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Call for Applications: Research Fellow for Diagnostic Digital Home Health


The Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School is hiring a full-time post-doctoral fellow to support its newly launched Diagnostic Digital Home Health initiative. This position will likely be a three year commitment.

This sponsored research project examines the ethical, social, and legal challenges of digital home health products, with a focus on home diagnosis of infectious and chronic conditions. This project will develop scholarship, guidelines, and proposed regulations for the ethical implementation of these products, using focus groups, virtual workshops, and interdisciplinary scholarship, with a focus on considerations of access and equity, social interconnectedness, and patient privacy.

Previous Petrie-Flom Center post-doctoral fellows have used their positions as successful launching pads for tenure-track legal, health policy, and bioethics academic careers. Our most recent post-doctoral fellow has published in leading journals such as JAMA, Science, and the Journal of Law and the Biosciences. She has been interviewed as an expert in biomedical regulation by media outlets such as Forbes and Lancet Digital Health and presented to regulators at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Duties & Responsibilities

The Research Fellow for Digital Home Health will bear primary responsibility for the day-to-day work undertaken for this project. Primary tasks will include conducting law, policy, and ethics research; initial drafting of reports and recommendations; collaborating with other Petrie-Flom projects and initiatives; and all other duties as assigned to ensure that this project produces valuable work-product in a timely fashion.

The fellow will report to the Petrie-Flom Center’s Executive Director and interact closely with the Center’s Faculty Director. It is essential that the fellow be able to work both independently and collaboratively, with frequent team meetings and weekly project status reports.

Substantive Responsibilities of the fellow will include:

  • Conduct conceptual law, policy, and ethics research related to diagnostic digital home health with the aims of:
    • understanding the ethical concerns raised by diagnostic digital home health through a literature review, including addressing topics such as the implementation of digital home health for chronic conditions, the regulation of telehealth, the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning in medicine, and the deployment of novel health technologies, such as ambient surveillance and digital/smart pills
    • investigating the role of clinicians in navigating new health technologies on behalf of patients, and the disruption that certain health technologies such as artificial intelligence can have on the clinician/patient relationship
    • reviewing the existing bioethical and sociological literature on the role of family, friends, and caregivers in medical care delivered at home with special attention paid to the need for cultural competency and the experience of BIPOC patients and caregivers diagnostics
    • analyzing the current regulatory environment by performing a federal and state level regulatory scan
  • Engage in an iterative dialogue with key stakeholders through
    • designing, and implementing a modified Delphi process involving four rounds of consultation, three via online questionnaires and a fourth via in person or Zoom meetings, depending on the status of COVID-19
    • coordinating the steering committee associated with the project

The work of the fellow will include tasks such as:

  • Develop manuscripts for co-authored publication
  • Assist with creation of a podcast on the findings of this work
  • Collaborate with other academic research institutions working on similar projects
  • Draft slides and presentation materials
  • Organize panels, workshops, and conferences to obtain expert input and disseminate results
  • Collaborate in identification of new research priorities, launch of projects related to the program mission, and proposal development, potentially to include grant writing
  • Annual and all other reporting
  • Maintain up-to-date web text regarding program work and projects

The fellow may also be asked to blog periodically at Bill of Health, the Petrie-Flom Center’s blog.

Basic Qualifications

Doctoral-level degree in law, ethics, public health, social science, or other relevant discipline (J.D., Ph.D., M.D., etc.) required.

Additional Qualifications

  • Familiarity with and interest in the issues in diagnostic digital home health and related telehealth issues
  • Experience conducting law and policy research, and drafting reports
  • Strong research and writing skills, including proficiency with Westlaw, Lexis, PubMed, and other research tools
  • Ability to independently identify and complete tasks with minimal direction and oversight
  • Ability to liaise effectively with a variety of domestics and international stakeholders and collaborators
  • Ability to complete tasks in a timely fashion
  • Qualitative research skills and experience with grants/contracts are a plus

Additional Information

This is a term appointment currently expected to extend through 1/31/2022, subject to funding and departmental need. The position will likely be renewed for a total of three years, subject to funding and performance.

At this time, this fellow will work remotely; however, once Harvard Law School returns to on-campus work, the fellow will be expected to work in person at the Petrie-Flom Center in Cambridge, MA.

How to Apply

To apply to the Research Fellow for Digital Home Health, please submit the following materials:

  1. Curriculum vitae;
  2. Cover letter stating your background and interest in the Digital Home Health Research Fellowship;
  3. And 2 writing samples

Materials should be submitted to

Please direct any questions to

The Petrie-Flom Center Staff

The Petrie-Flom Center staff often posts updates, announcements, and guests posts on behalf of others.

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