Postdoctoral Fellowship

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The 2020-2021 application cycle is now open.

The Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine (CBSSM) at the University of Michigan is accepting applications for postdoctoral research fellows in the areas of (a) Bioethics, and (b) Decision Sciences. We are also partnering with the UM School of Public Health to recruit postdoctoral fellows in the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) of Genomics.

At the University of Michigan, CBSSM aims to be the premier intellectual gathering place of clinicians, social scientists, bioethicists, and all others interested in improving individual and societal health through scholarship and service. CBSSM is a "home" for anyone interested in applying empirical social science methods to improve health care decisions and the ethical practice of medicine.

CBSSM postdoctoral fellows collaborate on established projects and are encouraged to conduct independent research with an emphasis on study inception, manuscript writing, and applying for grants. CBSSM’s resources and collaborative support provide fellows with mentorship, expose them to multiple methodological approaches to research in decision making and bioethics, and enable fellows to build their own research programs. Postdoctoral fellows contribute to the scholarly mission and intellectual life at the Center by regularly attending Center research seminars and working groups and by participating in a rotation on our ethics consultation service.  Dr. Brian Zikmund-Fisher, Associate Director of CBSSM, leads the CBSSM Postdoctoral Research Fellowship program.

The CBSSM postdoctoral research fellowships in either Bioethics or Decision Sciences are annual appointments that will start in late summer or early fall of 2020 and may be renewed for one additional year contingent upon satisfactory performance and the availability of funding. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience and education.

Bioethics Postdoctoral Research Fellow

This fellowship focuses on the empirical bioethics and the ethical practice of medicine. Candidates' area of focus must be in bioethics, although their backgrounds may be in social or natural sciences, humanities, medicine, or law. Active projects in bioethics at CBSSM currently include the ethical, legal, and social implications of genomic medicine, human subjects research ethics, empirical research with relevance to clinical ethics, global bioethics, gender equity, reproductive justice, deliberative democratic methods in bioethics, resource allocation, ethical issues associated with learning health systems, and the sociology of medical ethics/bioethics, among others. 

Decision Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellow

This fellowship focuses on understanding and improving the health care communication and decisions made by both patients and providers. Past postdoctoral fellows have included scholars whose research in health care communication and decision making has been grounded in theories and methodologies drawn from social cognition, motivation and emotion, decision psychology, risk communication, human factors, ethics, and economics.

T32 ELSI of Genomics Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Another opportunity available through the CBSSM program that overlaps both of CBSSM’s areas of interest is a NIH-funded T32 fellowship in research on the ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) of genomic discoveries based at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. This two-year fellowship offers an integrated program of advanced coursework, research mentoring, and professional development, led by an interdisciplinary team of mentors with ongoing ELSI research programs. Each ELSI trainee participates in an individualized course of training that provides knowledge and skills in areas including the following: the current state of genomic science and medicine; application of bioethics frameworks to ELSI dilemmas; grant writing and scientific presentations; and implementation of interdisciplinary ELSI research projects. For more information, see https://sph.umich.edu/elsi-fellowship/ Applicants interested in the ELSI of genomics fellowship should note their relevant experience and interests in addition to their CBSSM connections.

Application Details

Evaluation of CBSSM fellowship candidates will begin on December 13, 2019 and will be evaluated on a rolling basis through January 10, 2020. Evaluation of ELSI of Genomics fellowship candidates will occur in parallel to the CBSSM review process.

All requirements of the PhD or equivalent terminal degree must be completed before a postdoctoral research fellow appointment can begin. Candidates are required to submit a cover letter, including a detailed statement of research interests, a CV, and a writing sample. The letter of research interests should identify potential future research topics (although fellows are encouraged to evolve their interests during the fellowship) and should emphasize, in concrete terms, the applicant’s potential fit to CBSSM’s areas of expertise and how the fellowship fits into their overall career goals. Semi-finalists will be asked to submit three letters of recommendation, so references should be alerted that letters may be requested in January 2020. All application materials (including recommendation letters) should be submitted electronically through our online application. Click here to access the online application.