Innovative Design, Development and Linkages of Databases

Innovative Design, Development and Linkages of Databases

As the largest funder of biomedical research in the world, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) directly and indirectly generates massive amounts of scientific data through research, grants, and contracts. The HHS Office of the Chief Information Officer and the HHS IDEA Lab want to build an innovative strategy to design, develop and link public-facing research database applications for the HHS.

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The goal of this project is to create a solution to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS)  current problem of multiple, disparate data sources that simultaneously meets the requirements of two new White House memoranda (Increasing Access to Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research and Open Data Policy – Managing Information as an Asset).

Creating an HHS-wide repository of research data will be beneficial not only to HHS researchers, but to the scientific community as a whole. The power of linked data has already been demonstrated in other domains. For example, collecting data about where traffic accidents happen and then linking it with geospatial data provides cyclists with a way to avoid potentially dangerous routes.  Similar data linkages can happen with medical data, as has been demonstrated by the Genome Wide Association Study (GWAS) Catalog and resultant biomedical research leading to new cures and diagnostics. There is tremendous potential to capitalize on the linked data capability with research data as well.

With this project, leads from Chief Information Officer (OCIO) and the HHS IDEA Lab hope to work with staff from the relevant research agencies (e.g. the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration, and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) to create a business plan mapping out the way in which HHS can effectively develop data linkages across the organization.

OCIO and HHS IDEA Lab are looking for a strong entrepreneur with a background in technology, specifically the development and implementation of consumer service platforms. Below are a list of specific skills and qualifications desired:

  • Significant work experience using information systems and/or information technology in designing, developing and implementing databases. Candidate should have a proven track record of overseeing the building of databases, data linkage, and successes working with large sets of disparate data.
  • An advanced degree in information systems and/or information technology is preferred, but not required.
  • Understands of enterprise architecture and IT systems/design.
  • Experience in business development, and lean/agile methodology.
  • Demonstrates leadership and communications abilities to bring together a multitude of stakeholders with various interests in the process.
  • Embodies the entrepreneurial spirit with the capacity to lead and quickly innovate in a large bureaucratic environment.
  • Familiarity with the scientific publications process is desired, as this is where most of the unlinked data resides.
  • Familiarity with the HHS research agencies or biomedical research is helpful, though not required.
  • Past project management experience, especially in design, implementing and measuring the success of pilot

As an entrepreneur you have the chance to make a meaningful difference in lives of millions of Americans, by improving the public’s access to research data. You will have the chance to network with individuals across government.

If this opportunity sounds like a perfect fit you, apply now or share the opportunity with someone.  Applications will be open from May 5, 2014 – July 16, 2014.

Damon Davis, HHS IDEA LAB
Cynthia Colton, Office of the Chief Information Officer

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