Design Specialist, Innovation Platform

Ariadne Labs is a joint center for health systems innovation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Our goal is to save lives and reduce suffering by developing and implementing  solutions for better care at critical moments in people’s lives everywhere. Better care means better health outcomes, lower costs, and more actual caring. Critical means solving health systems failures that have major impact, typically touching people by the millions. Ariadne Labs currently has research and implementation projects in the areas of childbirth, surgery, palliative care, and primary health care.

Ariadne Labs’ platform teams support projects by providing expertise in the fields of informatics, statistics, implementation science, monitoring and evaluation, quality improvement, strategic communications, human centered design and program management. 

The Ariadne Labs’ Innovation Platform accelerates programs’ ability to successfully design, test, and spread solutions. Our design work begins with precisely identifying the problem and patient outcomes to change, background research, generating solution options and prototyping, collecting rapid-cycle feedback, and then iterating on solution design and implementation elements.

The Design Specialist will be part of the Innovation Platform at Ariadne Labs to provide support in designing effective improvement solutions in accordance with project goals, to meet the needs of end users.  The Innovation Platform includes an Assistant Director, Platform Coordinator, and contracted Innovation/Design consultants. The Design Specialist will be based in Boston and will report to the Assistant Director of Innovation and work closely with staff and faculty across the Lab.

Position Description

Duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Integrate principles of innovation, design thinking, human factors engineering, product development, and systems design into project work
  • Contribute to small, innovative projects as well as for large-scale projects seeking to develop scalable solutions to complex health system problems
  • Lead workshops for brainstorming, workflow and journey mapping, user profiling, etc.
  • Support teams to connect to end-users’ pains and gains as well as facilitators and barriers to systems changes
  • Drive teams to simplify concepts and ideas, drive clarity, develop insights and always keep the goal and end-users in mind
  • Produce early versions and revisions of tools to be used in rapid cycle testing with end users
  • Guide teams in executing frontline interviews and/or prototype testing
  • Provide creative services to help visualize ideas to drive clarity and understanding in early stages of ideas
  • Develop and produce final versions of tools to be used in formal testing (tools may be paper based, web based, or integrated into existing systems in the healthcare setting)
  • Add to the catalog of innovation, design, and product management approaches, activities and methodologies that will lead future direction of Ariadne Labs work
  • Serve as an innovation and design content expert for the Lab by conducting lab-wide learning sessions and lectures
  • Other duties as assigned

PLEASE NOTE: This position has a term appointment of 1 year from date of hire with the possibility of extension. This is a hybrid position and this position will be based in Boston, MA.  Additional detail pertaining to this position will be discussed during the interview process.  All remote work must be performed in a state in which Harvard is registered to do business (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, California (exempt staff only), Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, Virginia, and Washington).

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience is required
  • 5+ years experience working in the field of innovation, design, systems engineering public health, or a related area required

Additional Qualifications and Skills

The following job-specific skills and competencies are preferred:

  • Masters preferred in related field (MBA, MPH, other)
  • Professional experience working in the field of healthcare and/or public health
  • Current certification in human centered design, innovation, human factors, or a related field
  • Experience working in a multi-functional, matrixed public health or non-profit environment
  • Experience working with low-and-middle income countries

The following cultural competencies are also preferred:

  • Awareness of and aptitude to appropriately and effectively understand, respect, and adapt to cultural and identity-based difference within group environments
  • Knowledge of and commitment to concepts and issues tied to social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Skills related to creating and supporting an environment that allows for inclusion, effective intercultural engagement, and personal humility and authenticity
  •  Experience fostering and reinforcing an environment that values unique experiences, cultures, backgrounds, and goals

Additional Information

Harvard University offers an outstanding benefits package including:

  • Time Off: 3-4 weeks paid vacation, paid holiday break, 12 paid sick days, 12+ paid holidays, and 3 paid personal days per year.
  • Medical/Dental/Vision: Excellent and affordable medical, dental & vision plans, with coverage beginning as of an employee’s start date.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance & Reimbursement Programs: $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School, discounted options through participating Harvard graduate schools, and reimbursement options for accredited schools outside of Harvard.
  • Transportation: 50% discount on MBTA passes, as well as additional options (rideshare, biking, etc.) to assist employees in their daily commute.
  • Wellness & Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including stress management, hard & soft skills development, career planning, massages, nutrition, meditation, and complimentary health services. Additionally, access to Harvard athletic facilities, libraries, campus events — and many discounts for various cultural and leisure activities throughout metro Boston.

Join the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to support our mission of health research and education, and to be a part of the oldest institution of higher learning in the country!


  • The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health does not provide visa sponsorship, now or in the future, for staff positions.
  • Harvard University requires pre-employment reference checks and background screenings.
  • This position has a 90 day orientation and review period.

The University requires all Harvard community members to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and remain up to date with COVID-19 vaccine boosters, as detailed in Harvard’s Vaccine & Booster Requirements. Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. More information regarding the University’s COVID vaccination requirement, exemptions, and verification of vaccination status may be found at the University’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Information” webpage.

To apply, please visit Harvard Careers