Research Data Steward

Posted to IASSIST on: 2022-03-03

Employer: Harvard Kennedy School

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Job Summary

Reporting to the Manager of Research and Data Services and in support of the mission of the Harvard Kennedy School, the Research Data Steward is responsible for providing in-depth research data management consultations in alignment with Harvard research data security policies for the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). This role will be primarily charged with managing the Data Safety process and queue for the Harvard Kennedy School. The Research Data Steward will review and guide researchers through the Data Safety research compliance process, advising on research data management best practices that comply with Harvard IT Enterprise Policy while referring researchers to IT, legal, or other experts if ethical, security, policy, and legal considerations arise in planning for data collection, processing, and dissemination. This role will also work closely with the Executive Director and Manager of Research and Data Services on making process and service improvements across the Data Safety process, management of regulated and contractual data, support of FAIR practices, and other key aspects impacting HKS researchers managing sensitive data.

Please note this is a two-year term appointment from the date of hire.

Within LKS, we value continually learning. The Research Data Steward will be expected to continually pursue new areas for learning related to this role and use newly gained skills and knowledge on the job. The Research Data Steward will also encourage and support this learning for other members of LKS.

HKS, including LKS, is committed to building a diverse and inclusive community of staff, faculty, and students. This position will work toward building such a community and foster an inclusive environment in LKS (for colleagues and library patrons) that values and prioritizes diversity, inclusion, and belonging.

Job-Specific Responsibilities

  • Primary Data Safety Reviewer for HKS: responsible for making a data security level (DSL) determination for Sensitive Data, providing Researchers with information about methods to bring a Data Management Plan into compliance with the assigned DSL(s), and ultimately determining whether Researchers’ use of tools and implementation of security controls is consistent with the Harvard Enterprise Policy and any associated DUAs, contracts, etc. These Data Management Plans are reviewed and recorded in the Data Safety system as a Data Safety Submission. Data Safety submissions are a required approval process for all research data deemed sensitive and often require coordination and communication with IRB, DUA Negotiating Offices, the HKS School Security Officer and HKS IT team, and the HKS Research Administration Office.

  • Administers high quality, user-centered consultation with faculty, students, fellows, and research staff pursuing research that requires at data management plan and/or Data Safety review. Works closely with Manager of Research and Data Services on making improvements and gaining efficiencies in the Data Safety process and developing processes and services to support FAIR practices at HKS.

  • Maintains and continuously develops expertise in data management and treatment to provide faculty, students, and staff with specialized professional support while building trust and rapport across these communities. Employs creativity and innovative approaches to data management to facilitate and support the research of HKS without compromising the security and protection of sensitive research data.

  • Establishes and nurtures deep knowledge of expertise, services, and resources available through HKS and Harvard University to support research data management and research computing. Shares this knowledge across LKS to support efficient referral system of all LKS staff working with faculty, staff, students, and fellows.

  • Creates and maintains trainings and education opportunities and resources on topics such as best practices in data management, data privacy principles and emerging issues, de-identification and anonymization, translating technical requirements into achievable steps for researchers, and participating in the Data Steward Program (led by the School Security Officer).

  • Working with the Curriculum and Instruction Librarian, plans and conducts workshops and orientations, partnering with faculty and academic staff as well as other LKS staff to plan and deliver course-integrated instruction in research data management.

  • Works collaboratively on cross-functional teams to move LKS portfolios, projects, and initiatives forward.

  • Works actively and collaboratively across HKS and the University to improve research and data services/resources for the HKS community, including representing HKS on committees or committee-related work when relevant.

  • Under the direction of the Manager of Research and Data Services, takes on new challenges, projects, and duties as necessary to support the HKS mission.

Basic Qualifications

  • Master’s Degree in Information Science, Information Management, or equivalent degree and a minimum 3 years of professional experience in data stewardship and governance.

  • Proven experience in interpreting Data Use Agreements and IRB protocols (or similar governing documents) into data management requirements

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Demonstrated good data management practices, ability to draft successful data management plans that incorporate Enterprise Security policies, and the ability to influence practitioners to adopt

  • Ability to understand data models, taxonomy and deep appreciation of data standards and data quality

  • Understanding of information architecture, i.e. how data is stored and organized within applications

  • Ability to organize work into actionable plans with committed time frames while balancing effort, mitigating risks, and moving HKS research forward

  • Customer service experience demonstrating a customer-focused and results-oriented attitude

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, both oral and written, including (1) proven capability to translate and communicate technical or complex concepts and requirements to researchers and Senior Leadership and (2) proven ability to document business processes, SOPs, and/or Service Agreements

  • Ability to partner with research, business, legal, and technical subject matter experts when necessary to support researchers while managing risks appropriately

  • Commitment to continuous process improvement, measurement, and change adoption experience in data management

  • Willingness and proven ability to proactively take responsibility and action to resolve cross functional issues across organizational boundaries

  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a collaborative and/or team environment.

  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion

Any combination of the below is a plus:

  • CIPP or DGSP certification

  • Experience establishing or improving data governance in a decentralized organization

  • Experience in subject areas that coincide with Harvard Kennedy School curriculum and research

  • Experience in higher education research compliance

Additional Information

This position is a fully benefits-eligible term appointment ending two years from date of hire, with possibility of renewal.

We regret that the Harvard Kennedy School does not provide visa sponsorship. Harvard University requires pre-employment reference and background checks. Harvard University is committed to supporting a healthy, sustainable learning and working environment.

Please note: This is an in-person/on campus position based in Cambridge, MA, and is expected to work on campus at least 3 days/ week, with the other two days flexible for remote work.

The University requires all Harvard community members to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and remain up to date with COVID-19 vaccine boosters, as detailed in Harvard’s Vaccine & Booster Requirements. Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. More information regarding the University’s COVID vaccination requirement, exemptions, and verification of vaccination status may be found at the University’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Information” webpage:

Salary Range: $69,100 - $116,100 Note: Starting salaries typically fall in the lower half of the salary range; however, they are ultimately determined by the scope of the position, the candidate’s relevant experience, and internal equity.

Harvard offers a generous benefits package including:

  • Time Off: 3- 4 weeks paid vacation, paid holiday break, 12 paid sick days, 12.5 paid holidays, and 3 paid personal days per year.
  • Medical/Dental/Vision: We offer a variety of excellent medical plans, dental & vision plans, all coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive tuition assistance program, $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and discounted options through participating Harvard grad schools.
  • Transportation: Harvard offers a 50% discounted MBTA pass as well as additional options to assist employees in their daily commute.
  • Wellness Options: Harvard offers programs and classes at little or no cost, including stress management, massages, nutrition, meditation and complimentary health services.
  • Harvard access to athletic facilities, libraries, campus events and many discounts throughout metro Boston.
Job Function: Library
Location: USA - MA - Cambridge
Job Code: 386057 Library Professional Sub-Unit
Department: Library and Knowledge Services
Time Status: Full-time
Salary Grade: 057
Union: 00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary
Pre-Employment Screening: Education, Identity

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Harvard Kennedy School’s Mission and Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

At Harvard Kennedy School, fostering a diverse and inclusive community where everyone feels they belong is a matter of basic fairness consistent with our core values as an institution. It is also essential to our mission of improving public policy and leadership—because recruiting the best people and creating an environment where they can thrive make us better at what we do, because we learn more from people with different perspectives, and because we work in diverse groups and serve diverse societies.

Learn more about Harvard Kennedy School’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and belonging.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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Archived on: 2022-06-01