Job Title: Research Specialist

Category: Full-time, Exempt

Reports to: Vice President of Research Programs

Location: Remote, USA (HQ in Kansas City, MO)

About PKD

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 $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. Our vision is to #endPKD.


Since the Foundation’s establishment in 1982, it has invested almost $50 million in 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, a Centers of Excellence in ADPKD program, 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 the Centers of Excellence in ADPKD (COE) program.
  • Maintain basic knowledge of research activities and clinical centers treating patients with polycystic kidney disease.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Assist in COE program management: designation and funding application review, peer-to-peer mentoring, annual conference planning, and annual reporting requirements.
  • Support the growth of the program by encouraging applications of new partner clinics and local community engagement research initiatives.
  • Work with other departments as required (e.g., IT, Development, Marketing). Maintain records.
  • Contribute to efforts to translate and encourage adoption of care standards, and measure impact through the ADPKD Patient Registry.
  • Coordinate ACT Alert program for enrolling research studies and clinical trials.
  • Keep clinician community updated and involved in general PKDF news.
  • Support Vice President of Research Programs 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. The Research Department also travels to several conferences per year, and annual visits to COE sites for recertification may occur. Employees residing outside of the Kansas City Metro must live within reasonable proximity to a major airport hub for required travel.

Physical Demands:

  • 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 lbs.

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Benefits: *

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:

  • Employer paid medical benefits including healthcare, dental, and vision for individual.
  • Employer funded HSA
  • Life insurance and disability insurance
  • 403(b) retirement savings plan with 12% employer contribution, no match required
  • 11+ paid Holidays and 20 PTO days per year
  • Remote work environment, with collaborative business center available to employees local to the Kansas City metro area as needed.

*Benefits are subject to board review annually and may change.

As required by applicable Pay Transparency laws, PKDF provides a range of minimum compensation for roles that may be hired in locations under these requirements. Multiple factors may be used to determine your actual salary, including: your specific skills and experience, physical location, or other relevant factors. The salary range for this position may be lower or higher in different markets.

The anticipated pay range for this role is: $40,000 to $50,000 per year. 

The PKD Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and dedicated to the belief that all lives have equal value. We’re committed to creating a work environment where employees thrive both personally and professionally. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, pregnancy status, veteran status, cultures, beliefs or any other status protected by law.

To Apply: Qualified candidates are encouraged to apply online: or forward their cover letter, resume and salary requirements to: Please reference “Research Specialist” in the subject line.

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. As of October 1, 2021 the PKD Foundation has a policy requiring all employees either provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or submit a Request for Accommodation if in need of an exemption from this policy due to a medical reason, or because of a sincerely held religious belief.

For more information about the PKD Foundation, visit our website at