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UnitedHealth Group Senior Scientist - MN, CA, or MA in San Francisco, California

OptumLabs provides an environment where the health care industry can come together to combine information and ideas that benefit patients today, while driving long-term improvements in the delivery of quality care. By working together and sharing information with partners on a national scale, we develop a detailed, analysis-based image of the health care landscape that we believe offers new insights into solving our national health care problems.

The Senior Scientist provides scientific leadership across a wide variety of initiatives at OptumLabs. Senior Scientists consult with OptumLabs’ Partners on investigator-initiated research, serve as Principal Investigator for OptumLabs projects, and provide scientific consulting on use of observational data and research methods to all parts of the business. Work at OptumLabs is conducted in a collaborative, multi-disciplinary, academic / industry partnership environment which requires appreciation of diversity of perspectives and good communication skills.

Success in this role requires an entrepreneurial spirit— innovative by nature, and driven to create new approaches to discover; the ability to lead—lead Partners, internal teams, and initiatives; and a talent for developing strong relationships both internally and externally. A successful Senior Scientist advises Partners and internal stakeholders on research initiatives and also works actively on research projects from scientific protocol development through dissemination and translation. Senior scientists have the opportunity to identify research and policy areas of focus. Success in this role depends on expertise in linked, real-world data assets (administrative claims, normalized EHR data), preferably with experience in Optum’s assets specifically.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Provide science and discovery leadership for OptumLabs and its Partners through expertise in observational research methods, econometrics, epidemiology, data science, health economics, outcomes research, or other related discipline

  • Contribute as a subject matter expert and scientific leader within OptumLabs

  • Consults on objectives, study design, analysis, interpretation of findings, and translation of data-driven policy / research projects for OptumLabs’ internally funded or Partner-led research

  • Leads data-driven research projects in areas of focus for OptumLabs

  • Draws attention to discovery and innovation within OptumLabs through dissemination activities

  • Leads, attends, and participates actively in internal and external oral presentations and workshops

  • Based on experience, may lead a research and policy agenda in support of OptumLabs’ mission

  • Works proactively with 1 - 3 key partners to support their research agenda and enable these partners to become prolific contributors through execution of a high volume of work, dissemination of findings, and translation through multiple channels

  • Leads in a team oriented work climate that enables professional development and encourages creative solutions and strategies

  • Provides coaching and mentoring of project team with the goal of developing and retaining talent within the organization

  • Supports the management of resources within projects / programs

  • Supports project / program communication plans and execution

  • Requires that quality assurance methods are implemented and followed

  • Enhances our partners’ engagement and success by forging trusting relationships, advancing their goals, coaching and mentoring their resources, and helping identify and remove barriers

  • Stops at nothing to ensure the success of our partners’ and OptumLabs’ own research agenda

Job Components:

Scientific Support for OptumLabs’ Partners (40%)

  • Provide leadership for health economics, policy and outcomes research in support of key OptumLabs’ partners including:

  • Identify research opportunities

  • Support development of project materials (e.g. research applications)

  • Advise on the use of the OptumLabs data assets

  • Consult on interpretation of findings

  • Serve as a senior consultant on research studies

  • Advance dissemination of results via published manuscripts, reports, and conference presentations

  • Coordination with other intercompany resources to support activities

  • Work with research analyst assigned to Partner institutions

Lead OptumLabs’ Projects (40%)

  • Serve as Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator for OptumLabs internal project

  • Develop high quality study-specific materials, including detailed study protocols, analysis plans, summary of findings, technical reports, study presentations (meeting presentation, study slide decks, technical reports, etc)

  • Oversee project teams comprised of statisticians, programmers, project managers, and others

Contribute to the reputation of OptumLabs as a leader in Innovative Scientific Discovery and Innovation (20%)

  • Collaborate with Partners and OptumLabs staff in regular publication of studies and methodologies

  • Submission and participation in scientific conferences (e.g. Academy Health)

  • Train new employees and Partners on data use, statistical methodology, and other aspects of observational research

  • Lead and participate in presentations / workshops for internal and external audiences

Required Qualifications:

  • Master’s or doctoral degree in health services research (HSR), health economics, epidemiology, sociology, psychology or equivalent with 10+ years of experience OR PharmD or MD with 5+ years of experience

  • 10+ years of research experience

  • Demonstrated experience in management of teams across multiple functional areas

  • Demonstrated experience with external customer management

  • Experience in the applied use of observational data, with preference given to candidates with experience with Optum’s administrative claims and EHR data

  • Experience conducting research utilizing secondary data sources

  • Strong interpersonal savvy and the ability to build relationships both internally and with customers

  • Ability to travel 10 - 20% of the time

Careers with Optum. Here's the idea. We built an entire organization around one giant objective; make health care work better for everyone. So when it comes to how we use the world?s large accumulation of health-related information, or guide health and lifestyle choices or manage pharmacy benefits for millions, our first goal is to leap beyond the status quo and uncover new ways to serve. Optum, part of the UnitedHealth Group family of businesses, brings together some of the greatest minds and most advanced ideas on where health care has to go in order to reach its fullest potential. For you, that means working on high performance teams against sophisticated challenges that matter. Optum, incredible ideas in one incredible company and a singular opportunity to do your life's best work.(sm)

Diversity creates a healthier atmosphere: UnitedHealth Group is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, protected veteran status, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law.

UnitedHealth Group is a drug-free workplace. Candidates are required to pass a drug test before beginning employment.

Job Keywords: Health Services Research, EHR, Observational Data, Data Sets, Eden Prairie, MN, Minnesota, San Francisco, CA, California, Cambridge, MA, Massachusetts