1+ months


University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98104


Req #: 186349
Posting Date: 01/19/2021 
Closing Info: Open Until Filled 
Salary: Salary is commensurate with education and experience 
Union Position: Yes
Shift: First Shift 
Notes: The University of Washington is following physical distancing directives from state and local governments as part of the collective effort to combat the spread of COVID-19.  Click here for updates

Work at IHME is ordinarily performed in an office environment, but IHME is requiring remote work under most circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic. During this evolving situation, changes to this policy will be discussed as they occur throughout the interview process.

As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty. All of which has allowed the UW to be nationally recognized as a Great College to Work For for six consecutive years.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an independent research center at the University of Washington. Its mission is to deliver to the world timely, relevant, and scientifically valid evidence to improve health policy and practice. IHME carries out its mission through a range of projects within different research areas including the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors; Future Health Scenarios; Costs and Cost Effectiveness; Resource Tracking; and Impact Evaluations. Our vision is to provide policymakers, donors, and researchers with the highest-quality quantitative evidence base so all people live long lives in full health.

IHME is committed to providing the evidence base necessary to help solve the worlds most important health problems. This requires creativity and innovation, which is cultivated by an inclusive, diverse, and equitable environment that respects and appreciates differences, embraces collaboration, and invites the voices of all IHME team members. 

IHME has an outstanding opportunity for a Data Services Specialist. The Data Services Specialist will be responsible for meeting the data seeking, sourcing, and management needs of internal research teams at IHME. The Data Services Specialist will work closely with a dynamic team of researchers and staff at all levels to understand the unique analytical goals and processes of a given research team in order to best identify, describe, and organize data relevant to its specific needs. This position will also be an important liaison between researchers and Data Curators, providing contextual and subject knowledge to guide the seeking and description of datasets. A successful Data Services Specialist will have enough knowledge of both the research and data management practices to identify and suggest improvements to tools, processes, and workflows.

The Data Services Specialist will be a member of a complex organizational structure that involves multiple individuals on different teams (research teams, IT, Data Library, Global Engagement), each with a variety of responsibilities and highly specific subject knowledge. This environment requires the Data Services Specialist to effectively communicate with a diverse group of people. This position also requires creativity, flexibility, and tenacity to acquire the information and resources necessary to successfully complete tasks. In addition, the Data Services Specialist will be an advocate for proper data management and must feel comfortable giving advice and enforcing established practices. This position is contingent on project funding availability.


Research command
  • Serve as a resource for others in seeking, understanding, and explaining the characteristics of data from a multitude of sources that are used in different research areas.
  • Translate big-picture data needs framed by researchers and senior staff into specific and tractable data seeking.
  • Employ creativity and independent decision-making in performing searches and interpreting the value of data sources.

    Data management and quality assessment
  • Seek data to fill gaps and to ensure a consistently comprehensive set of data is available to major research areas.
  • Assist teams in scoping data requirements and priorities. Create efficiencies across teams where possible.
  • Catalog and document data sources, dimensions, and metadata.
  • Ensure the highest-quality data management and tracking.
  • Conduct background research related to specific data sources, research-specific needs, and data access.
  • Communicate effectively with collaborators, other external actors, and internal relationship managers to both obtain and catalog data appropriately.

    Publications, presentations, and data requests
  • Independently respond to specific data requests from both internal and external parties.
  • Facilitate preparation and submission of data request applications as required by team needs.
  • Track and report back on data-seeking progress. Identify and fill gaps.

  • Communicate clearly and effectively while contributing as a member of the Institute.
  • Work closely with other team members to assist with relevant tasks, facilitate learning new skills, and help resolve emerging problems on different projects.
  • Attend relevant meetings, adhere to deadlines, and participate as a vital member to collectively advance team-level objectives.
  • Participate in overall community of the Institute, carrying out duties as may be required for team members.

    As a UW employee, you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs.  For detailed information on Benefits for this position, click here.


  • Masters degree in social sciences or related field and two years experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience.

    Additional Requirements:
  • Familiarity with different types of quantitative data.
  • Strong aptitude and agility to learn evolving data protocols and to think in an integrated and systematic way.
  • Interest in global health or population health research.
  • Strong organizational skills and demonstrated self-direction. Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, energetic, highly creative, and entrepreneurial environment.
  • Strong communication skills across multiple audiences, both internal and external. Ability to communicate concisely, respectfully, and in a focused manner.

    A commitment to working to alongside others at IHME to illuminate the health impacts of systemic racism and to work within IHME to make our organization more diverse and inclusive. See IHMEs DEI statement here: http://www.healthdata.org/get-involved/careers/dei.

    Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.


  • Master of Library and Information Science
  • Experience collecting and identifying metadata, creating catalog records, item description, and data file management.
  • Experience with using or maintaining data catalogs or citation management tools.
  • Experience with systematic data seeking (and systematic documentation of data-seeking efforts)
  • Experience designing or leading trainings on topics such as data seeking, data management, or citation management.
  • Experience leading reference interviews to identify a customers information needs and requirements, and determining best strategy to meet those needs.
  • Experience with protocols around data use, privacy, and compliance.
  • Service desk or reference desk experience (service desk queues, communicating via help desk tickets, communicating or assisting with help requests in written formats such as email or chat).
  • Familiarity with project management software such as Asana, Confluence, or JIRA.
  • Familiarity with the public health data landscape in one or more related content areas or geographic regions.


  • Evening and/or weekend work may be required.
  • This position is eligible to work fully remote; work schedule required to overlap 50% of IHME office hours between 8am and 6pm Pacific Time.

    Application Process:
    The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process.  These assessments may include Workforce Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others.  Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select Apply to this position. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your My Jobs page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.

  • Applicants considered for this position will be required to disclose if they are the subject of any substantiated findings or current investigations related to sexual misconduct at their current employment and past employment. Disclosure is required under Washington state law.

    Committed to attracting and retaining a diverse staff, the University of Washington will honor your experiences, perspectives and unique identity. Together, our community strives to create and maintain working and learning environments that are inclusive, equitable and welcoming.

    The University of Washington is a leader in environmental stewardship & sustainability, and committed to becoming climate neutral.

    The University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.

    To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact the Disability Services Office at 206-543-6450 or dso@uw.edu.


    Posted: 2021-01-21 Expires: 2021-03-25

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    University of Washington
    Seattle, WA 98104
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