Research Scientist II at Public Health Institute

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. PHI was distinguished as one of the top 50 “Best Non-profit Organizations to Work For” by the Non-Profit Times in a national search.

PHI is seeking a full-time Research Scientist for work in nutrition and wellness research and policy. This position will lead process, formative, outcome, and impact evaluation studies, data analysis and interpretation and Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) change evaluation and other evaluation projects as required. This position is located in Sacramento, CA.

The Research Scientist will act as project manager and is responsible for applying advanced knowledge, skills, and experience in the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Education Program (SNAP-Ed) and complex data analysis. Duties will focus on support of a statewide online SNAP-Ed evaluation project, regional data analysis and program evaluation for projects in a variety of topic areas, including worksite wellness, healthy retail initiatives and youth engagement projects. He/she will be responsible for overseeing relationships with external organizations and agencies, designing data collection protocols, creating, managing and analyzing databases, overseeing data collectors, and participating in periodic field data collection. He/she will also participate in drafting scientific publications, summary materials, policy briefs and presentations. The Research Scientist will also participate in grant writing and project management activities as well as providing support to other team activities as needed. We are seeking someone passionate about public health and skilled in both quantitative and quantitative analyses.

Duties & Responsibilities:

  1. Leads writing projects including evaluation reports, research briefs, and fact sheets, as well as manuscripts for publication; Prepares abstracts and presents oral and poster presentations for lay, professional, and scientific audiences
  2. Provides formative, process, and impact evaluation leadership for CWN quantitative and qualitative research and evaluation projects
  3. Develops evaluation designs, proposals, and IRBs; plans, budgets, and implements evaluation projects; coordinates evaluations with program staff; oversees data collection and quality control procedures; leads problem solving; develops analysis plans and oversees data processing, analysis and compilation
  4. Leads critical analyses of interventions to prioritize the most effective approaches in the retail setting, school and youth engagement interventions, and worksite wellness approaches. Provides content expertise in SNAP-Ed evaluation for CWN projects and contracts


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.

  • Master’s degree required. MPH or Ph.D. in nutrition, epidemiology or biostatistics preferred
  • 5 years of relevant research experience
  • A thorough knowledge of the program needs and USDA reporting requirements is required to develop applicable data collection systems
  • Demonstrated abilities in independent development of research questions, selecting evaluation designs, and drafting proposals for quantitative and qualitative research
  • Experience with the selection, adaption, development, and data collection of survey instruments and qualitative evaluation measures
  • Strong analytical, mathematical and quantitative skills
  • SAS or SPSS experience required
  • Demonstrated abilities of independent thinking, verbal presentation of scientific data, production of written reports, and scientific publications
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • History of publication in peer-review journals
  • Detail oriented with ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously
  • Strong organizational skills, with ability to meet deadlines, both prescribed and self-imposed


This is an exempt position and the salary is commensurate with experience. PHI offers a generous benefits package including medical, dental, vision, short/long term disability insurance, life insurance, 403b (group retirement annuity) and partial subsidy of public transportation cost. For more information about PHI’s benefits, visit our benefits page at

How to apply:

To apply for this position visit our Career Site at

We are proud to be an EEO/AA Employer