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Postdoctoral Associate Position in Social and Behavioral Sciences

Location: Yale School of Public Health

Position Type: Full-time, Postdoctoral Fellowship

Length of position: Renewed annually for up to three years

  • Start Date: February 5, 2024
  • Salary Range: $65,000 - $68,000
  • The Society, Connectedness, and Health (SOCAH) Group at Yale School of Public Health is growing as an important leader in research and solutions to help people in organizations and communities socially connect in ways that increase health and prosperity in multiple areas of life. We are seeking a diligent, hungry, highly motivated, and qualified Postdoctoral Research Associate to join our dynamic research team. This position is based on a newly funded project that focuses on advancing our understanding of the causal impact of neighborhood and individual social connectedness on mental health, as well as other health outcomes, among Black adults in the United States. The Postdoctoral Associate will use:
  • data from the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) Series, which includes longitudinal and cross-sectional data on over 500 Black adults who reside in Milwaukee, WI; and
  • census-tract spatial identifiers linked to each participant, which will be used as a proxy for neighborhoods. Methodological approaches that will be used in this study include longitudinal analyses, geo-spatial analysis, multilevel analyses, mediation analyses, and qualitative research design and analysis.
  • The Postdoctoral Associate will be at Yale and will collaborate with researchers across several institutions (including Villanova, University of Maryland, Michigan State, The George Washington University). The Postdoctoral Associate will be expected to lead several data management and statistical analyses, writing, and submitting manuscripts for publication. The Postdoctoral Associate will benefit from mentorship on academic advancement (e.g., on writing and winning a K01), have opportunities to write and submit NIH grants, and participate in multiple professional development trainings and opportunities (e.g., developing public speaking skills, attend writing retreats, presenting research from the project at national or international conferences). Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until a qualified candidate is hired. The position may be hybrid (80%) in person at Yale in New Haven with flexibility in schedules including workdays.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Oversee, conduct, and assist with systematic literature reviews of epidemiologic studies on social connectedness and health outcomes among Black people. In addition to conducting and publishing systematic or scoping reviews, the Postdoctoral Associate should develop a system to stay current and abreast of the latest developments in social connectedness and health research to integrate new knowledge into the projects and prepare for new projects.
  • Conduct in-depth research on the effects of social connectedness and mental health outcomes using advanced longitudinal, multilevel, mediation, and spatial epidemiology methods. Prepare and analyze longitudinal datasets for analyses aimed at identifying trends, associations, and potential causal relationships, and identify mediating mechanisms between social connectedness and mental health outcomes.
  • Identify other relevant datasets or collaborate with other researchers who have related datasets that allow for replication and expansion of our primary analyses.
  • Organize and manage complex datasets from the Census bureau, and other independent sources that can be linked to the MIDUS datasets while ensuring data quality and integrity. Merge geographic and other spatial- datasets on social, built, and other environmental variables with individual-level data in the MIDUS. Implement data cleaning and preprocessing techniques as needed.
  • Apply advanced statistical techniques to analyze longitudinal data, hierarchical data such as mixed-effects models, survival analysis, and geospatial analysis to obtain Census-tract level data and perform Bayesian spatial analyses, including Small Area Estimation (SAE) techniques to obtain estimates of the variables for each participant in the dataset.
  • Interpret and communicate results effectively in various formats, including Op-Eds, and blog posts on the SOCAH website and/or social media pages.
  • Assist with developing qualitative research protocols, which includes developing the interview guide, working with other team members to conduct interviews, code, and verify transcribed data, and assist with qualitative data analysis in NVivo or related software.
  • Prepare manuscripts (as first author and second or middle author) for publication in peer-reviewed journals and present research findings at conferences and seminars.
  • Collaborate efficiently and effectively with multidisciplinary teams of researchers, epidemiologists, leadership at community-based organizations, community residents, health geographers, biostatisticians, and public health experts. Examples of collaboration includes organizing communications (e.g., zoom, call, emails) with group members to complete manuscripts on time, to facilitate dissemination of results, obtaining and addressing feedback in a respectful way that centers inclusivity and equity.
  • Provide mentorship and guidance to junior researchers, masters students, and doctoral students who work on the project. Collaboration may include overseeing manuscript writing where you are the lead or second author.


  • Ph.D or Dr.PH in Epidemiology, Public Health, Health Geography, Sociomedical Sciences, Sociology, or a related field with experience working in research examining health disparities, social connectedness, social capital, and related constructs in association with mental health variables
  • A strong background obtaining from multiple sources, wrangling, creating new variables from spatial estimation techniques, and merging geo-spatial data products is essential.
  • Experience with or interest in geospatial/spatial epidemiology analysis (Desired)
  • Demonstrated expertise in advanced epidemiological methods, including but not limited to longitudinal analysis, survival analysis, multilevel/mixed-effects modeling, and causal inference methods such as mediation analyses, merging nested data, obtaining, and building databases from multiple sources (e.g., Policy Map, American Fact Finder, ESRI Business Analyst)
  • Advanced proficiency in R (Required), STATA (Required), and Mplus (Desired) statistical software (as demonstrated by papers published where you used this software)
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills, with the ability to work with large and complex datasets.
  • Preference will be given to applicants who demonstrate cross-disciplinary and collaborative approaches to the application of social sciences, epidemiology and community-engaged participatory methods.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, for presenting research findings and collaborating effectively with team members and stakeholders.
  • A track record of scholarly publications in peer-reviewed journals is a plus.

Application Process:

Please apply online.

Interested candidates should submit the following application materials:

  • Cover letter (2-pages max) outlining your doctoral research, your interest in the lab, why you qualify for the position, what unique strengths you bring, and your plans after the position ends.
  • Brief letter (up to 1 page) that describes your positionality in the world, your core values, and commitment health equity, and transforming the lives of marginalized peoples and communities.
  • Curriculum vitae (CV) which shows a list of publications and prior experience.
  • Reprints of two (2) peer reviewed publications you submitted as a first or 2nd author
  • Names for two letters of reference, at least one from a previous faculty member that you have published with.

Information on benefits for postdoctoral positions.

Questions regarding this position should be directed to Dr. Yusuf Ransome at with subject “Postdoctoral Associate”.

Note, there may be delays in email response.

Yale University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. Yale values diversity among its students, staff, and faculty and strongly welcomes applications from women, persons with disabilities, protected Veterans, and underrepresented minorities.