Innovation Platform, Design Specialist

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 I 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 I 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:

  • Collaborate in the integration of 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.

PLEASE NOTE: 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, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, Virginia, and Washington).

Basic Qualifications

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

Additional Qualifications and Skills

The following job-specific skills and competencies are preferred:

  • Masters preferred in related field (MBA, MPH, other;  Current certification in human centered design, innovation, human factors, or a related field preferred)  
  • Experience working in a multi-functional, matrixed public health or non-profit environment strongly preferred
  • Experience working with low-and-middle income countries
  • Bring an equity, inclusion, and accessibility lens to their approach
  • Bring energy to their work and attitude of collaboration and co-creation
  • Leverage Miro (or similar) to support virtual design process  
  • Strong planning, problem solving and analytical skills
  • Ability to maneuver through complex political situations to achieve desired outcomes

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

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 O&R period will be waived for any internal Harvard employee transfers. 


The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up to date on CDC-recommended vaccines.


We invite you to visit Harvard’s Total Rewards website to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:

  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

For more information or to apply, please visit the Harvard Careers Portal and search Requisition 63365BR