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Thank you for your interest in a career at the PKD Foundation!


Research Specialist

Assist the Research Department to manage, support, and coordinate the research offerings of the PKD Foundation. Take part in the important work of finding a cure for polycystic kidney disease. Learn more.


The PKD Foundation is the only organization in the U.S. solely dedicated to finding treatments and a cure for polycystic kidney disease (PKD) and to improving the lives of those it affects. Since 1982, we have proudly funded over $50 million in PKD research and leveraged $1.5 billion in government funding, while serving our local communities across the country. We are inspired by our mission. And driven by our vision to #endPKD.

Our employment strategy

Achieving our vision to #endPKD requires great people. We work to maintain the best possible environment for our team and strive to provide a collaborative, creative atmosphere where each person feels encouraged to contribute to our processes, planning, and culture. Our staff models our culture by demonstrating our core values:

  • Mission-centric: Respect the mission and those we serve.
  • Professionalism: Commit to the highest standards.
  • Authenticity: Communicate with candor and transparency
  • Teamwork: Advance the Foundation together.


We value our employees’ time and efforts. Our commitment to your success is enhanced by our competitive compensation (commensurate with experience), in addition to a benefits package including:

  • Full medical benefits including healthcare, dental, and vision
  • Life insurance and disability insurance
  • 403(b) retirement savings plan with 9.5% employer contribution, no match required
  • 11+ paid Holidays and 20 PTO days per year
  • Casual work environment

Physical demands

Unless stated otherwise, all positions require the following:

  • Must be able to sit or stand for extended periods of time
  • Use hands and arms, read, stoop, crouch, talk, hear, see objects clearly at 20 inches or less
  • Lift and move items weighing up to 20 pounds

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of organization jobs. The PKD Foundation is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request.

EEO/Disability/Veteran Employer

Minorities are encouraged to apply.

The PKD Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to providing a work environment free of discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family or parental status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws. 

All employment decisions at the PKD Foundation are based on business needs, job requirements, and individual qualifications. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

We thank all respondents for their interest in the PKD Foundation.

These job descriptions are not intended to be all inclusive. PKD Foundation reserves the right to add, delete, or modify job duties and responsibilities as the need arises. Job descriptions do not constitute a written or implied contract of employment. 

As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment with the PKD Foundation will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check. 

Research Specialist

Category: Full-time, exempt

Location: Remote (HQ in Kansas City, MO)

Department summary

The research program has funded more than 1,300 research, clinical and scientific grants, awards, fellowships and scientific meetings. The Foundation’s financial commitment over the years has seen results on a local, national and even global level, including initiating funding for young investigators from around the world; supporting innovative research ideas; and providing seed funding to researchers to allow researchers world-wide to apply for larger National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants.

The Research Department has also led the launch of the nation’s largest patient-powered ADPKD Registry, and brings together multiple research stakeholders in the PKD Outcomes Consortium. Together, these programs form a research continuum that spans from pre-clinical basic science, Phase 1–4 clinical trials, and translational studies to maximize the impact patients will see in the clinic.

Primary functions

  • Responsible for assisting with the research offerings of the PKD Foundation.
  • Serve as the primary contact for grant and research recruitment programs.
  • Maintain basic knowledge of research activities and scientific centers working on polycystic kidney disease.

Duties and responsibilities

  • Assist in ADPKD Registry program management: data integrity maintenance, participant engagement strategy development and implementation
  • Manage Research Grant and Fellowship programs: establish RFAs, organize and distribute applications to the SAC for review, assist in planning of review meeting, notify applicants, and manage interim and final reports. Work with other departments as required (e.g., IT, Development, Marketing). Maintain records.
  • Support the Find a Clinic program: grow network of known PKD-familiar clinicians, create new clinic webpages, maintain clinic links to relevant studies, and provide physicians with patient education materials and other PKDF resources.
  • Coordinate ACT Alert program for enrolling research studies and clinical trials.
  • Keep researcher community updated and involved in general PKDF news
  • Manage excellence in research awards
  • Support Director of Research and Chief Research Officer by providing information, feedback and data to help advance the primary goals of the PKDF.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Ideal qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in public health, public administration, or other health and human service related field.
  • Familiar with Good Clinical Practice guidelines.
  • Demonstrated familiarity with patient-centered research.
  • Proficiency in managing multiple projects at one time.
  • Must have excellent verbal and written, communication and computer skills.
  • Able to collaborate effectively among highly diverse (geographically & professionally) team and with external organizations and individuals.
  • Advanced problem solving skills.
  • Be self-motivated and punctual.
  • Able to acquire a working knowledge of the basics of ADPKD and ARPKD.
  • Adherence to the highest degree of ethical behavior and professionalism.
  • Ability to identify problems and review related information to develop recommendations and implement solutions.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite

Travel requirements

Occasional business travel will be required to the PKD Foundation office in Kansas City, Missouri. Employees residing outside of the Kansas City Metro must live within reasonable proximity to a major airport hub for required travel.

To apply

Qualified candidates are encouraged to forward their cover letter, resume and salary requirement to: Please reference “Research Specialist” in the subject line.

Page last updated June 2021