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Job# 6786 - Social Research Specialist (Seattle (Downtown), Washington)
Full Time
Posted: June 28, 2013
Closes: July 15, 2013

The Local Hazardous Waste Management Program (LHWMP) is regional partnership of local governments in King County working to reduce public and environmental exposures from the production, use, storage and disposal of hazardous materials. The Social Research Specialist/Scientist supports the overall program mission through research of emerging health, environment, community, and policy issues that influence program goals and objectives. The Social Research Specialist/Scientist also consults with, and provides guidance to LHWMP project teams on research design and implementation and develops policy and intervention strategy recommendations for program management. More information on LHWMP can be found at www.lhwmp.org.


Program and Community Needs Assessment

  • Develop and implement methods and plans for monitoring emerging health and environmental issues and behaviors related to LHWMP mission, including use of social indicators, consumer/market research, and behavioral research.
  • Develop new measures and evaluate existing measures as indicators of social, physical and environmental determinants of community and environmental health.
  • Synthesize literature and data for development of policy options and plans to address future service needs.
  • Monitor key social, health and environmental indicators that reflect environmental and population-based priorities for LHWMP.
  • Identify gaps in data collection strategies and develop recommendations to fill those gaps.
  • Conduct research on chemical hazards in consumer products, industrial process chemicals, and waste streams.
  • Use strategies including qualitative research methodologies (surveys, focus groups, key informant interviews, consumer data, ethnographic studies, etc,) and literature reviews to identify community needs, consumer behavior, and recommend appropriate program service levels.

Applied Research, Program Planning, and Project Support

  • Consult with LHWMP policy staff and management, environmental and health planners, and public officials to assist in policy development, planning for community needs, and the development of interventions based on research findings.
  • Provide technical supervision, training, and consulting for other LHWMP work teams and program partners.
  • Design multi-disciplinary or technically challenging research strategies, including study design, data management, analysis, implementation, data interpretation, reporting, and application to projects.
  • Develop, and oversee data collection methodology, which may include ethnographic interviews, focus groups, key informant interviews, community group interviews, audiotape or videotape recordings, or other quantitative or qualitative methods. Work with contractors as appropriate to meet these objectives.
  • Use geographic information systems (GIS), graphs, and spatial-temporal techniques to analyze population-based information and trends. Present findings and policy recommendations.
  • Plan and participate in dissemination of findings; prepare reports, presentations, and scientific papers; and, participate in conferences, meetings and seminars.
  • Produce written reports, academic articles, and oral presentations on findings and proposed activities to a wide variety of audiences including, but not limited to: researchers, health and environmental professionals, community organizations, and the general public.

Administration and Contract Management

  • Manage ongoing projects in an environment of changing priorities with time and budget constraints; guide project scope of work; and lead and coordinate research efforts with departmental and program staff and investigators in other agencies.
  • Identify potential funding sources and prepare major grant proposals, alone or in collaboration with other researchers and agencies.
  • Perform contract management in support of research objectives that include, but are not limited to: working with contracts and procurement staff, writing requests for proposal and scopes of work, performance monitoring and reporting, and technical assistance provision as appropriate.
  • Coordinate research with other federal, state, and local public health agencies.


  • Applied knowledge of public health and/or environmental science practice and principles.
  • Knowledge of epidemiological, biostatistical, and quantitative analysis principles and methods.
  • Demonstrated skill in designing and applying qualitative research methods that may include but are not limited to: ethnographic interviews, community assessments, key informant interviews, and focus groups.
  • Demonstrated ability to draw sound conclusions from quantitative and qualitative data, and apply to program and project planning.
  • Demonstrated ability to work on multiple-tasks or projects simultaneously while meeting deadlines and time constraints.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate and work with diverse populations and community groups.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and manage a major project involving others in the synthesis, collection and analysis of data.
  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with others and work as part of a diverse multidisciplinary team.
  • Demonstrated ability to convene and/or collaborate in diverse community coalitions and partnerships, and translate research findings and conclusions into clear and concise information for non-technical audiences.
  • Demonstrated ability to use Microsoft Office products to complete daily assigned tasks, including: spreadsheet development, data base creation and maintenance, word processing, scheduling, and communication with internal and external staff.

Desired Qualifications:

The most competitive candidates will have: Master's degree or equivalent experience in social, environmental or health science (e.g. public health epidemiology, social impact assessment, health communication, etc.) closely related field with 3 – 4 years experience leading major research project(s) involving others in data collection, synthesis, analysis and application (or equivalent experience in applied research and program work). Application instructions can be found by visiting the website.

For more info please see http://agency.governmentjobs.com/kingcounty/default.cfm

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