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NYC Research Assistant: Research Aide IV ( 3 positions)

Cornell University

Cornell University

New York, NY, USA
Posted on Friday, August 4, 2023


Title: Research Assistant

Location: New York City

Job Summary:

Dr. Tashara M. Leak is looking to hire up to 3 full-time research assistants (RA) to work on several community-based studies and outreach projects involving youth and families in New York City (NYC). Dr. Leak is an Associate Professor in the Division of Nutritional Sciences (https://www.human.cornell.edu/people/tml226), Co-Director of the Action Research Collaborative (ARC; https://arc.bctr.cornell.edu/), and Associate Dean of the College of Human Ecology in NYC. The RA will work on several studies and projects (see examples below).

Black Girls for Wellness: A 12-week culturally tailored, telehealth lifestyle intervention that aims to improve diet and physical activity among Black adolescent girls at risk for type 2 diabetes (T2D). Each week, participants will engage in 1) a live stream wellness session (mindfulness and nutrition lesson), 2) an at-home cooking experience preparing plant-based ethnic dishes using ingredients sent via a grocery delivery service, and 3) live stream group Afrocentric dance classes offered by the Center for African and Diaspora Dance (CUMBE). To learn more, visit https://www.tasharaleak.com/projects/.

The Advanced Cooking Education (ACE) 4-H After School Club: ACE is a 12-week 4-H after-school club for 7th and 8th-grade students at NYC schools that receive Title 1 funding (federal funds given to low-income serving schools). Each week, participants will meet one day after school for a wellness and professional development session (mindfulness, exposure to careers in food and nutrition, nutrition lesson), and another day they will engage in a self-guided culinary session at home (prepare an ethnic, plant-based meal). To learn more, visit https://www.aceprogramnyc.com/.

The Youth Engagement and Action for Health (YEAH!) Program: YEAH! is a 12-session program for middle and high school students where they learn about nutrition and food justice, conduct ethnographic observations of their neighborhood food environment, and make suggestions on how to improve the food environment to community and policy stakeholders. To learn more, read https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37166089/.

Candidates must have prior research experience and have engaged in at least 2 of the following activities: 1) development of research materials (e.g., recruitment flyers, institutional review board applications), 2) data collection, 3) program implementation (e.g., leading nutrition classes), 4) data analysis, 5) writing (e.g., conference abstracts, manuscripts). Candidates must also have extensive experience working with adolescents and Black and Latinx populations.

This is a full-time, 1-year appointment based in NYC, with the possibility of renewal. This is a fully in-person position (i.e., no remote work); thus, candidates should be based in or have the capacity to commute to and around NYC. Candidates must be able to work Monday-Friday, 9 am -5 pm (i.e., candidates taking courses during these hours will not be eligible to apply).

Responsibilities and Duties: The research assistant will be responsible for the tasks below.

  • Assist with administrative tasks and day-to-day research activities. (20%)
    • Communicate and follow the directives of the leadership team.
    • Maintain multiple office spaces (e.g., keep stock of equipment/supplies).
    • Participate and take notes during research team meetings.
    • Assist with institutional review board (IRB) submissions, which involves corresponding with IRBs at multiple institutions.
    • Maintain relationships with community partners (e.g., attend events that community partners host).
    • Assisting in the preparation of infographics including study findings, conference abstracts/posters, grant submissions, reports, etc.
  • Lead recruitment, screening, and enrollment of study participants. (15%)
    • For BGW: Screen potential participants using EPIC (electronic medical records) to determine eligibility, recruit patients during clinic visits, and schedule eligible participants for their in-person data collection visit.
    • For ACE: Lead in person and virtual recruitment events at participating schools and enroll eligible study participants.
    • General: Review consent and assent forms for completeness, maintain database to ensure participant contact information and private information are safely stored.
  • Lead and coordinate data collection efforts (25%)
    • For BGW only: Assist clinical staff with collection of biological specimens, train participants on how to wear accelerometers.
    • General: Collect height, weight, waist circumference, body fat %, and dermal carotenoid levels; Train participants on how to keep 24-hour diet records; enter diet record data into the Nutrition Data System for Research.
    • Assist with entry, cleaning, and data management.
  • Lead intervention/programmatic activities in person and virtually (40%)
    • Send weekly reminders about the days/times for intervention activities.
    • Place grocery orders and coordinate deliveries.
    • Energetically lead intervention activities (e.g., meditations, stretching, journaling, affirmations, hands-on career exploration, nutrition lessons).

Knowledge and Skills:


  • Ability to take initiative and simultaneously manage multiple research activities with minimal supervision.
  • Excellent communication skills (verbal and written).
  • Excellent organizational skills of implementing multiple nutrition/health programs.
  • Proficiency with MS Office Suite (e.g., Excel).


  • Experience with survey software (e.g., Qualtrics, REDCap).
  • Experience with statistical software (e.g., STATA, SAS, etc.).
  • Experience with medical records software (e.g., EPIC).

Education and Experience:


  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent
  • At least 1 year of relevant research experience. Completed coursework does not count towards this 1-year requirement.
  • Experience working with culturally diverse youth.


  • Master’s degree
  • Registered Dietitian credentials
  • Experience working in clinical settings and/or clinical trials.

To apply: Applicants must submit the following 3 materials

  • Cover letter (2 pages max): You must describe prior research experience and give specific examples of activities you have engaged in. You must also describe your experience working with adolescents and Black and Latinx populations.
  • Curriculum vitae/resume: Make sure to list research software you know how to use, completed Collaborative Institutional Training Initiatives (CITI) classes, languages you speak, etc.
  • Writing sample: This can be a paper from class, a peer-reviewed manuscript, etc. If you submit a co-authored piece, note what specific sections you were responsible for.

NOTE: Applications missing any of these 3 required items will not be reviewed. Do not email application materials to Dr. Leak.

Familiarize yourself with Cornell's COVID-19 workplace guidance as well as the university's COVID-19 services and information.

University Job Title:

Research Aide IV

Job Family:

Academic Support



Pay Rate Type:


Pay Range:

$23.29 - $31.47

Remote Option Availability:

Fully Onsite


Contract College

Contact Name:

Salina Hoque

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