Research Program Director III

Posting Number: #1002

Position Title: Research Program Director III

Closing Date: Until Filled

Location: Sacramento, CA

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The Public Health Institute (PHI) is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting health, well-being, and quality of life for people throughout California, across the nation and around the world. As one of the largest and most comprehensive public health organizations in the nation, we are at the forefront of research and innovations to improve the efficacy of public health statewide, nationally, and internationally.

Position Summary

The Research Program Director (RPD) serves as the Director of PHI’s Cancer Registry of Greater California (CRGC) and a core member of the leadership group for PHI’s portfolio of PHI’s cancer research and prevention programs. This position serves as Principal Investigator (PI) and overall lead for all program and research activities for CRGC, including PHI’s contract with the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program and the registry grant from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).  CRGC is the largest SEER registry in the US; it covers 48 of the 58 California counties, has a population base of nearly 20 million residents, and processes over 100,000 incident cases each year.  CRGC has collected data on cancers diagnosed among residents of its catchment area since 1988.

The RPD provides overall management and leadership for CRGC to ensure the collection and submission of high-quality surveillance data from its catchment area and meet all federal and state deliverables.  The RPD works closely with leadership at CDPH and with the other two SEER registries that make up the California Cancer Registry (CCR). The RPD will help to plan and implement research activities to investigate the causes and cures of cancer including collaboration with outside academic researchers and clinical researchers to conduct research using CRGC data while ensuring that the release of CRGC data for research follows strict procedures that ensure that the data release is consistent with state requirements. The RPD shall work proactively to identify and attract additional resources to further and support research activities at CRGC, including supporting and expanding the team of research investigators at CRGC, building partnerships with academic partners, state and federal agencies, public/private partnerships and fellow PHI programs, including the Children’s Oncology Group and Child Health and Development Studies.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

  • Serve as Director and PI of PHI’s Cancer Registry of Greater California (CRGC) contract with the National Cancer Institute’s SEER program and of PHI’s grant from CDPH.
  • Provide overall management and leadership for the awards and ensure that scope of work is successfully completed.
  • Work with directors of California’s other two registry directors in Los Angeles and San Francisco
  • Support federal and state initiatives to improve registry operations and research activities
  • Work with PHI’s grants and contracts department to ensure successful completion of all deliverables and budgets for federal and state awards.
  • Supervise CRGC research and operations managers
  • Provide leadership to CRGC research unit on epidemiologic research projects that support CRGC and/or CCR objectives.
  • Mentor staff to develop new research collaborations.
  • Represent PHI and CRGC at state, national and international conferences and meetings, and work to strengthen and expand recognition for PHI’s leadership in cancer research and registry operations.
  • Identify funding sources and develop grant applications to expand and strengthen a robust research portfolio for CRGC and in CCR.
  • Ensure close coordination and collaboration with the three California SEER Regions, the statewide CCR, and California’s other research assets such as Cancer Centers and the American Cancer Society.
  • Collaborate and seek funding for joint projects with fellow PHI programs and researchers including, but not limited to, the Children’s Oncology Group, the Alcohol Research Group, and Child Health Development Studies.
  • Lead development of manuscripts for publication, participate in the national and statewide dialogue on finding the causes and cures for cancer as appropriate.
  • Provide a vision for CRGC to be relevant as clinical care is rapidly changing and to be more efficient as new electronic tools are available.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Graduate degree required.
  • At least ten years of experience managing cancer surveillance and complex research studies, including at least 7 years in staff management roles.
  • Excellent administrative and supervisory skills
  • Experience in preparation of concept and proposal development
  • Experience with preparation of publications for peer-reviewed journals
  • Demonstrated ability to build partnerships, attract research talent, and attract funding.
  • Knowledge of cancer epidemiology, including surveillance issues, study design, and research methods
  • Knowledge of biostatistics and ability to interpret data analysis
  • Ability to vision and collaborate on securing the future of California’s CCR system.
  • Ability to solve complex problems
  • Ability to work in a management team
  • Ability to work with physicians and other outside researchers to support the use of registry data in cancer research studies
  • Ability to manage the budget of $ 3+ million dollars.
  • Ability to serve as the responsible authority for research grants
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills

Desired Qualifications

  • Doctorate in public health, epidemiology, or related field, or MD with MPH preferred.

Important Information

  • The selected candidate for this position is subject to funder approval.
  • This position is classified as exempt based on the job duties. However, based on the FTE and salary level of the employee, the employee may be classified as nonexempt.
  • This position is located in Sacramento, CA, but, the incumbent can work remotely for 6-12 months. The incumbent will be expected to relocate to the greater Sacramento area to work out of the Sacramento office (where the program is located).

The Public Health Institute is committed to a policy that provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, pregnancy, medical condition including genetic characteristics, physical or mental disability, veteran status, gender identification and expression, sexual orientation, and to make all employment decisions so as to further this principle of equal employment opportunity. To this end, the PHI will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, pregnancy, medical condition including genetic characteristics, physical or mental disability, veteran status, gender identification and expression, sexual orientation, and will take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are offered employment and employees are treated during employment without regard to these characteristics.

To apply for any position, you must create an account on the Public Health Institute’s job application site. After creating your account, you may search the open positions and apply for the specific position that interests you. Please note, mailed and emailed applications will not be accepted.

We’re so pleased the Public Health Institute is an organization you would like to work with. Do you have questions about this opportunity? If so, email our recruitment team at

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