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Staff Scientist

Job Title Staff Scientist Location Danville, Pennsylvania Job Category Research Staff Schedule Days Work Type Full time Department Applied Behavioral Insights Division Date posted 03/02/2021 Job ID R-10360

Job Summary

Responsible for conducting research under the supervision of a research faculty member and functions as a technical or intellectual resource to the assigned work group. May assume responsibility for a specific topic within the faculty member’s research program.

Job Duties


Geisinger seeks an outstanding behavioral scientist to serve as Staff Scientist for its Behavioral Insights Team (BIT). The BIT was created in 2018 to apply behavioral science methods to the design, implementation, and experimental evaluation of “nudges” and other lightweight behavioral interventions intended to improve outcomes and experiences for patients, providers, employees, and other stakeholders of the Geisinger Health System and beyond. Geisinger is one of the country’s largest integrated health systems, with 23,000 employees serving more than 3 million patients throughout Pennsylvania. As an aspiring learning healthcare system, Geisinger increasingly incorporates research into all aspects of medicine and healthcare delivery, aided by unparalleled access to electronic health records, insurance data, and other information. The BIT collaborates closely with leading behavioral scientists and research partners at the National Bureau of Economic Research, Harvard, and MIT via the NBER Roybal Center for Behavior Change in Health by executing 1 or 2 NIH-funded field experiments per year at Geisinger. The BIT also collaborates with the Penn Medicine Nudge Unit and Wharton Behavior Change for Good (BCFG) initiative. BIT field experiments often involve tens of thousands of participants. Project areas include encouraging flu and COVID-19 vaccination, increasing health and wellness, improving healthcare provider decision-making, and helping patients make better choices about their health.

The ideal candidate will have experience both in conducting original behavioral science research and in implementing research results within organizations. A Ph.D. in psychology, economics, decision sciences, marketing, management, or another relevant scholarly discipline is strongly preferred, and track records of publishing original empirical research, collaborating with others, and applying for research funding are required.

The Staff Scientist will report to Amir Goren, PhD, the BIT Program Director, with oversight and mentorship by Professors Michelle Meyer, PhD, JD, and Christopher Chabris, PhD, the founding Faculty Co-Directors of the BIT who are also BCFG scientists. The Staff Scientist may be based in Danville, Pennsylvania at the main campus and headquarters of Geisinger or may work remotely from another U.S. location. Office space is possible at NBER for those based near Cambridge, MA. The Staff Scientist will support the BIT in developing, executing, and reporting for the team’s projects, including taking the lead on BIT projects as appropriate and co-authoring scientific publications. BIT members have published in Science, Nature, PNAS, and many other high-impact journals and routinely present their work at national conferences. They will also serve as the liaison between the BIT and its external partners at the NBER Roybal Center and other institutions.

At a higher level, this position falls under the Steele Institute for Health Innovation. The Institute serves as the innovation “hub” for Geisinger: its purpose is to support Geisinger innovators and lead the nation in building transformative, scalable, measurable, and sustainable solutions that improve healthcare delivery, patient experience, and costs. The Institute provides a nontraditional environment where bold, out-of-the-box thinking can flourish and where pioneering innovators can explore, define, and disseminate new models of healthcare.

To apply: Please send a cover letter, C.V. or resume, and two representative scholarly publications in a single email to Please include names, titles, and contact information for three references. Questions about the position may also be sent to the same address. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

Geisinger is a large, integrated health services organization founded in 1915. Through its 13 hospital campuses, two research centers, the Geisinger Health Plan, and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, Geisinger serves more than 3 million residents throughout 45 counties in central, south-central, and northeastern Pennsylvania. The system includes approximately 23,000 employees, including 1,600 employed physicians, while Geisinger Health Plan serves 583,000 members throughout Pennsylvania and other states. Research at Geisinger benefits from the system’s 25+ years of electronic health records, its clinical data warehouse, and its rapidly growing biobank (more than 250,000 patient-participants consented for whole exome genetic sequencing, with over 145,000 exomes sequenced to date). Geisinger’s main campus in Danville, PA, is located within a three-hour drive of New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC.

Behavioral Insights Team:

Papers describing recent BIT work: Mega study 1; Mega study 2; machine learning-based risk

Dr. Goren:

Professor Meyer:

Professor Chabris:


  • Assisting the Program Director in day-to-day operations and development of the Behavioral Insights Team
  • Liaising, initiating, and coordinating execution of projects with internal and external stakeholders; this includes Geisinger groups such as clinical departments, the IRB, and the compliance, quality, and legal functions, and external entities such as academic and professional conferences, “nudge units” at other institutions, and leading researchers at collaborating institutions (e.g., the National Bureau of Economic Research, Wharton Behavior Change for Good team scientists)
  • Helping write grants to support the team’s work, as well as helping identify and initiate funded programs and projects (such as from NBER)
  • Participating in the design of nudges for implementation at Geisinger
  • Participating in rigorous evaluation of the effects of implemented nudges, including their effects on patient outcomes, other outcomes, and their economic value
  • Designing and executing behavioral science research projects, including literature reviews, meta-analyses, and randomized experiments
  • Assisting other groups at Geisinger with designing and implementing nudges
  • Helping draft manuscripts and produce presentations reporting the team’s work


Required qualifications:

  • Experience using statistical software (preferably R, others acceptable)
  • Demonstrates strong critical thinking skills
  • Demonstrates the ability to work in an independent manner and complete increasingly complex assignments
  • Demonstrates strong teamwork skills and the ability to work effectively in a group environment
  • Demonstrates exceptional organizational, planning, and analytical skills
  • Demonstrates competence in written, oral, and electronic communication skills (interpersonal/communication and technological effectiveness competencies).

Desired qualifications:

  • Experience researching and/or implementing nudges
  • Training in behavioral economics
  • Experience with econometrics
  • Experience in interdisciplinary research and working in collaborative teams
  • Experience in the healthcare industry
  • Experience with programming and databases (e.g., Python, SQL)
  • Experience with successful applications for external funding


  • A Ph.D. in psychology, economics, decision sciences, marketing, management, or any other relevant discipline is highly desired, but exceptional candidates with other credentials will be considered
  • Graduate training in behavioral science research methods, including experimentation and multivariate data analysis
  • Minimum 2 years’ post-graduate experience managing behavioral or other research projects and supervising or otherwise collaborating actively in a team setting
  • Experience applying for research funding or other grant support
  • Scholarly publications


Work is typically performed in a research environment. May be done from home and/or remotely.

The specific statements shown in each section of this description are not intended to be all-inclusive. They represent typical elements considered necessary to successfully perform the job.


Doctoral Degree- (Required), Doctoral Degree-Behavioral Science (Preferred)


Minimum of 3 years-Related work experience (Required)

Our Purpose & Values

Everything we do is about caring for our patients, our members, our students, our Geisinger family and our communities.

KINDNESS: We strive to treat everyone as we would hope to be treated ourselves.

EXCELLENCE: We treasure colleagues who humbly strive for excellence.

LEARNING: We share our knowledge with the best and brightest to better prepare the caregivers for tomorrow.

INNOVATION: We constantly seek new and better ways to care for our patients, our members, our community, and the nation.

SAFETY: We provide a safe environment for our patients and members and the Geisinger family.

We offer healthcare benefits for full time and part time positions from day one, including vision, dental and domestic partners.* Perhaps just as important, from senior management on down, we encourage an atmosphere of collaboration, cooperation and collegiality.

We are an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer Women and Minorities are Encouraged to Apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of disability or their protected veteran status.

About Geisinger

Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes nine hospital campuses, a 550,000-member health plan, two research centers and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. With nearly 24,000 employees and more than 1,600 employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Best employer for healthy lifestyles – National Business Group    
Access to 121 state parks Best employer for healthy lifestyles*

A place where you can lead a healthy lifestyle and follow your dreams.

     Access to 121 state parks     

Only at Geisinger.

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