Research Specialist

University of Chicago

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL, USA
Posted on Thursday, October 19, 2023


BSD MED - Infectious Diseases - Chicago Center HIV Elimination - Research

About the Department

The Chicago Center for HIV Elimination (CCHE) is situated within the Biological Sciences Division at the University of Chicago Medicine. CCHE aims to eliminate all new HIV transmission events by 2041. The CCHE mission includes integrated and comprehensive approaches to HIV elimination, including addressing risks associated with drug use and addiction, and testing interventions to promote harm reduction, testing, and linkage to care. Projects are located throughout the state of Illinois.

Job Summary

The University of Chicago is seeking three Research Specialists, one in each of the three following counties: Jackson County, IL; LaSalle County; Sangamon County, IL (3 positions total) to support PROMOTE, a large-scale research project focused on understanding evolving drug use behavior in rural settings, including those where multiple substance use with methamphetamine and fentanyl are prevalent. Exploration will be guided by the individual, interpersonal, and community/society levels impacting drug use and harm reduction behaviors, including secondary distribution, and will include the implementation evaluation of innovative remote, contactless harm reduction service delivery. This position will be a great opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the impact of the opioid and substance use crisis in rural settings, and to strengthen both interpersonal and research skills.

The position will be part-time with flexible hours, at 20 hours per week. Interested candidates may have the opportunity to work on other University of Chicago research projects. The Research Specialist will regularly report to the respective study site of the research project, and will work closely with PROMOTE setting staff to recruit and enroll participants. The Research Specialist will also work on project-related needs and will report directly to the project’s Research Manager. The position is based at a grassroots harm reduction organization and may entail travel to surrounding counties. The Research Specialist will be expected to work onsite for 2-3 half-days per week. Other work can be done remotely.

This position is grant funded.


  • Maintains confidential data collection and management.
  • Supports recruitment, screens for eligibility and consenting community members.
  • Delivers assessments, interventions, controls.
  • Supports data entry by reviewing and cleaning.
  • Compiles progress reports and documents study procedures/methods.
  • Offers referrals to service programming when appropriate.
  • Conducts literature reviews and supports manuscript and grant writing.
  • Depending on skill set, may engage in data management and analysis.
  • Participates in weekly check-ins with Project Coordinator and monthly group phone calls.
  • Administrative tasks as needed.
  • Collects and enters data. Assists in analyzing data. Assists with preparation of reports, manuscripts and other documents.
  • May assist recruiting and scheduling research subjects; assisting with developing or amending study protocols; assisting with developing data collection tools; assisting with building databases; and providing general administrative support. Is developing skills in research techniques or methods, regulatory policies and procedures, and relevant scientific field.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


Minimum requirements include vocational training, apprenticeships or the equivalent experience in related field (not typically required to have a four-year degree).

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 2-5 years of work experience in a related job discipline.



Preferred Qualifications


  • Bachelor's degree in a related field.


  • Working with and/or providing care to people who use drugs.
  • Working in research field.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:

  • Proficiency in the use of Microsoft Applications, including but not limited to Outlook, MS Office, and Access.
  • Knowledge around substance use disorders.
  • Strong knowledge of human subjects research and Good Clinical Practices.

Preferred Competencies

  • Adhere to strict data/security policies, including the maintenance and handling of PII/PHI and maintain confidentiality.
  • Strong initiative and a resourceful approach to problem-solving and learning.
  • Strong attention to detail with superb organization skills.
  • Qualitative and quantitative research skills for study recruitment and enrollment, interviewing, focus group facilitation, survey administration, etc.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and work both independently and as part of a team.
  • Flexible and creative problem solving skills.
  • Manage stressful situations.
  • Maintain community member confidentiality.
  • Work on multiple projects simultaneously, set priorities, and meet deadlines.
  • Demonstrated written and verbal communication skills and strong analytical skills.

Working Conditions

  • Conduct research activities in non-traditional settings (community venues).
  • This is a part-time position of approximately 20 hours per week.

Application Documents

  • Resume/CV (required)
  • Cover Letter (required)

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family


Role Impact

Individual Contributor

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, military or veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

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