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Subcommittee Program Support Specialist

Portland VA Research Foundation

Job Description


Full Job Description


This position is located in the Portland VA Health Care System's Research Administration Office of Research & Development Service. The Research Office is the administrative unit that provides over 160 Principal Investigators (PIs) and their support staff with the assistance necessary to conduct their individual research programs. The primary purpose of this position is to provide support to the subcommittees required for the review and approval of research and guidance on relevant regulations, policies and procedures to the PI and their support staff. This position is the liaison between the Subcommittee Chairs and members and the PI and their support staff.


Incumbent will manage the day-to-day operations of assigned subcommittee to include technical review of research proposals through all phases of a study and provide authoritative training, interpretation and guidance of applicable regulations, directives, policies, handbooks, etc. as it relates to the operations of a research protection program.


Research Proposals - 40 percent

  • Pre-review of initial and continuing review questionnaires, assessing submitted documents for accuracy, consistency, and completeness.
  • Data entry into appropriate Research Office databases for tracking and reporting purposes.
  • Route submitted VA and non-VA research proposals in a timely manner to assure appropriate deadlines are met.
  • Schedule subcommittee reviews and ensure that all required approvals are obtained.
  • Review proposals and determine if the submitted paperwork may be processed using an expedited review.
  • Follow-up with assigned subcommittee reviewer as necessary to assure all documents are reviewed and returned to meet established deadlines.
  • Complete minutes text within the appropriate Research Office database.
  • Maintain working knowledge of current Veterans Affairs Central Office (VACO) directives, policies, regulations and guidelines, as well as other appropriate federal agencies that govern research activities.
  • Review scope of work forms, ensuring all information is accurate and consistent with protocol paperwork.
  • Route forms for signature by Associate Chief of Staff (ACOS)/Research, enter information in to the appropriate Research Office database and file forms.
  • If required review education verification documents and assure that individuals who are, or have the potential to be, licensed, certified or registered have been submitted to Medical Professional Service or Nurse Professional Service to have their background entered and information verified in the VA provider database.
  • Run monthly reports to cross reference current and proposed personnel at the Portland VA against the List of Excluded Individuals/Entities and the FDA's debarment list to assure there are no matches.
  • Provide support to other Research Office staff during grant preparation by providing extra assistance with regular duties, such as phone coverage, fielding questions from walk-in customers, preparing subcommittee minutes, subcommittee packets, filing and processing incoming proposals and paperwork.

Committee and Subcommittees - 25 percent

  • Create presentation materials by identifying which studies can be reviewed, assign appropriate committee and/or subcommittee reviewers and coordinate schedules of committee and/or subcommittee member.
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of the policies, regulations and guidelines governing the various committees and subcommittees and keeps supervisors and committee members apprised.
  • Maintain effective communication with the Chairs/members of relevant committees and subcommittees.
  • Distribute the appropriate review forms for various committees and subcommittees and provides necessary follow-up to bring these reviews to closure.
  • Develop processes to ensure that quality is planned for, developed within and implemented to identify, prevent and correct unsatisfactory conditions and elements which may influence transactions and services.

Data Management - 25 percent

  • Enter data relating to committee membership, funding sources, personnel and submitted
  • paperwork for new and initial projects into the appropriate Research Office databases.
  • Provide on-going feedback regarding design and management of Research Office databases and network systems.
  • Pre-audit and re-organize study folders and perform file and database audits and follow-up procedures on studies to ensure accurate, appropriate committee actions and file documentation of the actions.

Studies and Special Projects - 10 percent

  • Provide input for training programs and organizational strategies for identifying opportunities to improve customer service and process quality.
  • Identify steps of transaction processes or routine business practices that might be opportunities for applying standard quality improvement techniques.
  • Make recommendations to the AO/R&D for review and approval; once recommendations are approved, determines implementation and communication strategy.

Perform other related duties as assigned.


Ability to perform essential job duties with or without reasonable accommodation and without posing a direct threat to safety or health of employee or others. To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Incumbent will have experience reading, interpreting, and applying VACO Directives, protection rules, regulations, and policies in support of an VA subcommittees. This experience may have been gained either through direct support of research subcommittees or through work experience in support of a research project.


English proficiency is required.


Must be able to proficiently use MS Office Suite with special emphasis on Word, Excel, Outlook and Access. Must be familiar with web browsers such as Edge and Chrome, must by proficient at typing (average of 50wpm is preferred).


Incumbent must be able to read, interpret and apply technical and complex concepts as they relate to research activities. Requires strong analytical skills.

Portland VA Research Foundation is an equal opportunity, affirmative action organization. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to status as a protected veteran or a qualified individual with a disability, or other protected status such as race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin or age.

We celebrate diversity and are committed to cultural inclusion, respect for differences, acceptance, and respect for all employees.

Apply online at http://www.pvarf.org and include a CV and cover letter explaining your interest in the position

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