Health Services Research Project Administrator II

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Health Services Research Project Administrator II

Date Posted April 23, 2017
Job Type Regular
Hours Per Week 40
PAVIR Job ID ZIM1702.17
Salary Range DOE


The Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Research (PAVIR) is seeking a Health Services Research Project Administrator to coordinate the efforts of our nationally distributed, cross-functional team by leading project timelines, establishing operational processes, facilitating communication and coordination among team members, and supporting Team PSD collaborations with VHA national leadership, frontline staff and managers from clinics around the United States.

The Health Services Research Project Administrator position is part of Team Participatory System Dynamics (PSD), which is working to change the way health care quality improvement decisions are made across all layers of the largest integrated health care system in the United States – the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).

The Project Administrator will coordinate several project activities and will be a primary connector and communicator for Team PSD, maintaining productive and responsive collaboration with a team of approximately 15 people engaged in an implementation research effort to improve health care operations. The Project Administrator will motivate and encourage progress among team members, removing barriers and identifying necessary resources, while maintaining a collegial interpersonal style. Along with the Principal Investigator (PI), the Project Administrator will be a central point person for maintaining outward relationships with the larger VHA health system.

We seek a Project Administrator with exceptional ability to attend to details, initiate critical tasks independently, and who also knows when team consultation is needed.  The strong candidate for the Project Administrator position has excelled at demonstrating the ability to assess and act quickly on requests from team members and stakeholders to keep several work streams progressing in a timely way.

This is an excellent opportunity for an individual who is interested in developing skills at the cutting edge of social, technological, and data based innovations to improve the quality of health care systems. This position is located at the VHA Menlo Park, CA campus in the National Center for PTSD, Dissemination and Training Division (NCPTSD).

This is a regular, full time (40 hours/week), exempt position.

PAVIR is a nonprofit foundation affiliated with the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS). As a condition of employment, all PAVIR employees are required to have an approved appointment with VAPAHCS and complete a background check before they can commence work.


Team and Collaboration Management:

  • manage inbound requests from multidisciplinary team members and partners across the United States, including researchers, engineers, data scientists, and doctoral-level Team PSD mentees drawn from the Bay Area and across the country
  • encourage investment and engagement from VHA frontline staff, managers and Veteran patients to ensure research aims and project deliverables are of high-value to health system end-users
  • coordinate and document team and stakeholder meetings, facilitated by technological platforms; current meeting platforms include Lucid Meetings, Adobe Connect and Microsoft Lync
  • effectively use online project management tools for nationally distributed, cross-functional teams, Team PSD project management occurs on Basecamp and other web-based tools that integrate with the Basecamp 2 API
  • develop and maintain team resources including the team website, social media accounts, training materials, and best practices for commonly used Team PSD resources
  • use collaboration tools and technologies specific to VHA, such as VA Pulse and VHA Sharepoint sites; existing familiarity with these tools is a plus, but not required
  • source and evaluate partnerships and contracts with research vendors; coordinate with NCPTSD fiscal staff to onboard and track payments to vendors for deliverables, including writing statements of work and negotiating budgets with the principal investigator.

Work and Project Management:

  • prioritize new and ongoing deliverables, and react quickly to real-time changes
  • create thoughtful, targeted, effective written communication for high volume and high visibility requests, particularly to bridge national leaders and local frontline staff
  • format reports, manuscripts and presentations consistent with national VHA style and graphic requirements, and/or style requirements of peer-reviewed scientific journals; Team PSD currently uses the rMarkdown package for producing Word, PDF, html and beamer slides
  • coordinate with data scientists, engineers and programmers on Team PSD, to update and support documentation of reproducible code on GitHub
  • review published literature and maintain the Team PSD Zotero reference library
  • prepare and coordinate team contributions to federal research grant applications and progress reports, VA Palo Alto, Stanford and other university institutional review board (IRBs) documents, and other required VHA research documentation
  • track and organize team expenses, budgets and expense reports
  • document and share lessons learned during learning cycles to disseminate the rationale for Team PSD pivots, and to help PI with justifying new investments in the project to stakeholders, VHA and federal funders
  • identify work steams that can occur in parallel and when key communications and reflection across partners should be coordinated to reduce waste and unnecessary rework
  • experiment with new tools, processes, and techniques to improve the work produced by Team PSD; continuously propose and enhance process and tools for improving team workflow, identifying ways to streamline and sustain activities with minimal upkeep
  • ensure that project aims are achieved and project output is highly valued by NIH and VHA stakeholders (patients, providers, policy-makers and scientific communities)
  • disseminate Team PSD progress and research findings through appropriate online channels and team resources.



  • Required: Bachelor Degree in management, project management, communication, public relations, design (service, visual, engineering, digital or graphic design), journalism, marketing, media, psychology, social sciences or related discipline (or equivalent combination of education, training and experience)
  • Desired: Master’s Degree or Ph.D. in related disciplines.


  • Required: 1 year or more of experience in a position with similar responsibilities. Experience coordinating concurrent fast moving components of a large project; managing shifting priorities, timelines and change effectively
  • Desired: 2 years or more of experience in a similar position. Experience coordinating development cycles for technologies and data systems; experience being a leader or manager of change efforts in health care or research setting, that includes coordinating multi-disciplinary collaboration. Familiarity with health care, quality improvement and electronic health record data; VHA experience is desired. Prior experience with managing NIH and other large grants is desired but not required.

Knowledge / Skills / Abilities:

  • Strong, clear, concise written and oral communication in English via online and in-person channels
  • Successful experience in maintaining trust across an array of stakeholders and end-users with wide-ranging and potentially divergent priorities across a variety of local cultures; Proven ability to establish rapport via written, in-person and phone interactions
  • Demonstrated excellence in planning, tracking, organizing and communicating with clarity and efficiency
  • Creative problem-solving skills, including identifying issues others may have missed; synthesize contributions and information from a variety of sources and proactively identify, recommend and pursue the best path forward for the team
  • Ability to manage simultaneous requests with a high level of encouragement and responsiveness to motivate ongoing contributions from team members and frontline health care staff
  • Proven ability to manage time effectively and consult when necessary to manage multiple project timelines without losing site of the highest priorities for the project
  • Exceptional attention to detail and commitment to continuous, thoughtful and timely output
  • Experience with relevant project management tools: Team PSD uses Basecamp 2
  • Readiness to learn new skills in a rapidly changing health care, technology and data landscape; interest in identifying the most high-value processes for stakeholders to adopt and sustain use of new tools, software interfaces and data to make decisions.

Environmental Conditions / Physical Demands:

Physical: Sitting in front of a computer for long periods of time, repetitive movement, etc.

Environmental: Exposure to office equipment and office environment.

PAVIR engages in nonprofit medical research and works with sponsors and the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) in administering funds for conducting research to find new and improved ways to combat human disease and help people with disabilities. Please refer to our website for additional information:

PAVIR is pleased to be an Equal Opportunity Employer for Minorities, Females, Protected Veterans, and Qualified Individuals with a Disability. If you need special assistance or an accommodation to apply for a posted position, please contact – Human Resources department.


  • Medical Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Life Insurance – paid by PAVIR
  • Long-term Disability Insurance – paid by PAVIR
  • Short-term Disability Insurance – paid by PAVIR
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Vacation
  • Sick Leave
  • Holidays
  • 401(k) Retirement Plan with Company Match and Profit Share
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Commuter Benefits
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