Data Services Specialist

2301 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98117
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Created: May 21, 2019


The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an independent research center at the University of Washington. Its mission is to monitor global health conditions and health systems, as well as to evaluate interventions, initiatives, and reforms. IHME carries out a range of projects within different research areas including the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors; Future Health Scenarios; Costs and Cost Effectiveness; Geospatial Analysis; Resource Tracking; and Impact Evaluations. The aim is to provide policymakers, donors, and researchers with the highest-quality quantitative evidence base to make decisions that achieve better health. 

IHME has an outstanding opportunity for a Data Services Specialist. The Data Services Specialist will be responsible for meeting the data seeking, sourcing, and management needs of internal research teams at IHME. The Data Services Specialist will work closely with a dynamic team of researchers and staff at all levels to understand the unique analytical goals and processes of a given research team in order to best identify, describe, and organize data relevant to its specific needs. This position will also be an important liaison between researchers and Data Indexers, providing contextual and subject knowledge to guide the seeking and description of datasets. A successful Data Services Specialist will have enough knowledge of both the research and data management practices to identify and suggest improvements to tools, processes, and workflows. 

The Data Services Specialist will be a member of a complex organizational structure that involves multiple individuals on different teams (research teams, IT, Data, Global Engagement), each with a variety of responsibilities and highly specific subject knowledge. This environment requires that The Data Services Specialist be able to effectively communicate with a diverse group of people. This position also requires creativity, flexibility, and tenacity to acquire the information and resources necessary to successfully complete tasks. In addition, the Data Services Specialist will be an advocate for proper data management and must feel comfortable providing advice and enforcing established practices. 

Responsibilities include: 

Research Command 

  • Serve as a resource for others in seeking, understanding, and explaining the characteristics of data from a multitude of sources that are used in different research areas. 
  • Translate big-picture data needs framed by researchers and senior staff into specific and tractable data seeking. 
  • Employ creativity and independent decision-making in performing searches and interpreting the value of data sources. 

Data Management and Quality Assessment 

  • Seek data to fill gaps and to ensure a consistently comprehensive set of data is available to major research areas. 
  • Assist teams in scoping data requirements and priorities.  Create efficiencies across team where possible. 
  • Catalogue and document data sources, dimensions, and metadata. 
  • Ensure the highest quality data management and tracking 
  • Conduct background research related to specific data sources, research-specific needs, and data access. 
  • Communicate effectively with collaborators, other external actors, and internal relationship managers to both attain and catalogue data appropriately. 

Publications, Presentations, and Data Requests 

  • Independently respond to specific data requests from both internal and external parties. 
  • Track and report back on data seeking progress.  Identify and fill gaps. 



  • Communicate clearly and effectively while contributing as a member of the Institute. 
  • Work closely with other team members to assist with relevant tasks, facilitate learning new skills, and to help resolve emerging problems on different projects. 
  • Attend relevant meetings, adhere to deadlines, and participate as a vital member to collectively advance team-level objectives. 
  • Participate in overall community of the Institute, carrying out duties as may be required for team members. 

As a UW employee, you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs.  For detailed information on Benefits for this position, click here. 

Master’s Degree in library science, information management, or (science) data management and two years’ related experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience. 

Additional Requirements: 

  • Familiarity with different types of quantitative data. 
  • Strong aptitude and agility to learn evolving data protocols and to think in an integrated and systematic way. 
  • Interest in global health or population health research. 
  • Strong organizational skills and demonstrated self-direction.  Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, energetic, highly creative, and entrepreneurial environment. 
  • Strong communication skills across multiple audiences, both internal and external.  Ability to communicate concisely, respectfully, and in a focused manner. 

Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration. 

Conditions of Employment: Evening and/or weekend work may be required. 

Please note: priority consideration will be given to complete applications received by June 4th.

Last updated: Wednesday, May 22, 2019 23:14 UTC