Research Associate- Leak Research Group

Research Associate- Leak Research Group

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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: and

Dr. Leak is an assistant professor at Cornell University in the Division of Nutritional Sciences and Co-Director of the Cornell Action Research Collaborative ( 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).

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
  • 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).


Pay Range:

$45,700.00 - $91,000.00

Pay Ranges:

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.
  • Academic Discipline (faculty pay ranges reflects 9-month annual salary)
  • Unique applicable skills.

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