Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Type: Full Time
College / University
Internal Number: 62444BR
We are seeking a full-time Senior Research Analyst to support ongoing studies of cognitive aging and dementia in South Africa. Our work aims to understand how cognitive function in older age is shaped by biological aging and lifespan social experience. We use a variety of methods to tackle issues related to reliable measurement of cognitive function across countries and cultures. The work is grounded in our ongoing NIH-funded flagship project, Health and Aging in Africa: A Longitudinal Study in South Africa (HAALSI). The HAALSI study team examines the biological, social, and economic factors and public policies that interact to influence the course of major diseases and disorders among older adults in South Africa, including dementia and cognitive decline, cardiometabolic disease, and HIV. HAALSI began as a community-based longitudinal cohort study nested within the health and socio-demographic surveillance system (HDSS) in Agincourt, South Africa, where the study team has completed three waves of survey and biomarker data collection. HAALSI has recently been renewed for the next 5-year period, which will include continuation of our community cohort study in Agincourt, as well as the launch of the first nationally representative longitudinal HAALSI survey across South Africa. The community and national surveys each include a sub-study with in-depth cognitive assessment focused on the epidemiology of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in HAALSI. The studies are designed to be aligned with the international Health and Retirement (HRS) sister studies, and the HRS Harmonized Cognitive Assessment Protocol (HCAP), while also addressing research questions specific to aging in the South African context.
This is a full-time term appointment starting summer 2023 (start date flexible) through June 30, 2025 with strong possibility of renewal. There is a strong preference for candidates willing to stay at least two years.
Duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
Manage study operations including home-based assessments of cognitive function, clinical assessments of neurological signs and symptoms, and hospital-based magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies of brain structure and function.
Support quality control processes for field and data collection.
Participate in trainings related to the collection of cognitive data for the HAALSI main study and HAALSI-HCAP.
Support the dementia consensus review process to assign diagnostic categories.
Conduct data quality review for cognitive data in HAALSI and HAALSI-HCAP.
Participate in the analysis of neuropsychological, biomarker and neuroimaging data and contribute to the production of analytic datasets.
Participate in the design of diagnostic protocols and dementia algorithm development.
Write and co-author publications.
Other duties as assigned
PLEASE NOTE: This position has a term appointment of 2 years from date of hire with the possibility of extension. Candidates must be willing to live within driving distance of Cambridge, MA. This is a hybrid role, with 2-3 days spent in the office (to be decided with supervisor). Additional detail pertaining to this position will be discussed during the interview process.
Education: Either PhD in Public Health, Cognitive Psychology, Neuropsychology, Epidemiology, or similar field OR Master's degree in related with 5 years experience.
About Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies
The Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies (HCPDS) is a university-wide initiative, dedicated to interdisciplinary research focused primarily on the quantitative social science of population change, socioeconomic development, and public health. Our goal is to produce population-based evidence that will better inform policies needed to create healthy and vital societies.