Administrative Assistant, SPARK

Hiring Organization: 
Simons Foundation
City and State: 
New York, New York


SPARK is a national research study supported by the Simons Foundation that aims to recruit, engage and retain a community of 50,000 individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their family members living in the United States. Participation in SPARK involves contribution of medical and behavioral information online, mailing in saliva for genetic analysis, the option to have genetic findings related to autism returned and consenting to be invited to participate in future research studies through the research match program. When and if SPARK identifies a genetic cause for a participant’s autism, the individual and their family are also invited to join Simons Searchlight, a sister research study focused on genetically defined communities.

Reporting to the Senior Program Manager of SPARK, the Administrative Assistant is responsible for providing administrative support to all members of the SPARK study team, including the research matching program and Simons Searchlight.

This is a temporary opportunity expected to last three months or more. It could become a permanent position for the right candidate.


  • Provide seamless administrative support to SPARK leadership by proactively managing upcoming meetings and deadlines and identifying and mitigating challenges
  • Schedule and provide support during meetings; take and distribute meeting minutes.
  • Answer and return telephone calls, and assist with written correspondence and preparation of presentations.
  • Organize study team files using online storage tools and project management software
  • Maintain tracking files and documentation required for the SPARK program
  • Coordinate travel
  • Perform various other administrative tasks, such as expense reporting, invoice processing, identifying venues for events and preparing materials for meetings.
  • Support various members of the SPARK study in the coordination and execution of core activities
  • Attend conferences and community events with SPARK study team as required
  • Foster and build positive and effective working relationships within the organization
  • Maintain high standards of professionalism in interactions with external stakeholders
  • Take on special projects as needed



  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Curiosity about science is a plus!


  • Two to four years of experience in an administrative or executive assistant capacity
  • Experience in an academic and/or clinical research environment preferred

Related Skills & Other Requirements

  • Strong administrative and organization skills with attention to detail and the ability to balance workload under deadlines and often competing priorities
  • Sound judgment and discretion
  • Punctual and reliable
  • Professional demeanor 
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills  
  • Ability to work independently and proactively anticipate the needs of the team
  • Ability and interest in understanding subject matter pertinent to the SPARK study
  • Multitasking skills and ability to be flexible when priorities shift
  • Ability to work well with a variety of people
  • Strong computer skills, particularly with email, word processing, spreadsheets and PowerPoint.
  • Experience with Google suite tools (Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Docs, etc.) preferred.
  • Experience working with various digital conferencing platforms (e.g., Zoom, Readytalk, Uberconference).
  • Enthusiasm and proactive approach
  • Passion for helping others


  • Please submit a résumé and cover letter stating your interest in the position.

The Simons Foundation’s Diversity Commitment

Many of the greatest ideas and discoveries come from a diverse mix of minds, backgrounds and experiences, and we are committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment. The Simons Foundation provides equal opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, age, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic disposition, neurodiversity, disability, veteran status or any other protected category under federal, state and local law.

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