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Postdoctoral Fellowships in Implementation Research in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment

The Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research (CMHPSR) at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) Perelman School of Medicine invites applications for post-doctoral fellowships. This one-of-a-kind interdisciplinary training program at the intersection of implementation science, public policy, and mental health provides an excellent opportunity for social scientists to improve their knowledge of implementation science, public mental health systems, qualitative and quantitative research methods, and how to conduct research that can improve care for our most vulnerable citizens. The CMHPSR has a longstanding commitment to postdoctoral training, and offers a unique environment in which to train early-stage investigators. Over the past three decades, faculty have collaborated closely with community agencies, including Philadelphia’s Departments of Health and Behavioral Health, the School District of Philadelphia, and dozens of community-based organizations. Through these partnerships, we have created unique opportunities to embed postdoctoral trainees in the settings in which they hope to conduct research.

We anticipate having at least 6 fellowship positions available through three different tracks. Please specify which track you are applying to in your cover letter. You may indicate more than one track in your cover letter. If you have questions about the tracks or the opportunities, please contact Rinad Beidas, PhD, Director of Implementation Research (rbeidas@upenn.edu).

Track 1 (T32): Two positions are available through our NIMH-funded T32, The Academic-Community Experience (ACE): A Postdoctoral Training Fellowship in Implementation Science to Promote Mental Health. Each T32 fellow will have one of the following Penn faculty as a primary mentor: Rinad Beidas, PhD; Hilary Bogner, MD, MSCE; Dianne Chambless, PhD; David Mandell, ScD; Steven Marcus, PhD; or David Oslin, MD. Please specify potential mentors from this list. Our expectation is that T32 fellows will develop an independent research agenda during the fellowship that will lead to an academic research career.

Track 2 (Project-specific postdocs): At least three positions will be available through our portfolio of NIMH-funded grants, including a P50 on the intersection of behavioral economics, participatory design, and implementation science (PIs: Rinad Beidas, PhD; David Mandell, ScD; and Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD); and an R01 (PI: Beidas; http://www.cmhpsr.org/beidas-lab-people) that will determine how to accurately and cost-effectively measure fidelity to cognitive behavioral therapy in community mental health for youth with psychiatric disorders. Several other postdoctoral positions may be available for a study of the effectiveness of community-based early intervention for children with autism (PI: Mandell). Project-specific fellows assist with the scientific administration of these projects and develop their own independent research agenda. These postdocs may be interested in independent research careers or careers playing a supporting role in research, or combining clinical and research activities.

Track 3 (Shared postdoc between Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Penn): One position is available for a postdoc interested in a deeper understanding of the relationship between policy and research. This trainee will split time between the Department of Behavioral Health and CMHPSR. This placement affords opportunities to learn firsthand about how public policy and programs are created and implemented, and how to conduct rigorous research and evaluation to examine the effects of these policies and practices. Our expectation is that fellows in this track may go on to careers in applied policy research or take high-level administrative positions in publicly-funded mental health systems.

All postdoctoral fellows will:

  • Develop their own individualized research program under the mentorship of Penn faculty, often with secondary mentorship from other faculty in the broader Penn community and from community partners
  • Have research opportunities that include both primary data collection and secondary data analysis
  • Participate in coursework specific to their individualized needs assessment
  • Interact with community partners from the city and state as part of CMHPSR’s relationships with the Department of Behavioral Health, Community Behavioral Health, and the School District of Philadelphia
  • Attend seminars given by national implementation science experts at least twice a year, a quarterly implementation science working group, and a monthly implementation science journal club
  • Have access to pilot funds and receive a travel budget annually for professional development and networking

For more details on CMHPSR faculty, resources, and funded projects, visit http://www.cmhpsr.org.

Appointment: Rolling-September, 2018

Eligibility: The Center seeks applications from persons with a PhD, MD, or equivalent doctoral degree and a strong commitment to a career in mental health services research and implementation science. Past applicants have come from both qualitative and quantitative backgrounds in disciplines such as clinical psychology, school psychology, community psychology, social work, public health and anthropology. Both recent graduates as well as those seeking to enhance their skills in new areas are welcome to apply. Stipends vary with experience.

Applications: Please submit your application by October 15th, 2017 to Eva Davis, MBA, evadavis@upenn.edu for full consideration. Please include: (1) cover letter; (2) CV; (3) 3 reprints; and (4) the names of three professional references.