Lead Researcher

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Updated: October 18, 2018
Location: Boston, MA, United States
Job ID: 637

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The communications research group at Syneos Health is looking for a researcher with a background in health psychology and experience in designing, leading, and analysing health research projects. 

 You will incorporate psychological theory and research to develop methods to assist patients in maintaining healthy lifestyles. You will conduct primary research to understand what factors influence patient’s health choices in a wide range of disease states, and play a key role in shaping effective  communication and behavior change strategies.

Syneos Health Communications is a network of PR, communications, branding, and advertising companies that help bring new medical products to market.  

 The newly created communications research group studies the many factors that influence people’s health-related decisions and behaviors, and helps formulate effective communication strategies.  We draw from the rich body of scientific knowledge in health, social and cognitive psychology, behavioral economics, semiotics, and anthropology. 

 The work also requires a broad set of skills that have to do with gathering, analyzing, and interpreting many different kinds of data.  The data we collect and analyze is used as a fuel for predictive modeling. We use a sophisticated agent-based algorithm to forecast the impact of different communication activities on business results.


  • Create research plans: work with internal and external clients to understand their business needs, decide what data needs to be collected and how to go about collecting it, choose appropriate analytical methods, and budget the work
  • Design and conduct in-person interviews, online surveys, and experimental studies focused on patients’ health choices
  • Interpret research data in the context of the original business problem, identify the key insight, propose further course of action
  • Conduct review of relevant academic literature and boil the complexity of an issue down to a one-page summary
  • Manage the supply chain: line up suppliers to execute on research proposals, write specifications and RFPs, select the right tools, negotiate pricesIntroduce new research methods and theoretical frameworks that improve effectiveness and efficiency of our work
  • Train and mentor junior team members
  • Get published in the trade, general-interest, and academic press by finding interesting stories to tell, and telling them well.
  • Share your knowledge by documenting best practices and writing instruction manuals

Job Requirements

 To be successful in this role, the candidate will be:

  •  Academic or professional background in health psychology or a related discipline; or experienced as brand planner / strategist on healthcare accounts. Know how to take into account not only a person’s physical illness and symptoms but also their life experience: what their relationships are like, how much support they have, their community, and how all that fits together 
  • Experienced (3-5 years) at designing and conducting sophisticated primary health research in an academic or industry setting. Experienced with designing and programming questionnaires and interview guides; and conducting in-person and phone interviewsWorking knowledge of advanced research, methodology, and statistics; psychological and health measurementIntensely curious, and disciplined at self-directed learning. Demonstrate a track record of picking up new technologies by reading books and watching video tutorials
  • Familiar with key business and marketing principles; interested in consumer and popular culture
  •  Comfortable with  having the final word on a range of technical matters, and with working with a solid sense of direction but not a lot of supervision

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