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Research Associate- Leak Research Group

Job Description

Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.



Research Associate- The Leak Research Group

The Leak Research Group (LRG; principal investigator Tashara M. Leak, PhD, RD) is seeking to hire a full-time Research Associate deeply committed to conducting nutrition and health equity research in a variety of community-based settings in New York City (NYC) with adolescents from racial/ethnic minoritized and low-income backgrounds. The overall goal is to design culturally inclusive interventions that are sustainable and scalable. To learn more about the Leak Research Group, visit: https://www.tasharaleak.com/ and  https://www.human.cornell.edu/people/tml226 .

Dr. Leak is an assistant professor at Cornell University in the Division of Nutritional Sciences and Co-Director of the Cornell Action Research Collaborative (https://arc.bctr.cornell.edu ). She also has a secondary appointment at Weill Cornell Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine. A brief summary of 2 studies can be found below.

Black Girls for Wellness:

We will examine the preliminary efficacy of a 12-week culturally tailored, telehealth lifestyle intervention on improving diet and increasing physical activity among Black adolescent girls at risk for type 2 diabetes. Each week participants will engage in 3 activities:

  • Live stream group wellness session (mindfulness and nutrition education)
  • Prepare a healthy ethnic meal at home with their family
  • Live stream Afrocentric dance classes.

Advanced Cooking Education (ACE) 4-H After School Club:

We will examine the effectiveness of a 12-week obesity prevention intervention for 7th and 8th-grade students at low-income serving schools. Each week participants engage in 2 sessions:

  • A wellness and professional development session (mindfulness, career exploration, nutrition education)
  • A culinary session (prepare a healthy ethnic meal at home with their family). https://www.aceprogramnyc.com/

Position Summary:

The research associate will work very closely and in collaboration with Dr. Leak. They will lead day-to-day activities for the Leak Research Group and intellectually contribute to the development of novel research studies that advance nutrition and health equity. This is a full-time, fully in-person (i.e., at least 4 days/week in the office or at study sites), 1-year appointment with the possibility of renewal pending performance evaluation. Candidates should be based in or have the capacity to commute to NYC. Occasional travel (e.g., quarterly) to Ithaca, NY, is required.

Job Responsibilities:

Administrative Tasks and Research Coordination 50%

  • Be in regular communication with Dr. Leak to provide updates, problem-solve, and plan for future research activities.
  • Lead Leak Research Group team meetings in person and online.  
  • Attend meetings and events hosted by community partners and other stakeholders.
  • Build and maintain trust with community partners and study participants.
  • Assist with hiring, training, and managing research assistants in NYC and Ithaca, NY.
  • Coordinate team-building activities to help maintain a healthy and supportive workplace environment.
  • Supervise and provide feedback to others who maintain websites and social media pages.
  • Develop and amend protocols and procedures for research studies.
  • Submit IRB protocols, which involve corresponding with IRBs at multiple institutions.
  • Register research studies with clinicaltrials.gov.
  • Develop and manage budgets and develop reports for funding agencies.

Written Deliverables 20%

  • Write conference abstracts and present research at conferences.
  • Write peer reviewed manuscripts for scientific journals.
  • Assist with writing grant applications for a variety of funding agencies (e.g., internal, federal, foundation).
  • Assist with developing infographics of research findings for community partners using software such as Canva or Infogram.

Study Implementation 15%

  • Recruit new study sites (e.g., clinics, schools).
  • Recruit, screen, and enroll study participants.
  • Supervise and, when necessary, assist with the implementation of intervention activities in person and online (e.g., mindfulness activities, nutrition lessons).

Data Collection, Entry, and Analysis 15%

  • Coordinate and supervise data collection and entry efforts at various sites (e.g., anthropometrics, dermal carotenoid levels using the Veggie Meter, 24-hour diet records in the Nutrition Data System for Research, survey data in Qualtrics and REDCap).
  • Supervise research assistants responsible for data cleaning and management.
  • Assist with data analysis (e.g., code interviews and focus groups in NVivo, analyze quantitative data using STATA or other software).

Required Qualifications:

Knowledge and Skills:

Ability to take initiative and simultaneously work on multiple studies with minimal supervision.

Excellent communication skills (verbal and written).

Demonstrated proficiency with MS Office Suite (e.g., Excel).

Education and Experience:

Doctoral degree in nutrition, social and behavioral sciences, or a related field.

Experience with survey software (e.g., Qualtrics, REDCap).

Experience with data analysis software (e.g., NVIVO, STATA, SAS).

Lead author on peer-reviewed manuscripts for scientific journals (under review and/or published).

Preferred Qualifications

Postdoctoral training.

Registered Dietitian.

Experience with diet assessment software (e.g., Nutrition Data System for Research).

Experience with working in clinical settings and/or clinical trials.

Grant writing experience (including fellowship applications).


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


University Job Title:

Research Associate

Job Family:



No Grade - Annual

Pay Rate Type:


Pay Range:

$45,700.00 - $91,000.00

Remote Option Availability:

Hybrid Remote


Contract College

Contact Name:

Salina Hoque

Job Titles and Pay Ranges:

Non-Union Positions

Noted pay ranges reflect the potential pay opportunity for each job profile. The hiring rate of pay for the successful candidate will be determined considering the following criteria:

  • Prior relevant work or industry experience

  • Education level to the extent education is relevant to the position

  • Unique applicable skills

  • Academic Discipline (faculty pay ranges reflects 9-month annual salary)

To learn more about Cornell’s non-union staff job titles and pay ranges, see Career Navigator .

Union Positions

The hiring rate of pay for the successful candidate will be determined in accordance with the rates in the respective collective bargaining agreement. To learn more about Cornell’s union wages, see Union Pay Rates .

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EEO Statement:

Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations. Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose, and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.


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