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Research Study Assistant, LGBT Adolescent Health

Job Summary:

The Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing is seeking applicants for a Research Study Assistant. This position will perform biomedical &/or social-behavioral research by administering tests &/or questionnaires following protocols; collect, compile, tabulate &/or process responses; gather  information; &/or assist in the preparation of material for inclusion in reports.  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).   

The Northwestern University Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing 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. This position will be under the supervision of Dr. Kathryn Macapagal, a faculty member who conducts research on sexual health and HIV prevention among sexual and gender minority (SGM) adolescents. Dr. Macapagal is affiliated with ISGMH and the Department of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern.

The Research Study Assistant will be directly supervised by Dr. Macapagal and a research associate. The RA will be expected to support these team members on the day-to-day technical and administrative aspects of an extramurally-funded project that focuses on the development and implementation of a social marketing campaign to increase awareness of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis in adolescents in Chicago.

The RA will be expected to work effectively with a variety of stakeholders in the Chicagoland area and as such strong communication skills, initiative, and the ability to skillfully engage with different groups of people is critical. The RA will assist with designing effective online/social media content geared towards youth, implement online and offline campaign dissemination activities, regularly engage with youth advisors/leaders and stakeholders, and assist with data analysis and preparing materials for meetings, presentations, and publications. The RA will be responsible for administrative and financial tasks such as scheduling meetings, coordinating travel, and managing financial transactions including expense tracking/reimbursement and participant and consultant payments. This position has regular hours that may need to be flexed to meet participant/stakeholder needs (i.e., some evening and weekend hours as needed.)

This is a 2-year term position with the opportunity for renewal based on performance and funding availability. A qualified internal candidate is also being considered for this position. If interested, please submit a resume and cover letter.

Please note: This position has regular hours that may need to be flexed occasionally to accommodate participant/stakeholder needs (i.e., some evening and weekend hours as needed.) This position is located on the Chicago campus of Northwestern University. 

Specific Responsibilities:


  • Recruits study participants.
  • Reviews & obtains informed consent.
  • Schedules study visits with participants.
  • Conducts interviews.
  • Scores test results.
  • Collects survey data.
  • Consults with study team to determine pretreatment & eligibility requirements of protocol from completion to registration of participants.
  • Facilitates communication with key personnel & participants to maintain project study flow. 


  • Maintains detailed records of results which may include collecting, extracting & entering data; &/or preparing basic charts & graphs. 
  • Performs scientific literature searches in support of research.
  • Completes portions of grant applications &/or documents associated with current local, state, & federal regulatory guidelines, requirements, laws & research protocols.


  • May process reimbursements for travel expenses.
  • Monitors & distribute petty cash. 
  • Processes invoices &/or purchase requisitions.


  • May train other research staff to interview/test participants.


  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • A bachelor's degree in a social or health science + no experience or 2 years practical research study or related experience is required.
  • Must complete NU's IRB CITI training before interacting with any participants & must re-certify every 3 years.

Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)

  • Experience working with LGBTQ+/SGM/TGNC/gender-expansive individuals, specifically youth
  • Must be comfortable discussing sex, sexual health, mental health, substance use, gender identity, sexuality, HIV using a non-judgmental, strengths-based approach
  • Familiarity with basic computer programs including Microsoft Excel/Word/Ppt, Adobe, Google

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with recruitment and retention of SGM adolescent participants to research studies
  • Design experience and experience with visual communications
  • Experience with online advertising on social media and dating apps
  • Experience and comfort with new digital technologies and apps
  • Administrative support or other relevant experience           

Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)

  • Knowledge and interest in issues affecting LGBTQ young people.
  • Experience working with individuals living with and/or vulnerable to HIV/AIDS
  • Experience using research database software including REDCap and Qualtrics
  • Skills in Canva, Photoshop, other design/editing software
  • Familiarity using social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and dating apps
  • Intermediate knowledge of word processing, spreadsheet, email, and database software programs.
  • 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.


At Northwestern, we are proud to provide meaningful, competitive, high-quality health care plans, retirement benefits, tuition discounts and more! Visit us at to learn more.

Work-Life and Wellness:
Northwestern offers comprehensive programs and services to help you and your family navigate life’s challenges and opportunities, and adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles.
We support flexible work arrangements where possible and programs to help you locate and pay for quality, affordable childcare and senior/adult care. Visit us at to learn more.

Professional Growth & Development:
Northwestern supports employee career development in all circumstances whether your workspace is on campus or at home. If you’re interested in developing your professional potential or continuing your formal education, we offer a variety of tools and resources. Visit us at to learn more.

To Apply: To apply for this position, navigate to, search for job ID 47790, and click Apply for Job.

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.

Northwestern requires all staff and faculty to be vaccinated against COVID-19, subject to limited exceptions. For more information, please visit our COVID-19 and Campus Updates website.

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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. Click for information on EEO is the Law.