Post-Doctoral Associate Position in Social and Behavioral Sciences

Job Title: Post-Doctoral Associate
Department: Social and Behavioral Sciences
Location: Pachankis lab, New York, NY, Yale School of Public Health
Salary Range: Salary and benefits are commensurate with experience

Advertised Summary Job Description:

We are seeking a post-doctoral associate for two NIH-funded studies: “Biopsychosocial mechanisms underlying internalizing psychopathology in a prospective, population-based cohort of sexual minority young adults” (Project PLUS) and “A unified intervention for young gay and bisexual men's minority stress, mental health, and HIV risk” (Project ESTEEM). The first project is led by Drs. John Pachankis (Yale University), Mark Hatzenbuehler (Columbia University), and Richard Bränström (Karolinska Institute). The second project is led by Dr. John Pachankis in collaboration with Dr. Steve Safren (University of Miami) and Dr. Mark Hatzenbuehler (Columbia University). The post-doctoral associate would be mentored by Dr. Pachankis and would collaborate (as appropriate) with other study investigators. 

Study Description (Project PLUS): 

Sexual minority (SM) individuals are substantially more likely than heterosexuals to experience internalizing psychopathology and associated comorbidity. Young and early adulthood represents the period during which significant sexual orientation disparities in internalizing psychopathology emerge. Yet, little is known about the biopsychosocial mechanisms underlying the sexual orientation disparity in mental disorders during this critical developmental stage. We have created a rare opportunity, currently unavailable in US-based studies, to address these knowledge gaps by capitalizing on methodological advancements available in a large prospective, population-based dataset in Sweden. We will follow a new representative cohort of SM young adults and a matched heterosexual cohort. We will administer to this cohort an online battery of self-report and behavioral measures of internalizing psychopathology and proposed mechanisms for four years annually to evaluate whether psychosocial mechanisms explain the young adult SM disparity in internalizing psychopathology. We will also evaluate whether biological mechanisms explain the young adult SM disparity in internalizing psychopathology. 

Study Description (Project ESTEEM):

Young gay and bisexual men (YGBM) disproportionately experience depression, anxiety, and substance use problems and are among the highest risk group for HIV infection in the U.S. Diverse methods locate the source of these health disparities in YGBM's exposure to minority stress. In fact, minority stress, psychiatric morbidity, substance use, and HIV risk fuel each other, forming a synergistic threat to YGBM's health. Yet no intervention addresses minority stress, mental health and substance use problems, or their joint impact on HIV risk in this population. Recently discovered minority stress pathways offer clear targets for improving YGBM's mental health and reducing HIV risk. Strong evidence suggests that each of YGBM's co-occurring health risks is rooted in these minority stress pathways. ESTEEM (Effective Skills to Empower Effective Men) is a 10-session skills-building intervention designed to reduce YGBM's co-occurring health risks by addressing the underlying cognitive, affective, and behavioral pathways through which minority stress impairs health. This study aims to determine the efficacy of ESTEEM compared to community mental health treatment and HIV counseling and testing and ESTEEM’s cognitive, affective, and behavioral minority stress mechanisms.

Primary Responsibilities:

The post-doctoral associate will be based in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Yale School of Public Health at Dr. Pachankis’ lab in New York, NY. The fellowship’s duration is two years and the appointment term is one-year that is renewable for an additional year, contingent on funding and performance.

The post-doctoral associate will work closely with Dr. Pachankis and the study team to:

  • Obtain data across longitudinal time points and prepare data for analyses
  • Develop analysis plans to test study hypotheses and conduct statistical analyses
  • Prepare manuscripts for publication (The post-doctoral associate will have the opportunity to be the first author on several papers and a co-author on others)
  • Assist in other daily activities related to the study (e.g., coordination of team meetings, IRB renewals, etc.)

Minimum Qualifications:

The applicant MUST meet these minimum qualifications to be considered:

The successful candidate will have doctoral training in psychology, social epidemiology, sociology, or an allied discipline, and will have particular strengths in multilevel modeling, latent growth curve modeling, and other methods of analyzing longitudinal data; and knowledge of psychosocial influences on mental health. Knowledge of research on sexual minority mental health is encouraged but is not required for this position. Candidates must have completed all requirements for the PhD prior to starting the position. Yale requires proof of the doctoral degree.

To apply:

To apply for this position please submit a cover letter and CV to Dr. John Pachankis. Applications will be reviewed in March and April 2019, with an ideal start date in summer 2019.

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.