Senior Qualitative and Lactation/Infant Feeding 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 drive scalable 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 programs in the areas of childbirth, surgery, and palliative care.

BetterBirth Program Overview

The BetterBirth Program is focused on ensuring better health and wellbeing for women, newborns, and infants by improving quality and standards of care, minimizing complications, and ending preventable deaths. By generating evidence and working with impacted communities to co-design effective and actionable tools, information, and resources, we aim to equip providers with the support they need to provide safe, compassionate care. We do this through the effective implementation of scalable, evidence-based solutions that work in the real world, both at the frontline of care and in communities. 

The BetterBirth Program began with the goal of evaluating the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Safe Childbirth Checklist and identifying opportunities and strategies to support its successful implementation. Since that time, our work has grown to address the complexities across the ecosystem of maternal, newborn, and infant health. 

One area of the BetterBirth portfolio focuses on building the evidence base for solutions to help vulnerable infants survive and thrive. The Program is currently documenting infant feeding practices across three Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs) in order to inform an understanding of what additional evidence is required to guide global recommendations around feeding for vulnerable infants. A next stage research project to test potential solutions for vulnerable infants is planned and will form part of this position’s work portfolio. As with all of the BetterBirth Program’s research and solutions development work, the infant feeding work includes a broad range of stakeholders and experts collaborating with Ariadne Labs to successfully carry out and complete the work.

The Senior Qualitative and Lactation/Infant Feeding Specialist will be a key member of the BetterBirth Program team at Ariadne Labs. The Senior Qualitative and Lactation/Infant Feeding Specialist will be based in Boston (or remote) and work to accelerate Ariadne Labs’ work to improve healthcare outcomes using innovative effective solutions. They will report to the scientific lead on the study,  work closely with staff and faculty across the Lab, and with international collaborators/ teams. The position will require limited international travel and an an ability to develop and maintain relationships with field partners through in-person and remote communication.

Principal Duties And Responsibilities

The Senior Qualitative and Lactation/Infant Feeding Specialist will be responsible for:

  • Design tool guide(s) for qualitative data collection via in-depth interviews and focus group discussions as well as approaches for intervention development and implementation
  • Design and conduct trainings on the use of qualitative data collection tools in diverse contexts with a focus on methodology 
  • Manage the qualitative data collection process 
  • Lead analysis and interpretation of the qualitative component of the study together with data collectors and the co-PIs/study investigators
  • Capacity development for site-based staff
  • Co-design lactation support and management package with key insights on lactation support and collating/coordinating feedback from other experts through design workshops 
  • Create reports and presentations on the key findings emerging from the qualitative data and highlight implications.
  • Leading the writing of methods and results sections for manuscripts, abstracts, program reports, and potentially new grant proposals that include qualitative data and/or lactation support/management
  • Liaising with project teams to determine appropriate staffing resources for qualitative studies.
  • Other duties as assigned.



  • BA/BSc required
  • Master’s Degree required
  • 7+ years of related experience required

Required Experience:

  • Experience in leading qualitative methods including study design, implementation, analysis, and manuscript development including developing interview guides and structured surveys and conducting in-depth interviews and focus group discussions
  • Experience with qualitative software packages required (e.g., Dedoose, NVIVO)
  • Experience in leading qualitative methods including study design, implementation, analysis, and manuscript development
  • Experience in lactation support/management and infant feeding at facility,  community setting, or global level
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills, including effective design and facilitation of meeting discussions
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and effectively in partnership and in team settings with colleagues of varying backgrounds and expertise
  • Experience in global health
  • Willingness and ability to travel 5-10% of the time when required (assuming COVID risk is lowered)

Preferred Experience:

  • Experience working in a multi-functional, matrixed environment preferred
  • Experience in guiding the development of conceptual frameworks for new projects preferred
  • Experience in implementation science and/or monitoring and evaluation preferred
  • Experience with manuscript writing
  • Experience working in low- and middle-income settings 
  • Excellent collaboration skills and experience working with multidisciplinary teams preferred
  • Experience with Human Centered Design approaches
  • Demonstrated interest in maternal health strongly preferred
  • Experience working in Low or Middle Income Countries strongly preferred
  • Experience working in a matrix organization/environment preferred

Our Values

Our core values are:

  • Respect for the Ariadne Labs mission, our community, each other, and ourselves;
  • Stewardship of our work and resources;
  • Pursuit of excellence, with a focus on continual improvement;
  • A belief in a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to our work;
  • A commitment to meaningful diversity and inclusion in our work and in the Ariadne Labs community.

Our way of doing this work is through:

  • humility about the limits of one’s own expertise and experience
  • intellectual curiosity
  • agility
  • self-discipline
  • attention to detail
  • willingness to roll up sleeves to get the job done