Research Ethics and Systems Manager

Background/IRC Summary:

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees**, IDPs, and others affected by war or disaster**. At work today in over 40 countries and in 22 U.S. cities, the IRC restores safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure. We address both the immediate, life -saving needs of conflict-affected people in an emergency and the reconstruction needs in post-conflict societies.

The Airbel Impact Lab, IRC’s hub for research and innovation, supports the various technical units across the IRC to conduct or backstop research studies and innovation projects, and also leads initiatives that provide resources for country programs to design and implement programs based on evidence. We conduct this research across IRC’s outcome areas of health, economic wellbeing, safety, power, and education.

At the IRC, research ethics are critical for all studies that plan and implement data collection, interact with participants and data, design, test and pilot tools, and disseminate results of innovation and research work. The IRC has its own in-house Institutional Review Board as well as a lighter-touch review procedure for non-human subjects research studies. The IRC IRB functions as the ethical review board for IRC human subjects research. The purpose of the IRC Institutional Review Board (IRB) is to protect the rights and welfare of human research subjects enrolled in research conducted by, or under the direction of, the IRC. For innovation studies that are not classified human subjects research, we provide a light-touch assessment and review focuses on identifying and minimizing risks to participants, identifying and addressing any issues related to participant vulnerability, ensuring meaningful informed consent, and focus on justice and dignity of participants.

In addition to research ethics, having robust and rigorous research systems are critical to the success of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of research management, systems, and processes within the IRC. Specific roles include overseeing a research toolkit that provides quality assurance to all studies and overseeing data privacy and security readiness.

Job Overview/Summary:

The IRC is seeking a Research Manager to support the IRC Institutional Review Board and research systems infrastructure. The position will also provide support to the roll-out and uptake of the IRC’s humanitarian research toolkit and standards and establishment of new data security, management, and open-data systems. This position is one year in duration, with the opportunity for extension, dependent on funding.

Major Responsibilities:

Fulfill all functions of the IRB Administrator, including: Oversee the roll-out and uptake of the IRC humanitarian research toolkit and quality assurance standards, including providing trainings to country team members on the toolkit, research methodologies, study designs, and analysis as part of the toolkit roll-out. Ensure all new research team members are onboarded on the toolkit and standards.

  1. Conducting administrative reviews of research protocols, including modifications, continuing reviews (approval extensions), and project closures. Determining whether the protocols will go to full board, or whether they qualify for expedited or exempt status (to be approved by the IRB chair)
  2. Providing guidance to research teams on the IRB application process
  3. Planning monthly IRB meeting and checking for quorum
  4. Coordinating the assignment of primary reviewers
  5. Drafting decision letters
  6. Training new IRB board members
  7. Update the IRB protocol tracker and inform research teams of upcoming deadlines / expirations
  8. Serve as a focal point for the IRC IRB and Innovation Ethics
  9. Conducting reviews of innovation ethics forms submitted by study team
  10. Having discussions and/or email exchanges with study teams to identify required modifications
  • Develop and oversee the establishment of data privacy and management systems, including organizational readiness for supporting open-access data.
  • Provide ad hoc support to ongoing studies or strategic research portfolio support as needed, such as qualitative or quantitative data analysis or training support, or the development of business development materials
  • Support administrative related tasks within the research community of practice

Key Working Relationships:

Position Reports to: IRB Chair / Research Director

Position directly supervises: N/A

Indirect Reporting: N/A

Other Internal and/or external contacts:

Internal: Research and Innovation(R&I) unit, Country office counterparts, and other Technical Units

External: Peer agencies, academic partners, etc

Job Requirements:

Education: University degreein economics, political science, or other related field to humanitarian research

Work Experience: Bachelor degree with 2-3 years of work experience in research on topics related to the humanitarian or economic sector.

Demonstrated Skills and Competencies:

  • Deep attention to detail
  • Knowledge of research ethics principles
  • Strong organizational skills with the ability to be flexible and coordinate across multiple Priorities and workstreams.
  • Experience organizing and implementing data collection trainings and quality assurance processes for studies
  • Basic research analysis skills including descriptive data analyses, data cleaning, and qualitative coding approaches
  • Outstanding communication and coordination capabilities and capability to operate independently and as a team member. Excellent writing skills required.

Language Skills: English required; French, Spanish, or Arabic preferred

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement: In accordance with IRC’s duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of known hazards and our commitment to safeguard the health of our employees, clients, and communities, IRC requires new hires to furnish proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to be considered for any in-office or hybrid positions. All IRC US offices require full vaccination to attend any in-office functions (e.g., meetings, trainings).

Commitment to Diversity and Inclusivity: IRC is committed to building a diverse organization and a climate of inclusivity. We strongly encourage applications from candidates who can demonstrate that they can contribute to this goal.

Equal Opportunity Employer: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

US Benefits: We offer a comprehensive and highly competitive set of benefits. In the US, these include: 10 sick days, 10 US holidays, 20-25 paid time off days depending on role and tenure, medical insurance starting at $120 per month, dental starting at $7 per month, and vision starting at $5 per month, FSA for healthcare and commuter costs, a 403b retirement savings plans with immediately vested matching, disability & life insurance, and an Employee Assistance Program which is available to our staff and their families to support counseling and care in times of crisis and mental health struggles.

How to apply