and the Center for Health Emergency Preparedness and Response (CHEPR). The position will assist these program areas in the collection, organization, and analysis of data for a variety of projects, as well as in preparing materials in response to requests for program information and reports.

    Essential Job Functions:
    Attends work on a regular and predictable schedule in accordance with agency leave policy and performs other duties as assigned.

    (30%) Provides analytical and research support for all program areas within the Office of the Associate Commissioner (OAC). Participates in special projects and performs an array of technical, research, planning, and administrative activities related to public health activities at regional and local health departments. Coordinates data reporting for internal RLHO performance measures. Prepares, edits, routes, and distributes correspondence, reports, forms, and documents. Assists with trainings and the development of policies, procedures, reports, and training materials. Consults with internal and external customers and stakeholders.

    (25%) Conducts literature reviews related to disease outbreaks, the provision of health services, and public health emergency response. Prepares administrative reports, studies, and specialized research projects for RLHO staff. Assists in the collection, organization, analysis, and preparation of materials in response to requests for program information.

    (10%) Performs complex Geographic Information Systems (GIS) work under moderate supervision. Work involves input and manipulation of geographic information to create, maintain, display, update, and produce accurate maps and other products. Develop standard operating procedures and training materials.

    (10%) Provides analytical and research support for GIS projects. Assists the GIS Specialist with collection, cleaning, and preparing data for spatial analysis. Provides feedback on mapping products and analysis.

    (10%) Provides analytical and research support for the Office of Border Public Health (OBPH). Researches a variety of data sources to compile data profiles for specific geographic areas of Texas, including areas along the Texas-Mexico border. Assists the Border Public Health Epidemiologist with preparing data analysis reports, including preparing figures or tables and writing descriptive text. Creates data slides or other materials to help other staff members prepare for meetings or presentations.

    (10%) Provides analytical and research support for Center for Health Emergency Preparedness and Response (CHEPR) projects and emergency response events. Coordinates with program areas throughout DSHS to research, prepare, and review information for entry into the situational awareness data platform. Assists the Disaster Epidemiologist with collection, cleaning, and analysis of data such as morbidity and mortality data, deployment data, shelter surveillance data, and data collected during Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) events.

    (5%) Performs other duties as assigned. Other duties as assigned could include actively participating and/or serving in a supporting role to meet the agency's obligations for disaster response and/or recovery or Continuity of Operations (COOP) activation. Such participation may require an alternate shift pattern assignment and/or location.

    Knowledge Skills Abilities:
    Knowledge of the principles of descriptive and analytical statistics.
    Knowledge of research methods, principles, and techniques.
    Knowledge of grammar, syntax, spelling, punctuation, usage, and style.
    Knowledge of terminology related to geographic information systems, including legal descriptions, cartography, engineering, construction plans, aerial photography, and orthophotography.
    Knowledge of scientific and technical writing.
    Knowledge of local, state, and federal laws related to public health surveillance, preferred.
    Knowledge of the principles of disease surveillance, preferred.

    Skill in conducting qualitative and quantitative research.
    Skill in the use of standard office equipment.
    Skill in the use of Microsoft Office Suite, including Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
    Skill in collecting, analyzing, and reporting data, including reviewing data quality.
    Skill in solving problems; in testing, installing, and implementing geographic information system programs; in the use of applicable software; and in troubleshooting system issues.
    Skill in developing, writing, editing, and reviewing documents.
    Skill in verbal presentation.
    Skill in planning, organizing, and prioritizing workload and meeting deadlines.
    Skill in the use of Tableau, ArcGIS, Epi Info, SAS, and SharePoint, preferred.

    Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
    Ability to gather, assemble, correlate, and analyze facts and devise solutions to problems.
    Ability to plan, organize, and conduct research projects and evaluate research data.
    Ability to interpret and communicate research findings, orally and in writing.
    Ability to design and implement tools for process improvement.
    Ability to analyze geographic information systems and procedures; to read and interpret surveys, legal descriptions, cartography, engineering documents, construction plans, aerial photography, and orthophotography; and to communicate effectively.
    Ability to train others.
    Ability to work under limited supervision, exercise sound judgement, and operate effectively within established guidelines and time frames.
    Ability to perform as a team member and coordinate with key stakeholders and programmatic staff.
    Ability to maintain files, records, and databases with accuracy.
    Ability to learn and use program area computer systems.
    Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with colleagues and the general public and comport oneself with professionalism in-person, in writing, and over the phone.
    Ability to navigate agency resources to accurately develop and prepare written communications in the appropriate style, language, and using the correct routing procedures for assignments.
    Ability to adhere to security and confidentiality policies and procedures at all times.

    Registration or Licensure Requirements:

    Initial Selection Criteria:
    1) Graduation from a four-year college or university with major course work in social science, computer science, statistical analysis, behavioral science, health care, public health, or health care administration.

    2) At least two-years of experience conducting and presenting research projects.

    Additional Information:
    Requisition # 464116
    An in-basket exercise will be required at time of interview.

    Any offer of salary is dependent on applicant's relevant experience and contingent upon allocated funds set by the current budget.

    MOS Code:
    35F, 49A, 783X, ISS, 61AX, 8051, 0231

    HHS agencies use E-Verify. You must bring your I-9 documentation with you on your first day of work.

    I-9 Form - Click here to download the I-9 form.

    In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), HHS agencies will provide reasonable accommodation during the hiring and selection process for qualified individuals with a disability. If you need assistance completing the on-line application, contact the HHS Employee Service Center at 1-888-894-4747. If you are contacted for an interview and need accommodation to participate in the interview process, please notify the person scheduling the interview.

    Posting ID: 572879032Posted: 2020-09-10