Research Advocate Liaison

Job Details

Job ID:

450 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA 02215


Employment Type:
Part time

Work Location:
Remote: 100% off site


The Breast Oncology Center (BOC) at the Susan F. Smith Center for Women's Cancers at Dana-Farber provides state-of-the-art and compassionate care for breast cancer patients. Our team is committed to providing the best and most individualized treatment options available, including the latest medical oncology, surgical options, breast reconstruction and radiation therapy. Under the general direction of the chief of the division of breast cancer and BOC faculty leadership, the Research Advocate Liaison facilitates the inclusion of patient advocates and research advocates in a wide array of BOC programs, initiatives, and research projects.

Located in Boston and the surrounding communities, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is a leader in life changing breakthroughs in cancer research and patient care. We are united in our mission of conquering cancer, HIV/AIDS and related diseases. We strive to create an inclusive, diverse, and equitable environment where we provide compassionate and comprehensive care to patients of all backgrounds, and design programs to promote public health particularly among high-risk and underserved populations. We conduct groundbreaking research that advances treatment, we educate tomorrow's physician/researchers, and we work with amazing partners, including other Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospitals.


The Advocate Liaison’s responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Proactively manages the collaboration of DF/HCC researchers with research patient advocates. Creates collaboration opportunities with researchers on proposals/funded projects, including matching appropriate advocates with researchers; ensures advocates are incorporated into existing BOC working groups and research labs (subtype specific or other topics); and ensures advocates are incorporated on planning committees and as attendees for retreats/research meetings.
  • Represents the research patient advocates in the clinical trial concept development and review process. Attends the BPIP and DF/HCC Clinical Trials Core meetings, provides patient-centric input, develops opportunities for further collaboration and new ways of incorporating other advocates into this process.
  • Leads and manages the advocate engagement in the Breast Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) funded from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Provides pre-screened advocates to support all four SPORE projects. Meets with SPORE Leadership and Project Leaders to review advocate involvement and identify opportunities to strengthen the impact and engagement of advocacy throughout the SPORE. Provides substantive input into complex SPORE grant proposals. Manages the grant review process for advocate feedback on the CEP/DRP proposals and represents the advocates on the CEP/DRP internal grant review committee.
  • Leads a cross-functional team to develop and implement a process to create plain language summaries (PLSs) for completed BOC-led interventional clinical trials and to have the PLSs posted on the Dana-Farber website. Develops options for getting the PLSs directly in the hands of the trial participants and for creating PLSs for published non-interventional studies.  Develops options to increase efficiency of production and distribution of PLSs.
  • Represents DF/HCC as their patient advocate in the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium (TBCRC). Actively engages by attending the monthly Patient Advocate Working Group (PAWG) meeting, monthly subtype working group meetings, and the Fall and Spring TBCRC meetings.
  • Leads and organizes the monthly advocate group meeting. Determines the topic, identifies the faculty or external guest, researches background preparation materials, drafts presentations as necessary, administers invitations, generates meeting notes, and follows up on completion of meeting action items.
  • Recruits and effectively incorporates new members into the research patient advocacy group. Promotes the advocacy group internally to Dana-Farber faculty, identifies local and national opportunities to build capacity by helping advocates participate in training and education, provides advocates with internal shadowing opportunities, and provides ongoing mentoring of individual advocates.
  • Leads and manages the numerous requests for external grant application reviews and letters of support (e.g., Komen, METAVivor, etc.), including matching an appropriate advocate to each proposal, mentoring advocates in providing feedback on researcher’s proposals and generating letters of support, overseeing timely submission of advocate’s feedback/letter of support, and acting as the backup for each proposal when unforeseen circumstances arise.
  • Develops and implements a patient-centric communications strategy to increase accrual to clinical trials, biobanking, and cohort studies. Leads the cross-functional team and participates in the operational aspects of awareness campaign implementations.
  • Develops opportunities to collaborate with Dana-Farber’s patient facing programs (EMBRACE, LEAP, Young & Strong, etc.) on patient-related support services, education, and materials. Meets regularly to discuss ideas and provide advocates with opportunities to provide input.
  • Develops and implements plan to support existing and new advocate initiatives via external funding opportunities. Develops and maintains awareness of external grant, industry, and philanthropic sources of funding for advocate activities and initiatives.  Applies for ongoing funding on a timely basis.


Recruits, trains, mentors, and manages a team of volunteer Patient Advocates (non-employees)


  • Bachelor’s degree required, preferably in a scientific or technical discipline. Master’s degree or higher preferred such as MBA, MS, or PhD.
  • At least 10 years professional work experience demonstrating the relevant skills, abilities, and knowledge required for this role.
  • Lived experience or strong connection with breast cancer.
  • Advocacy training, such as Project LEAD, strongly preferred.


  • Superior leadership and management skills with intellectual depth, maturity, and confidence, as well as the ability to work closely and effectively with all levels of the organization.
  • Experience leading organizational initiatives and multidisciplinary teams.
  • Strong demonstrated ability to work with an entrepreneurial and creative approach to proactively establish priorities, set objectives, and achieve stated goals.
  • Strong planning, project management, facilitation, and organizational skills, with the demonstrated ability to drive multiple concurrent projects to completion in a complex environment.
  • Knowledge and insight in scientific and oncology research.
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills both externally and internally, including senior leadership. Demonstrated ability to understand and translate complex scientific and technical information for various audiences.
  • Strong experience with effectively influencing stakeholders, driving consensus decision-making, and building strong, collaborative relationships.
  • Expert ability to manage and motivate in a highly complex and changing environment.
  • Ability to recruit, train, mentor, and manage a large group of skilled volunteers.

At Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, we work every day to create an innovative, caring, and inclusive environment where every patient, family, and staff member feels they belong.  As relentless as we are in our mission to reduce the burden of cancer for all, we are equally committed to diversifying our faculty and staff.  Cancer knows no boundaries and when it comes to hiring the most dedicated and diverse professionals, neither do we. If working in this kind of organization inspires you, we encourage you to apply.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is an equal opportunity employer and affirms the right of every qualified applicant to receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, national origin, sexual orientation, genetic information, disability, age, ancestry, military service, protected veteran status, or other characteristics protected by law.

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