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The Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research is seeking to hire a spring semester Graduate Research Assistant for 20 hours/week beginning January 2024, for a project assessing how a rapid, multi-payer move to value-based payment influences health care outcomes, led by Dr. Valerie Lewis. The position has potential to continue throughout spring 2025.


The project aims to identify if health care providers with a larger share of patients covered under new models are able to achieve improved outcomes, and if particular types of providers experience challenges with this transition. This research is critical to the national policy discourse on payment reform and ACOs, and it will provide needed insight into whether (and how) payment models can achieve greater success than the modest results currently reported.


The GRA will assist with all aspects of the quantitative research arm of the project which focuses on medical claims data. Aspects include data cleaning and management, medical claims data analysis, data analysis documentation, developing interim reports and presentations on the data, contributing to academic manuscripts out of the data, project coordination, and literature reviews.


The specific skills that the candidate should have include:

  • Proficiency with programming (SAS and R preferred) and quantitative skills
  • Basic understanding of medical claims data and statistical analysis of medical claims data
  • Understanding of basics of Medicaid and Medicare, and ability to learn details of NC’s Medicaid program
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Ability to manage and meet internal and external deadlines
  • Ability to work independently and proactively
  • Experience with Medicaid, managed care, and/or value-based payment models is preferred


The GRA position comes with full stipend and tuition. All students who are interested should submit their materials.


To ask questions, please contact Valerie Lewis and Caroline Foster at: and


To apply, please provide short answers to the following prompts and provide a CV/resume to:


Please title the email: Quantitative GRA application


  1. Brief summary of experience with Medicaid policy/population, managed care, and/or value-based payment models
  2. Brief summary of experience with quantitative methods
  3. Prior GRA experience at UNC? Give faculty supervisor/reference and semester(s)
  4. Provide your Program (Master’s/Doctoral) and Department