Evaluation, Research, and Surveillance Unit
Division of Nutrition
New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH)
Project Title: WIC Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance
Background: The New York State (NYS) Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides data for two statewide nutrition surveillance systems, namely, the Pregnancy Nutrition Surveillance System (PNSS) and the Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System (PedNSS). PNSS contains data from all WIC-enrolled prenatal and postpartum breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding women while PedNSS contains data from all WIC-enrolled infants and preschool children up to 5 years of age. Data from both systems have been used to track progress toward the NYS DOH Prevention Agenda Goals and the Healthy People Objectives. The WIC program is the nation’s premier public health nutrition program and has been shown to improve pregnancy outcomes and to support optimal growth for participating infants and preschool children.
Minimum Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Public Health, Epidemiology, Infection Control, Statistics/Biostatistics, Biomedical Science, Environmental Health, Environmental Science, or a related field. Current enrollment as a full-time student in UAlbany, one year of completed coursework in the applicant’s graduate program, and eligibility for UAlbany’s Graduate Assistantships, Fellowships, and Tuition Scholarships.
Preferred Qualifications: Proficiency in SAS and/or SQL programming, Tableau, mapping software, and Microsoft Office software applications including Excel, PowerPoint, and Microsoft Word. Experience performing research and analyses with large administrative and/or clinical data sets. Experience summarizing and presenting research findings. Excellent written and oral communication. Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills. Ability to work independently and to manage and work on multiple tasks under tight deadlines.
Responsibilities: A Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) is being recruited to work with a team of research staff in the Evaluation, Research and Surveillance Unit (ERSU) of the Division of Nutrition at the NYS DOH to build capacity for designing, managing, and analyzing longitudinal datasets from the two nutrition surveillance systems. The GRA will use SAS to assist with the following tasks: 1) management and querying of annual PNSS and PedNSS datasets; 2) matching of unique WIC client records from multiple annual datasets to create a longitudinal datasets; 3) linkage of PNSS and PedNSS records to create a dataset of paired mother-child records; 4) statistical analyses related to specific research questions to address progress toward meeting the Department’s Prevention Agenda objectives; and 5) conduct and summarization of ad hoc statistical analyses used to track nutrition-related outcomes as needed.
Compensation: Under the terms of an MOU between DOH and the University at Albany, the GRA will be compensated by the University for work performed at DOH at an hourly rate that conforms to the rules of the University for graduate students. The hourly rate will not exceed the approved University hourly rate for students. The GRA will not work more than 20 hours weekly during the Fall and Spring semesters or more than 25 hours weekly during the summer. The incumbent will also receive tuition reimbursement for up to 9 credit hours per semester. The position will start at the beginning of the 2023 Spring semester. Vouchers for all applicable expenses for the GRA will be submitted to DOH within 30 days after the end of the semester.
To apply: Interested graduate students who have experience in data analysis using SAS, are currently enrolled at the University at Albany, are in good academic standing, and have completed at least one year of graduate courses, should submit resumes by email to: [email protected] and include “WIC Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance Graduate Research Assistant” in the subject line. A cover letter specifying the affiliated school/degree program, concentration/major and expected graduation date should also be submitted along with the names of three references who are either recent or current faculty members/administrators at the University at Albany.