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Flu Near You Entrepreneur-in-Residence
Social Science Researcher

  • Flu Near You Entrepreneur-in-Residence


The Flu Near You Concept
In 2011, the Skoll Global Threats Fund launched a proof of concept to see if it could detect flu outbreaks more quickly by crowd-sourcing self-reported symptoms from volunteers in the general public on a weekly basis. In partnership with Boston Children’s Hospital and HealthMap, this experiment has shown great promise. The registered user-base has grown to over 100,000 volunteers spread across the U.S. with varying levels of participation through the Flu Near You website and mobile app. To learn more about Flu Near You, please click here.

The Opportunity
Due to the early success and rapid growth on Flu Near You, we are now seeking a creative and energetic leader to help assess, develop, and scale the Flu Near You concept. The Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) will serve a twelve-month period and potentially beyond as the executive in charge of operations for Flu Near You. We believe that entrepreneurs bring the talent, flexibility, start-up expertise, and business prowess to achieve great things with widely distributed resources, not all of which they directly own or control, and this is the spirit in which Flu Near You will grow and prosper.

The Entrepreneur-in-Residence will contribute to and shape an evolving program. While Flu Near You is off to a tremendous start, many aspects of the program have yet to be considered or possibilities yet to be identified. The EIR will join Flu Near You at a unique and exciting time of exploration, experimentation, and growth, all while pursuing the goal of defining the business plan and models for leadership and management going forward. This position will seek to make substantial improvements to the operations and management of Flu Near You, including potential sustainability options. Additionally, the EIR will have the opportunity to collaborate with the Skoll Global Threats Fund and Boston Children’s Hospital to establish an Advisory Council for Flu Near You, which will provide strategic direction and oversight.

You can download a profile of this position from here. (PDF)

Key Priorities & Areas of Responsibility

Managing the Flu Near You Program:
Working with a dedicated team projected to include a project manager, two programmers, a data analyst, and a health communications expert, the EIR will lead the ongoing operations of Flu Near You. Upon arrival, the EIR will develop an operating plan for the next twelve months to manage resources, including contractors and grantees, and provide day-to-day leadership to optimize Flu Near You development, utilization, and utility.

Ahead of the next flu season, the EIR will seek to aggressively market the program to further build the overall user-base. Leveraging existing value propositions recently developed by a team of consultants, the EIR will help determine viable, sustainable mechanisms for recruiting and retaining Flu Near You users going forward. Essential to this effort is the ongoing evaluation of potential use cases, business development opportunities, and conducting regular assessments of Flu Near You as a participatory surveillance tool.

Flu Near You should be accessible and relevant for a variety of audiences and constituencies. The EIR will lead efforts to document and publish findings for businesses, non-profit organizations, health departments, and the general public. Parallel to this, the EIR will manage health outreach and communications efforts as well.

The EIR will seek to elucidate key outcome metrics for Flu Near You related to participation and sustainability. This includes assessing current key performance indicators and other agree-upon metrics, which measure the effectiveness and success of Flu Near You, and propose changes as may be needed.

Determining the Future of Flu Near You:
Over the initial twelve-month period, the EIR will be able to think creatively about the future course for Flu Near You. After assessing a myriad of different and innovative business models for the program, the EIR will put forward evidence-based recommendations for a sustainable strategy for Flu Near You’s future growth, staffing, and product development.
A critical component to Flu Near You’s success and sustainability is the area of partnerships. While certain alliances have already been formed, we look to the EIR to further experiment and build upon this initial effort to enhance Flu Near You’s support, credibility, reach, and relevance to the business, academic, non-profit, and government sectors.

Ideal Candidate Profile
We seek to bring together a unique and dynamic combination of skills, characteristics, and knowledge, including innovation, entrepreneurial spirit, urgency, collaboration, business acumen, marketing and sales, and strategy. Equally important for this role will be a commitment to make a positive mark on one of the world’s most pressing public health risks. We are looking for candidates who demonstrate passion and excitement for the potential that the Flu Near You concept holds and be inspired by the opportunity to further its impact.

Candidates should have broad-based leadership expertise in start-up organizations (preferably with web-based products), or similar types of aspiring environments. The EIR will enjoy working independently and be highly motivated to inject new vitality and leading edge approaches in a burgeoning concept. Excellent judgment, flexibility, and outstanding organizational skills as well as the ability to problem solve and find creative solutions are critical to the success of this position.

The EIR will know how to challenge assumptions in a constructive and collaborative manner and be a consummate communicator in order to keep all stakeholders actively engaged and informed.

Adept at synthesizing, interpreting, and presenting complex information to a variety of audiences, the EIR can build reliable, evidence-based arguments to support a proposed course of action.

Comfortable with the nature of running a start-up enterprise, the EIR is savvy at creating an environment of teamwork and cooperation across multi-disciplinary groups. The ideal candidate is a confident leader with the knowledge and interpersonal skills to collaborate effectively with a variety of project stakeholders, while fostering effective working relationships based on mutual respect and trust.

Competitive candidates will be systems thinkers and have knowledge about growing a business and product line as well as how to structure product development teams for future success. A background in growing a user-base and the monetization of a web business is highly desirable as is sales and marketing experience and the ability to build partnerships. Finally, we seek an EIR who can anticipate and articulate future trends in order to help forecast the best possible prospects and opportunities for the sustainability of Flu Near You.

To Be Considered
Skoll Global Threats Fund is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. To be considered, please go to and submit your resume and a cover letter expressing your passion for the mission and fit for the role. Letters may be addressed to Jeff Waldron.

  • Social Science Researcher


Position Description
We are seeking a creative and energetic team player to help develop and lead the research efforts of our new Climate Learning Initiative. The Researcher will design and conduct experimental research in U.S.-based advocacy campaigns. The Researcher will also be responsible for keeping track of new research and tools used in the area of behavior and cognitive science, communications and public engagement; summarizing and translating relevant research for network partners; and identifying and leading some original research. The Researcher must be flexible and able to contribute to and help to shape an evolving initiative plan. He/She will report to the Director of Climate Change.

Primary duties and responsibilities

Working closely with the Director of Climate Change and the Director of Policy and Communications, the Researcher will:

  • Lead our effort to integrate experimentation into public outreach efforts, and develop an evidence base for effective campaign and communication strategies.
  • Provide content expertise in social science and related tools related to campaign analytics, public engagement, and persuasion.
  • Manage research efforts carried out by contractors and grantees’ work on campaign analytics, polling and experimentation.
  • Maintain an online collaborative space for research and program activities.


Knowledge, skills, and assets

  • Minimum of 3 years of relevant work experience.
  • Minimum of Masters Degree in political science, cognitive science, decision support, or related field.
  • Significant expertise in quantitative social science methodologies and tools such as randomized controlled experiments, survey development, and polling.
  • Demonstrated experience applying quantitative tools to political campaigns or public engagement efforts.
  • Familiarity with statistical programming languages such as R, and statistical packages such as Stata, SPSS, and SAS.
  • Excellent research and analytical skills.
  • Systems thinker; experience working with interdisciplinary teams.
  • Knowledge of climate and sustainability issues a plus.
  • Demonstrated competence to assess priorities and concurrently manage a variety of activities effectively.
  • Excellent written and verbal skills, presentation skills and teamwork skills.
  • Strong attention to detail, organizational and project management skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with positive attitude; desire and ability to work in a collaborative team environment.
  • Ability to problem-solve and find creative solutions.
  • Self-starter with the ability to work independently.
  • Ability to handle highly confidential information with discretion.


Employment Status

The position is a one-year term position with possibility of renewal. Benefits include paid parking or transit subsidy.


The Skoll Global Threats Fund is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified candidates are encouraged to apply. For immediate consideration, please send your resume and a cover letter expressing your alignment with the mission and your fit for the role to Karen Rea at