• Statistician II

    Location US-MA-Boston
    Job Posted Date 2 weeks ago(10/4/2018 3:47 PM)
    Job ID
    IT/Health IT/Informatics
    full time
  • Overview

    Located in Boston and the surrounding communities, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute brings together world renowned clinicians, innovative researchers and dedicated professionals, allies in the common mission of conquering cancer, HIV/AIDS and related diseases. Combining extremely talented people with the best technologies in a genuinely positive environment, we provide compassionate and comprehensive care to patients of all ages; we conduct research that advances treatment; we educate tomorrow's physician/researchers; we reach out to underserved members of our community; and we work with amazing partners, including other Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospitals.

    Statisticians collaborate with scientific investigators and other statisticians in the design and analysis of clinical trials, basic translational studies, observational data from surveys, medical records, or administrative data, data from the study of genetic markers in human populations or animal models of cancer, experiments on the development of new laboratory assays and data from population-based studies. They are expert in the technical aspects of statistical theory and practice required for their work and highly trained in statistical computing. Experienced statisticians are expected to work independently, mentor and, in some cases, supervise junior statisticians.


    Data Analysis
    This role will work with investigators and other statisticians in the analysis of clinical trial data, data from observational studies, data from the study of genetic markers or animal models of cancer, experiments on the development of new laboratory assays and data from population based studies. Data analysis skills will typically involve the use of standard statistical packages such as SAS, R, or Stata but may involve learning and usage of other project-specific software. Statisticians should have comfort with data manipulation and should have the ability to perform sensitivity analyses and test alternative assumptions and goodness-of-fit of alternative models.
    Plus may be expected to assist in developing or testing new statistical software or new releases of currently installed software. Statistician II's will also be asked to participate in complicated data analyses, including data from genomic studies of human or animal tumors or population based studies and demonstrate a high degree of independence in these activities. This may include simulation modeling.

    Study Design
    This role includes responsibilities for study design, including sample size calculations to insure adequate power, the design of stratified randomization schemes and early stopping rules for phase III studies, the design of phase II studies, including two-stage designs for early stopping, randomized phase II designs, the design of laboratory and translational studies, the design of retrospective analysis of population-based studies, and writing associated statistical sections describing these designs. Laboratory studies may involve either correlative studies associated with clinical studies, or basic studies in the biology of cancer. This role also includes designing simple laboratory and animal studies, including justifying numbers of replicates. Statistician I's will typically spend more time designing smaller, simpler studies, such as phase II studies; or straightforward retrospective studies. They will work under a supervisor when designing more complex studies, such as phase II clinical trials, genomics experiments, or comparative-effectiveness research studies. Often, these activities will involve learning and usage of commercial as well as locally written special purpose software. Should also be able to write programs in SAS or R to simulate designs to verify power and type I error probabilities.

    Protocol Review
    To the extent that protocol preparation and review are components of the staff member's particular position, then Statistician I-III personnel play an essential role in the protocol review process, including preparing reviews for Disease Program Leaders, for the Adult, Pediatric, Non-therapeutic and other Scientific Review Committees, and for the Institutional Review Board. These reviews evaluate the objectives and feasibility of a study, and ensure that the statistical design matches the overall goals of the study. In many cases, the review leads to corrections in the associated protocol. Statisticians are also expected to peer review designs and analytic work of other statisticians in the office. In the case of population-based research, in lieu of DFCI IRB review, review of analytic plans and data use agreements by federal or state agencies, (e.g. the CDC) may be required. In this context, Statisticians I-III, are expected to formulate the analytic plans and ensure that they are described accurately on data use agreements.

    Manuscript PreparationThis role often works as part of a writing team preparing abstracts and manuscripts that describe results of clinical trial, retrospective, translational or basic science studies. A Statistician I will rarely write large sections of a manuscript, but, under the guidance of a more senior statistician, a Statistician I will write the statistical methods sections of a manuscript, assist in writing the results section, and will check manuscripts for numerical accuracy. Statistician I's may work with the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group to prepare technical reports for completed clinical trials and interim study reports for the Group and Data Monitoring Committee on ongoing studies. The technical reports usually form the basis of manuscripts submitted to the scientific literature. Specifically, statisticians will routinely assume primary responsibility for preparation of tables and figures submitted for peer review publications.

    Assisting in Grant Preparation
    This role often assists many investigators in the preparation of research grants, both as part of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, Harvard Center for AIDS Research, cancer SPOREs, ECOG and other projects as well as for other smaller grants. Statistician I's often calculate the parameters for the experimental design for the grants, especially sample size calculations for either clinical laboratory or translational studies and animal studies and the description of the methods of data analysis. In almost all instances, this work will be supervised by a more senior statistician. Will be expected to consult with investigators planning grant submissions to help formulate specific aims, to match the experimental design with scientific objectives, to review relevant subject matter literature and any preliminary data to assess the reasonableness of planned analysis methods and sample size computations to compute sample sizes that will ensure adequate precision for the experiments or clinical trials that will be part of the grant, and to plan data analyses. Also there may be involvement in design of cohort studies, retrospective studies, other population-based studies. Minimal supervision is expected.

    Participation in Project Management
    This role will on occasion be asked to serve as part of the teams leading large collaborative projects, such as the ECOG Statistical Center Coordinating team or the DF/HCC Biostatistics Core.


    • BS/BA Required. Masters degree in statistics or biostatistics required.
    • At least 3 years of experience are required.
    • Should have strong skills in clinical trial methodology, use of commercial statistical software, data analysis, and the effective presentation of results.
    • Must be familiar with MS Windows and UNIX. 

    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is an equal opportunity employer and affirms the right of every qualified applicant to receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, national origin, sexual orientation, genetic information, disability, age, ancestry, military service, protected veteran status, or other groups as protected by law.


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