• Menlo Park, CA, USA
  • Full Time

Health insurance, vacation, Holiday pay, sick pay, 401(k) with Match and Profit share

The Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Research (PAVIR) is seeking a full-time Research Assistant to join Dr. Mudumbai's Research lab and support multiple opioid use research studies.

One of the studies you will be supporting evaluates the natural course of opioid use in patients who are prescribed extended-release/long-acting opioids as part of their routine clinical management. The VA is one of nine sites contributing to data collection. We are collaborating with other health care systems and institutions such as Kaiser Permanente, Stanford University, and Columbia University. New projects in the pipeline include evaluating cancer risk associated with opioid use in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute, and post-surgical risk tracking for opioid prescribed patients using a mobile application.

About this Research Assistant role:

The Research Assistant will act as the primary liaison between Veterans and project staff through conducting mental health diagnostic interviews with VA patients. The Research Assistant will support the Principal Investigator - Dr. Mudumbai, as well as Project Manager, and research team in various research-related and administrative components associated with multiple research studies. Dr. Sesh Mudumbai is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative, and Pain Medicine at Stanford University and at the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Health Care System.

We encourage you to apply if you have deep interest in mental health and opioid use studies and are interested in growing with the team. The ideal candidate for this Research Assistant position will have the ability to recognize PTSD, anxiety, and/or depression and will help with patient assessments.

This is a full-time position with generous benefits and hourly compensation. Location: Menlo Park, CA.

Schedule: must be available to conduct evening and weekend interviews.

PAVIR offers generous benefits: comprehensive health insurance, vision, dental, 13 paid holidays, paid vacation time, sick pay, a 401(k) with a fully vested 6% company match and 3% profit share, a wellness program, commuter benefits, and professional development training. Plus, we pay for life, short-term disability, and long-term disability insurance.

About PAVIR:

PAVIR, located on the premises of the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, is a mid-size nonprofit foundation, closely connected with the VA and Stanford University. We are a nimble organization, offering ongoing training, opportunities for growth, generous benefits, great work-life balance, as well as friendly, close-knit, and supportive environment. At PAVIR we work with more than 160 uniquely talented medical scientists across a broad spectrum of research areas. We recruit talented employees who believe in making a difference in the lives of others through innovative research.

Research Assistant's Primary Responsibilities:

Study Interviews:

  • Recruit, consent, enroll, and track study participants;
  • Conduct structured mental health diagnostic interviews with complex populations according to research protocols; conduct interviews assessing prescription medication and drug abuse and misuse;
  • Use specialized computer programs to assist in participant identification, data collection, and tracking such as DatStat, electronic medical records, study specific programs and serve as a lead on appropriate use in clinical study for other team members;
  • Identify, appropriately respond to, triage, report and follow up on participant-related concerns, including detailed documentation of critical incidents (e.g., reports of suicide ideation/intent);
  • Participate in all study-related training sessions, which may include travel;
  • Assure quality data are collected and managed per Human Subjects Protections rules and regulations; and
  • Assist in the implementation of quality assurance procedures and on-going monitoring of data collection.

Administrative support:

  • Support the PI, project manager, and research team in meeting administrative and compliance requirements;
  • Coordinate day-to-day office activities;
  • Organize meetings, conference calls, arrange travel;
  • Submit purchase requests and track progress;
  • Participate in team meetings, maintaining project tasks in Smartsheet, and taking meeting minutes;
  • Prepare Institutional Review Board materials and the development and revisions of protocols, maintaining informed consent and HIPAA forms, preparing annual reports etc.;
  • Maintain site-specific Standard Operating Procedures and Policies;

Contribute to dissemination of study results:

  • Provide updates to PI/PM and collaborating sites;
  • Assist research team with publication of manuscripts and presentations;
  • Assist in the preparation of grant applications, which may include drafting assigned sections.

Requirements for the Research Assistant role:


  • Required: Bachelor's degree or senior-year Bachelor student with a graduation date scheduled for 2021;
  • Desired: Master's degree.

License: Valid Driver License is required.


  • Required:
    • 1 year of related experience in research involving human participants;
    • At least 6 months experience conducting structured or semi structured psychological or medical assessments;
  • Desired: Experience with addiction research or genetics.

Knowledge / Skills / Abilities:

  • Flexibility to conduct evening and weekend interviews.
  • Working knowledge of diagnostic structured interviews such as SF-12, PTSD/CAPS 5, MINI, C-SSRS, PRISM or ORT, SADS, SCID, or K-SADS.
  • Working knowledge of the etiology and diagnosis of mental illness and addictions and DSM-V diagnoses and diagnostic criteria.
  • Excellent computer skills.
  • Effective interpersonal skills, excellent verbal communication and written skills, including scientific writing.
  • Ability to effectively work in different locations and remotely.
  • Strong understanding of research methodology.
  • Organized, detail-oriented, self-directed/takes initiative, and dependable.
  • Strong time management skills and ability to prioritize workload.
  • Working in a research setting following standardized protocols to collect data.
  • Conducting structured psychiatric diagnostic interviews with a variety of age groups and types of illness.
  • Working as part of a team and self-motivated to problem solve tasks.
  • Ability to develop policies, procedures and criteria for the research program.
  • Able to become knowledgeable and adhere to VA rules and regulations, as well as standard procedures in clinical research.
  • Familiarity with a wide range of concepts, principles and practices in the scientific area.

Environmental Conditions: Exposure to office, hospital/clinical and wet lab environments. Exposure to body fluids (i.e., collection and transportation of human saliva).

PAVIR engages in nonprofit medical research and works with sponsors and the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) in administering funds for conducting research to find new and improved ways to combat human disease and help people with disabilities. Please refer to our website for additional information:

PAVIR is affiliated with the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS). As a condition of employment, all PAVIR employees are required to have an approved appointment with VAPAHCS and complete a background check.


If you feel that you would be right for this job, please fill out our initial 3-minute, mobile-friendly application. We look forward to meeting you!

PAVIR is pleased to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. Minorities, Women, Veterans, and Individuals with a Disability are encouraged to apply. We welcome and encourage diversity in the workplace regardless of race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. If you need special assistance or an accommodation to apply for a posted position, please contact - Human Resources department.

Location: 94025

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