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Senior Principal Scientist, Economic & Health Policy Research

Job ID 1381710928 Location Atlanta, Georgia; Washington, DC Position Type Full-Time


Position Description

Save lives. Fulfill yours. 

At the American Cancer Society, we're leading the fight for a world without cancer. Our employees and 1.5 million volunteers are raising the bar every single day. The people who work at the American Cancer Society focus their diverse talents on our singular mission: to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer. We achieve our mission by drawing on our core values of integrity, compassion, courage, determination, and diversity.

It is a calling. And the people who answer it are fulfilled.

**Final title of position is subject to candidate's qualifications** 


Develops original research publications focusing on the intersection of economic factors and health-related behaviors, including, but not limited to, tobacco use, nutrition, physical activity and harmful alcohol use in the U.S.  Collaborates with researchers both within and outside ACS on research manuscripts, policy briefs and other scientific/policy relevant publications to contribute to U.S. federal and state level policy formulation targeted to modification of cancer risk factors in general, and tobacco control in particular.


  • Initiates new research project ideas and seeks funding opportunities.
  • Leads or participates in the development of manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals in the area of health economics related to cancer, with a substantial focus on using fiscal policy as a public health tool. 
  • Participates in the collection, compilation, management, and analysis of data on sociodemographic and economic factors that influence tobacco use, nutrition, physical activity, harmful alcohol use and other health-related behaviors. 
  • Conducts literature reviews and helps to maintain the program’s large literature database in the substantive areas described above.
  • Contributes to the dissemination of the program’s research through public presentations at conferences and colloquia, with governments and other health organizations.
  • Supports the team in development of research projects and grant proposals congruent with the program’s mission and goals. 
  • Supervise interns, particularly for data-related activities and literature search.
  • Serve as ACS’s spokesperson as needed.


Position Requirements



PhD in Economics or related degree in Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Health Behavior/Education/Policy or Public Policy (an Economics background preferred) with at least 5 years of relevant experience in public health policy research after completion of PhD.  


Demonstrates Intramural Research Competencies:

  • Strong theoretical knowledge of economics and public health that guides applied research, and at the same time, ability to question conventional wisdom;
  • Creative thinking grounded in rigor;
  • Capacity to support senior investigators on the team in research design, survey methods, data collection protocols, analysis, and interpretation of results;
  • Oriented to actions for seizing new opportunities and addressing emerging challenges.
  • Drives results in research that translates into meaningful and impactful change;
  • Willing and able to seize new opportunities and address challenges with a sense of urgency, high energy, and enthusiasm;
  • Communicates scientific knowledge effectively with different audiences (ranging from professional to lay);
  • Manages complexity of high volume and sometimes contradictory information to effectively solve problems;
  • Inclined to build formal and informal networks effectively with both internal and external partners;
  • Cultivates innovation through creation of new and better ways for the organization to be successful;
  • Optimizes work processes with the know-how of the most effective and efficient processes to get things done, with a focus on continuous improvement;
  • Manages ambiguity by operating effectively, even when things are not certain, or the way forward is not clear.

 Other Skills:

  • Excellent applied statistical and econometric skills;
  • Strong scientific writing skills;
  • Attention to details;
  • Ability to meet deadlines;
  • Ability to work with a team spirit.


  • Extensive experience working with a statistical software (STATA, SAS, R, PYTHON or similar), EXCEL, word processing and presentation software;
  • Strong knowledge of fundamental principles of public health and economics;
  • Experience in conducting research with large-scale data;
  • Specific knowledge on and/or exposure to work related to cancer prevention, detection, control and care would be a privilege.


  • Ability to work in multidisciplinary research environment and exchange views and ideas across disciplines.
We are committed to providing staff with fulfilling opportunities to learn, grow and make an impact in their local communities. We offer staff a generous paid time off policy; medical, dental and retirement benefits, and professional development programs to enhance staff skills.

Equal Opportunity Employer.

See our commitment to a policy of Equal Employment Opportunity to continually ensure equal opportunity to our employees and to our applicants.

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