Posted: Feb 5, 2021
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Post Doctoral Fellow or Research Associate

Application Deadline: N/A
Education

A postdoctoral or research associate position is available in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, under the direction of Dr. Jacqueline MacDonald Gibson. This is a grant-funded position for a minimum of two years and is renewable for up to two additional years for post-doctoral fellows or for multiple years for research associates. The position includes benefits and compensation is congruent with NIH stipend levels. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, but applications received by 19 February 2021 will be given full consideration, and the search will remain open until suitable candidate is found. The earliest anticipated start date is 1 March 2021.

The postdoctoral fellow or research associate will join a multi-institutional team in Bloomington, Indiana, of engineers, epidemiologists, chemists, and risk communication specialists to work on a unique set of projects combining field research and machine learning to untangle the influence of contaminants in drinking water on human health. The research is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The primary goal of these project is to use “big data” and advanced machine learning methods to analyze disparities in exposure to contaminated drinking water in the United States and how those disparities influence human health. The projects all include a field research component involving engagement with households to collect environmental samples and health data. The plan is to build predictive modeling tools that can be freely used by communities, public health departments, and environmental agencies to identify communities at risk and to plan interventions.

Responsibilities: The successful applicant will be expected to lead studies and generate new knowledge that is congruent with the overall goals of the funded projects. This includes generating peer-reviewed publications. It also includes development of curated data sets linking data from multiple public and non-public sources. Resources are available for travel to scientific meetings, and formal training is available with regards to grant writing, research ethics, rigor and reproducibility, and research management. There will also be opportunities to develop your own independent research interests and to gain expertise in machine learning, water quality monitoring, risk assessment, community-based research, and risk communication.


About us: Jackie MacDonald Gibson’s research group (https://ehpolicyresearch.publichealth.indiana.edu/) seeks to illuminate what individuals, communities, and policymakers can do to make the biggest and most lasting improvements in public health by improving the quality of the environment. Recent research has focused on characterizing disparities in exposure to contaminants in drinking water in the United States. Students and post-doctoral scholars in the group parse complicated environmental problems into manageable elements that can be modeled mathematically and re-integrated to inform environmental and public health policy decisions. The team examines environmental risks to health at the scale of communities, building models that integrate knowledge of how pollutants are distributed through communities, how people become exposed to pollutants and other environmental risks factors, and how these exposures, in turn, increase risks of illness or premature death. Our main tools are drawn from applied mathematics and statistics, but we also conduct field research. The group has collected and analyzed water and air samples, administered surveys, and conducted focus group interviews, in order to develop the knowledge needed to understand environmental risks to public health and advance policies to reduce those risks. Given an important environmental policy question, the group finds the tools needed to analyze potential solutions.

Located on the flagship campus of the Indiana University System, IU School of Public Health‐Bloomington has over 200 faculty in five departments. Indiana University is classified as an R1-Highest Research Activity university, is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU), and boasts numerous resources. IU School of Public Health‐Bloomington combines aspects of a traditional university campus with a strong teaching focus and the research infrastructure of a research-intensive institution.

Indiana University is an equal employment and affirmative action employer and a provider of ADA services. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ethnicity, color, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, disability status or protected veteran status.

The postdoctoral fellow position requires a PhD in environmental science, environmental engineering, environmental epidemiology or a related scientific field by the time of appointment. For the research associate position, a minimum of a master’s degree and 5+ years of appropriate work experience is required. Candidates should possess strong scientific writing, project management, and statistical analysis skills.

Application Procedure: Provide CV, cover letter summarizing research interests and fit for position, writing sample, and a list of three references. Interested candidates should submit applications at: https://indiana.peopleadmin.com.

Questions pertaining to the PeopleAdmin application procedure may be directed to [email protected] Questions regarding the position may be directed to Jackie MacDonald Gibson at [email protected].