Research Associate, Substance Use Research Unit

Research Associate, Substance Use Research Unit


Research Associate

About the Organization One of the nation’s leading 501(c)3 nonprofit fiscal sponsors, PHFE has served nonprofit and government agencies since 1968. PHFE’s staff provides a wide spectrum of nationally recognized infrastructure and support expertise. With Fiscal Sponsorship, Infrastructure Management, and Consulting Services, nonprofit and government agencies are able to reduce administrative overhead, improve accountability and spend more time and funding on programming and service delivery.

PHFE’s services help make communities healthier and make a difference in the lives of millions of people served by our government and nonprofit clients.

Location CAN015 – San Francisco, CA
Program Name REBOOT
Full-Time/Part-Time Full-Time
Salary Range $19.23 – $21.63 with benefits.
Open Date 4/1/2014
Travel Requirement <10%
Description Public Health Foundation Enterprises, Inc. (PHFE) invites applications for the position of Research Associate in the Substance Use Research Unit (SURU) of the Center for Public Health Research of the San Francisco Department of Public Health.  This is a non-exempt, benefitted, hourly position.


Under the supervision of the Research Study Coordinator, the Research Associate will be responsible for a variety of duties related to clinical trials addressing substance use and HIV risk.  These studies evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of behavioral and pharmacological interventions for methamphetamine and opiate users.  This is a time-limited, grant-funded position with non-standard work hours (may require work during evening and weekend hours).



  • Support the investigators of this close-knit research team in the conduct of research protocols within the guidelines of Good Clinical Practice
  • Recruit, obtain informed consent, and screen opioid and methamphetamine users at DPH offices and community field sites (e.g., needle exchange sites)
  • Proactively schedule and conduct recruitment and study visits
  • Conduct retention efforts for participants over the course of study follow-up schedule (up to 16 months)
  • Conduct counseling with opioid and methamphetamine-using persons around issues including overdose recognition, response, use of naloxone, and risk reduction by using harm-reduction, motivational-interviewing, and information-motivation-behavior skills-based methods in accordance with study intervention manual
  • Perform other duties including accurately completing case report forms, collecting biologic specimens, setting participants up with ACASI questionnaires, performing quality assurance checks of study documents, entering study data into Access or Excel databases, and administrative tasks related to studies
  • Other duties as assigned, including coverage for other staff
Position Requirements



Minimum Requirements

  • Bachelors of Art or Bachelors of Science
  • Experience working with substance users, especially opioid (heroin, oxycodone, etc) and methamphetamine users
  • Experience with harm reduction techniques and harm reduction service providers

Desired Qualifications

  • BA/BS or higher degree in related field, such as public health, psychology, or medical anthropology
  • Previous recruiting and/or interviewing experience
  • Experience with clinical trials research and/or healthcare settings
  • Experience working with challenging participants, or participants with multiple diagnoses
  • Experience with counseling—particularly the use of motivational interviewing techniques—related to HIV and/ or substance-use risk behaviors
  • Certified HIV test counselor
  • Certified phlebotomist


Other Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities

  • Knowledge of and sensitivity to diverse communities, particularly communities of color and gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender community
  • Excellent writing and interpersonal communication skills
  • High level of attention to detail and ability to handle a variety of tasks with a high degree of accuracy
  • Interest and ability to learn a wide array of techniques and technologies and to cross-train to support the duties of other staff members
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Word,Excel, and Access
  • Knowledge of regulations, policies and procedures related to the protection of human subjects and confidentiality
  • Any other knowledge and skills useful to this research group is considered a plus (software skills, presentation experience, database knowledge, basic website maintenance, etc.)



Stand                                       Frequently

Walk                                        Frequently

Sit                                            Frequently

Handling / Fingering                Occasionally

Reach Outward                      Occasionally

Reach Above Shoulder          Occasionally

Climb, Crawl, Kneel, Bend     Occasionally

Lift / Carry                               Occasionally – Up to 50 lbs

Push/Pull                                 Occasionally – Up to 50 lbs

See                                          Constantly

Taste/ Smell                            Not Applicable


Not Applicable          Not required for essential functions

Occasionally              (0 – 2 hrs/day)

Frequently                 (2 – 5 hrs/day)

Constantly                 (5+ hrs/day)




General Office Setting, Indoors Temperature Controlled