Senior Scientific Programmer


We are seeking a scientific programmer to provide key data extraction, management, exploratory data analysis, and reporting services to research investigators working with health care administrative and electronic health record data. The ideal candidate will have database management experience and will be skilled in using SQL, SAS, and other statistical programming tools (e.g., R Stats). Essential to the role is a dedication to assessing and communicating the quality of data sources and iterative problem-solving in partnership with research investigators to arrive at optimal approaches to data preparation and analysis to answer essential research questions. Current projects are related to inpatient nurse staffing and workload, health care utilization among Veterans. Excellent verbal and written communication are essential to success in this role on collaborative research teams.

Job Purpose

Senior Scientific Programmer under limited supervision, formulates and defines system scope and objectives through research and fact finding to develop or modify moderately complex information systems.

Job Duties
  • Prepares detailed specifications from which programs will be written.
    • In partnership with research investigators, documents data extraction, data preparation (including linking datasets), data management, and data analysis plans for research projects.
  • Designs, codes, tests, debugs, documents and maintains programs.
    • Designs, codes, tests, debugs, documents and maintains programs that support answering a range of research questions. Includes designing for reproducibility through programming and documentation that maps the path from original datasets through quality checks and analysis decisions to analysis output.
  • Designs and develops research software.
    • Designs and develops research databases (e.g., using MS Access) for research participant recruiting and tracking and/or for research project data management.
  • Configures and customizes third-party software.
    • Configures and customizes data management and statistical software for specific research project needs.
  • Advises on hardware and software decisions.
    • Advises research investigators and staff on hardware and software that are appropriate for specific research needs and approved for use by the organization.
  • Applies existing custom research software to both well-defined and complex problems.
    • Applies existing custom research software previously developed by others as part of long-term research projects, adapting as needed for changes in data sources and new research questions.
  • May provide technical guidance and work direction to lower level information systems personnel.
    • Serves as a technical resource for research investigators and research staff.
  • Provides technical expertise as an essential member of collaborative research teams.
  • Extracts, manages, and analyzes data in a cloud-computing environment (e.g., VA VINCI).
  • Organizes and manipulates administrative health care data and electronic health record data to support answering health services research questions.
  • Monitors changes to data sources that may affect data quality or usefulness.
  • Alerts team members to potential data quality issues.
  • Communicates with corporate data warehouse managers on behalf of the project team for data acquisition and troubleshooting.
  • Prepares datasets in consultation with research statisticians and methodologists to support complex analyses.
  • Supports team functioning through use of shared project folders and sharing code with other analysts.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to quality and attention to detail.
  • Provides and documents thorough validation of data so that investigators can be confident that prepared datasets are appropriate for answering research questions.
  • Attends and actively participates in project team meetings.

Minimum Qualifications
  • Bachelor's degree in Management Information Systems, Computer Science, or a related field. Four years of related experience may substitute for degree requirement.
  • Three years of relevant experience.

Preferred Qualifications
  • Experience with SQL, SAS, and other statistical software.

Baylor College of Medicine is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Equal Access Employer.


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