Senior Programmer

Updated: about 1 month ago
Location: Boston, MASSACHUSETTS


Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health


Job Summary

The Department of Biostatistics is a very busy and diverse department focused on research and teaching. Our 70+ faculty are leaders in the development of statistical methods for clinical trials and observational studies, studies on the environment, computational biology, and genomics/genetics. We offer degree programs in biostatistics, computational biology and data science; currently, more than 180 students are enrolled in these programs.

Job-Specific Responsibilities

We are seeking a Senior Programmer to join our dynamic team. Duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Develop and deploy data cleaning, data management, variable creation, and variable naming protocols of projects involving electronic health records, administrative claims, environmental exposure data, and other complex databases
  • Create and maintain databases using R and potentially SAS in collaboration with members of the research team
  • Create and link customized databases and analytic datasets in UNIX environments
  • Lead the development, maintenance, and documentation of software in R and potentially SAS (including R functions and SAS macros for data management and analysis support), SQL, and occasionally Python
  • Function as a resource for researchers, post-docs and other trainees to help debug programs and to access correct data
  • Identify inefficiencies in the programming and data management infrastructure and advise the Principal Investigator on potential solutions and alternatives
  • Obtain approval to access and work with data from Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • Work on computing cluster and work with cluster computing IT to troubleshoot any issues
  • May assist the PIs and Program Coordinator with development of data management standard operating procedures and policies
  • Perform other duties as assigned
PLEASE NOTE: This position has a term end date of one year from date of hire, with the possibility of extension.

PLEASE NOTE: Shortlisted candidates will be required to submit work samples (sample code) and/or complete a coding assessment.

PLEASE NOTE: The primary work location for this position is Boston, MA and in order to be on Harvard payroll, you must reside in one of the following states – MA, NH, RI, ME, CT, VT, NY, MD, or CA. We are also working primarily remotely at this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Until our return to campus, this interview process and position will be conducted virtually – including virtual interviews, remote onboarding, and remote work. This position has the potential to remain primarily remote, or to shift to local, on-campus work once the School and this role return to an operational status that supports it. This transition back to campus is expected to begin in fall 2021.

Basic Qualifications

  • 4+ years post-secondary education and/or relevant work experience required
  • Professional working experience with R, SAS and/or related software required
  • Professional experience working with SQL required

Additional Qualifications and Skills

The following job-specific skills and competencies are preferred:

  • Master’s Degree in Statistics, Data Science, Computer Science, Mathematics, Informatics, or other health data related field
  • Experience with Python and GitHub
  • Knowledge of maintenance and support of IT infrastructure systems within a cluster environment
  • Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills, as well as efficiency and time management skills
  • Highly organized with a strong attention to detail and accuracy
  • Experience collaborating with all levels of research team; demonstrated team performance skills
  • Service-oriented mindset and approach
The following cultural competencies are also preferred:
  • Awareness of and aptitude to appropriately and effectively understand, respect, and adapt to cultural and identity-based difference within group environments
  • Knowledge of and commitment to concepts and issues tied to social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Skills related to creating and supporting an environment that allows for inclusion, effective intercultural engagement, and personal humility and authenticity

Additional Information

At the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, we believe that diversity is integral to the Harvard experience and our mission of improving public health education, research and policy. Diversity of cultural backgrounds, identities, lived experiences, perspectives, and ways of understanding the world enriches our community and enables us to best meet the public health needs of the United States and the world. Ongoing learning and development related to diversity allows for both individual and institutional growth, and is necessary to foster and sustain a culture of inclusion. To achieve this, we are committed to ensuring equitable access to opportunities for learning, living, and working at the Harvard Chan School. We maintain an unwavering dedication to diversity, inclusion, and belonging as core to our institutional values and to actively counter, minimize, and address racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, gender bias, and all forms of discrimination.

Learn more about the School’s mission, objectives, and core values and our diversity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives.


Harvard University offers an outstanding benefits package including:

  • Time Off: 3-4 weeks paid vacation, paid holiday break, 12 paid sick days, 12+ paid holidays, and 3 paid personal days per year.
  • Medical/Dental/Vision: Excellent and affordable medical, dental & vision plans, with coverage beginning as of an employee's start date.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance & Reimbursement Programs: $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School, discounted options through participating Harvard graduate schools, and reimbursement options for accredited schools outside of Harvard.
  • Transportation: 50% discount on MBTA passes, as well as additional options (rideshare, biking, etc.) to assist employees in their daily commute.
  • Wellness & Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including stress management, hard & soft skills development, career planning, massages, nutrition, meditation, and complimentary health services. Additionally, access to Harvard athletic facilities, libraries, campus events -- and many discounts for various cultural and leisure activities throughout metro Boston.
Join the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to support our mission of health research and education, and to be a part of the oldest institution of higher learning in the country!


  • The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health does not provide visa sponsorship, now or in the future, for staff positions.
  • Harvard University requires pre-employment reference checks and background screenings.
  • This position has a 90 day orientation and review period. 

Harvard will require COVID vaccination for all Harvard community members. Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. More information regarding the University’s COVID vaccination requirement and exceptions may be found at the University’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Information” webpage .

Job Function

Information Technology, Research


USA - MA - Boston

Job Code

383157 App Progrmng/Analysis/Develop


00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Pre-Employment Screening

Criminal, Education, Identity

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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