Informatics Analyst I Position @ the Institute for Medical Research, Durham NC

The Institute for Medical Research, an affiliate of the Durham VA Health Care System (DVAHCS) is looking for an Informatics Analyst I to supports select clinical research studies conducted by the Principal Investigator, Dr. Christopher Woods, and his associates in the Infectious Diseases research laboratories.  

The Informatics Analyst supports data analytics of several studies primarily related to Infectious Diseases, such as pneumonia, sepsis, tick-borne infections, and COVID, and vaccines. Studies include prospective observational research, clinical trials, and related tissue and serum-based studies. The Informatics Analyst I is typically an informatics specialist on one or more clinical research projects of moderate complexity and works closely with researchers.

Location: This position is in office. This position is located in Durham, North Carolina and candidates must be willing to relocate prior to start date.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Critical Element 1 –Technical, Including Analytical and Research Support:

  • Provide informatics support on research projects including requirements analyses, design, technical specification development, data collection, analysis, presentation, and reporting. Leverage cross-discipline training and experience to capture project requirements, while facilitating participation by clinical, scientific, operational, and information technology stakeholders.
  • Work with study teams to prioritize requirements and assure feasibility.
  • Create technical and functional specifications for assisting data marts, sites, and partners in identifying potential study participants based on characteristics, inclusion/exclusion criteria, and other information listed in the study protocol or concept sheet.
  • Develop and build knowledge of terminologies and coding procedures used in research and the health care environment.
  • Provide training on informatics-related concepts, applications and tools.
  • Assist with data characterization and data profiling.
  • Perform and contribute to established data characterization processes that involve data mining, visualization or use of other analytics.
  • Maintain and run programs to perform analyses and generate both routine and ad hoc reports.
  • Build a strong knowledge base in domain modeling, relational database design, programming language(s) such as SAS, data transfer models, and electronic health record and health care claims standards and/or analytical techniques for use in research programs.
  • Use and support web-based informatics tools, public domain health databases and software tools for sequence, domain, and structural analysis.
  • Acquire an understanding of emerging tools and technologies.
  • Work within relational databases and domain models and data analysis software.
  • Assist with UAT code creation for data curation; run test cases and document findings. Contribute ideas to data profiling strategies.
  • Respond to research requests (aka Front Door requests) by executing query and modifying existing code as needed; compile QA results; prepare reports.
  • Develop analytical code lists (DX, PX, RXCUI, NDC, LOINC, etc.) for queries, documenting for reuse.
  • Develop and maintain functional requirements, technical specifications, and work plans for distributed research queries (SAS programs). Document specs and coordinate with staff for tech review/approval.
  • Lead and conduct data validation and user acceptance testing. Develop test cases that validate technical specifications with the functional requirements. Coordinate user acceptance testing and other quality assurance activities by external beta-testers. Document validation/testing plan and results.
  • Assist in summarizing findings using Excel, PowerPoint, SQL, and SAS, or other tools.
  • Troubleshoot issues across projects (including technical or process errors), and identify root causes and opportunities for improvements.

Critical Element 2 –Project Management:

  • Follow departmental project management (PM) processes. Responsible for assigned work contributing to the success of the project.
  • Assist in defining work requirements for new projects and monitor the scope of assigned work within an ongoing project. This includes working with internal and external collaborators. Analyze and resolve issues that have the potential to jeopardize agreed upon deliverables.
  • Contribute to project data discussions and working closely with the project team to define and execute data workflows.
  • Develop knowledge of data governance and best practices. Contribute to project specific Research Data Security Plans (RDSP).
  • Contribute to lessons learned as a routine part of the project lifecycle.
  • Develop knowledge of data governance and best practices. Contribute to project specific Research Data Security Plans (RDSP).
  • Actively plan, manage, and report on work status; seek efficiencies wherever possible.
  • Recommend new business opportunities, new systems and processes, and improvements in operations. Implement operational improvements approved by senior management.
  • Develop and maintain positive and effective relationships with informatics and cross-functional staff and collaborators.
  • Ensure timely delivery of assigned deliverables; keep task status current in project management (PM) tools.
  • Work with internal and external collaborators to resolve issues that jeopardize timelines and deliverables.
  • Contribute ideas for the functional requirements, cohort identification, technical specification, work plan, and associated code lists.
  • Responsible for query distribution and compilation according to project established schedule.
  • Draft data workflow processes and document appropriately (e.g., Data Management/Linkage Plan, RDSP, etc.).

Critical Element 3 –Skill Development, Mentoring, Publications and Presentations:

  • Educate internal and external partners on the value, role, and methodology provided by informatics and health services research.
  • Participate in training on informatics and health services data related concepts, applications, and tools.
  • Maintain working knowledge of biomedical informatics, including technology, standards, systems, and methodologies used in health care and related research.
  • Peer-review work of informatics analysts and assist in training new staff.
  • Contribute to the development of training material and process documentation for both the department and for assigned projects.
  • Assist in preparation of publications and presentations.
  • Present at conferences and/or contribute to articles published in peer reviewed journals
  • The above statements describe the general nature and level of work being performed by individuals assigned to this classification. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and duties required of personnel so classified.


  • Requires an organized, task oriented, deadline-sensitive individual with a B.S. in Bioinformatics or the Biological Sciences with demonstrable computational skills; or a B.S. in Computer Science with a strong interest in Biology/Genomics. M.S. preferred.
  • 1-2 years of relevant experience.
  • Graduate education may be considered in lieu of work experience.

Additional Requirements:

  • Familiarity with relational database design and data integration principles, programming languages (including SAS, R, and SQL), and data transfer techniques. Curiosity with emerging tools and techniques.
  • Familiarity with basic statistical principles.
  • Familiarity with healthcare data. Develop knowledge of coding terminologies and coding practices for research and healthcare.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills in a technical or healthcare environment.
  • One year of work experience in health care datasets preferred.
  • Demonstrated leadership, professional initiative, teamwork, strong interpersonal relationship skills, decision-making, and good judgement
  • Possess sufficient professional knowledge of clinic operations and general medical research to provide training and guidance to others in the clinic
  • Excellent written and oral skills, Windows, Microsoft Word, Excel, editing, and proper telephone etiquette skills are required for this position
  • Prior experience with clinical research, FDA regulations, and HIPAA considerations is preferred
  • Requires an organized, task oriented, deadline-sensitive individual
  • Must have the ability to work independently in a fast-paced environment, prioritize and manager the workflow of multiple projects
  • Must be able to occasionally lift at least 40 pounds, sit at a computer for long periods of time, and stand on your feet for long periods of time
  • Has fluency in the English language

Physical Requirements: The physical requirements and activities that are required to perform the essential functions of the position include, but may not be limited to, as follows:  Must be able to occasionally lift, pull and push a minimum of 40 pounds, stand for extended periods of time, sit for extended periods of time, squat, kneel, and stoop, regularly use fingers, hands for computer work.

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  • Paid job
  • Professional development
  • Research
  • Post-graduation