SMART Project Research Study Assistant

Job Summary: The Research Study Assistant coordinates collection, analysis, processing & reporting of data & assists Principal Investigator (PI) in judging the validity of test data obtained in regard to biomedical &/or social-behavioral research study(ies) of limited complexity involving co-investigators, multiple campuses &/or  universities.  This role completes all activities by strictly following Good Clinical Practices (GCP) & all relevant current local, state, & federal laws, regulations, guidance, policy & procedure developed by the NU Institutional Review Board (IRB), Food & Drug Administration (FDA) Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), & the International Conference on Harmonization (ICH).

Program Description: ISGMH is a university-wide institute dedicated to fostering research that improves the health and wellbeing of the sexual and gender minority communities. It currently has multiple NIH- and foundation-funded studies and actively collaborates with community-based organizations to conduct research and translate findings into interventions. It is directed by Dr. Brian Mustanski. The position is based in the Department of Medical Social Sciences in the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University.

Project Description: SMART Project is a multi-tiered, national online HIV prevention study funded by the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities. It is an interactive and engaging intervention tailored to ethnically diverse adolescent men who have sex with men (MSM who are 13-18 years old). Its goals are to educate MSM participants on basic sexual health, teach positive sexual health decision-making through scenario and activity-based learning, and in some instances, use internet-mediated counseling to address individual participant health issues. SMART Program is currently being conducted as a multi-site randomized control trial by researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago, Hunter College in New York City, University of Puerto Rico, and North Carolina State University.

Please Note: Some of the work hours may fall during evenings and/or over weekends. This is a term position with an end date of 2/28/2021.  There will be opportunity for renewal based on performance and available funding.

Specific Responsibilities:


  • Participates in the planning & conduct of research study including participant recruitment and retention.
  • Reviews & obtains informed consent
  • Administers tests &/or questionnaires following protocols.
  • Collects, compiles, tabulates & processes responses.
  • Facilitates communication with key personnel & participants to maintain project study flow.


  • Collects, records, reviews & summarizes research data.
  • Maintains detailed records of results which may include collecting, extracting & entering data; &/or preparing basic charts & graphs.
  • Liaises with community-based organization partners and boards
  • Prepares reports for investigators and sponsors on recruitment status and other pertinent study data.
  • Completes documents associated with current local, state, & federal regulatory guidelines, requirements, laws &, research protocols.


  • May process payments for research participants per study protocol.
  • Coordinates reimbursements for expert panel travel, consultant pay, additional gift card orders, etc. & ensure costs remain within allotted grant budget.
  • Processes invoices &/or purchase requisitions.


  • May provide work direction &/or train other research staff to interview/test participants.

Performs other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor’s or higher degree in a major such as social or health science or related; OR appropriate combination of education and experience.
  • Must complete NU’s IRB CITI training before interacting with any participants & must re-certify every 3 years.

Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)

  • Strong project coordination skills and the ability to prioritize tasks.
  • Effective time management skills
  • Efficient and resourceful in problem-solving.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail and ability to adhere to instructions/procedures.
  • Good communication skills; demonstrated effective spoken and written communication.
  • Demonstrated ability to take ownership of the work, possessing initiative, and good follow-through.
  • Knowledge of basic computer skills, familiarity with Windows environment.

Preferred Qualifications: (Education and experience)

  • Experience working with LGBT youth.
  • Experience working with or recruiting adolescent research participants.
  • Experience working in public health, psychology, and/or medical research.
  • Experience with quantitative and online research methods
  • Experience with internet media; blogging/social media; YouTube.
  • Knowledge of LGBTQ issues and/or HIV/AIDS prevention and/or treatment.

Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)

  • Ability to work in a team environment
  • Ability to work with minimum supervision and guidance
  • Ability to receive and benefit from feedback; willingness to expand skill set and improve.
  • Flexibility in adapting to new procedures and environments.

To Apply: To apply for this position, navigate to and apply for job ID 34412.

As per Northwestern University policy, this position requires a criminal background check.  Successful applicants will need to submit to a criminal background check prior to employment. Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.

ISGMH Diversity Statement: ISGMH’s commitment to diversity is critical to our mission of advancing access to excellence in academic programs, world-class research, and health programs. Engagement in discrimination or harassment against any person because of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, military service, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression will not be tolerated. Through its work, ISGMH advances the health and wellbeing of LGBTQ individuals. Staff and trainees should expect to find a diversity of sexual orientations and gender identities among ISGMH staff, trainees, research participants, and in outreach experiences. We highlight the importance of respecting and valuing this aspect of diversity among staff and trainees.