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Division of Prevention and Community Research and The Consultation Center

Postdoctoral Fellowship

The Division of Prevention and Community Research, Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine invites applications for a two-year NIDA T32 postdoctoral research training program in substance abuse prevention. Awarding of fellowships is contingent on final approval from NIDA of our renewal application. Applications are now being accepted for three fellows for a two-year period with a possible one-year option for one fellow. Start dates range from June-September 2020.

The program emphasizes five research training aims: 1) to understand substance use/abuse and related behaviors using an ecological framework that emphasizes relevant developmental, family, social, cultural, and neurobiological contexts; 2) to enhance knowledge development and application in pre-intervention, implementation, and dissemination research; 3) to learn state-of-the-art data analytic methods that incorporate rigorous field and laboratory research methods, including mixed method designs when appropriate; 4) to gain experience in interdisciplinary research through collaborations with scientists in other departments, centers, and programs; and 5) to increase knowledge about the translation of research into real-world contexts that impact prevention practice and policy, and ultimately, public health.

Postdoctoral fellows participate in core seminars on research and data analytic methods, grant development, and professional development as well as in seminars and colloquia that cover related topics, such as the ethical conduct of research and current topics in substance abuse prevention. Fellows also receive mentor-based training on at least two scientific projects while working concurrently with two core faculty who serve as their scientific advisors. Faculty available to serve as mentors are located in several research divisions in the Department of Psychiatry, such as the Division of Prevention and Community Research, the Division on Addictions, the Yale School of Public Health, the Yale Stress Center, the Yale Child Study Center, and Women’s Health Research at Yale.

Competitive candidates should have: 1) a PhD in community, clinical, developmental, counseling, or health psychology, or a doctoral degree in public health, family studies, social work, or social welfare; 2) a strong research background; and 3) interest in pursuing an academic career. Applicants should email a CV, representative reprints, a statement of interests and future goals, identification of up to three faculty members with whom they wish to work listed in order of priority (see Scientific Projects Listed by Faculty Member below) and three letters of recommendation to the Training Director, Jacob Tebes at:jacob.tebes@yale.edu. Reviews of applications will begin immediately and continue until positions are filled. Yale University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes applications from women, members of minority groups, persons with disabilities and protected veterans.

Scientific Projects Listed by Faculty Member

All fellows work with two faculty scientific advisors, and as part of their application, are asked to identify up to three faculty with whom they wish to work, listed in order of priority. Once matched with two faculty scientific advisors, fellows join research teams based on their interests and experience.

Lisa Fucito, PhD , is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director, Tobacco Treatment Service Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven. Her program of research focuses on tobacco and alcohol use with an emphasis in three areas: (1) better understanding these behaviors and their co-occurrence with other negative health behaviors, (2) identifying innovative strategies to engage individuals about their tobacco and/or alcohol use, and (3) developing novel interventions that promote multiple health behavior change and utilize technology. Through mentored research, fellows have access to data from various ongoing studies that include health data and trial data, and opportunities for collaboration on additional secondary data analyses.

Joy S. Kaufman, PhD , is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology), Deputy Director for The Consultation Center, Director of Evaluation Research in the Division of Prevention and Community Research, and Director of Program and Service System Evaluation at The Consultation Center. Trained as a Clinical and Community Psychologist, Dr. Kaufman conducts large-scale, multi-level evaluations of health service delivery systems, provides consultation to governmental and community organizations regarding these evaluations, and carries out related research. These evaluations take place in under-resourced communities; involve close partnerships with state and municipal governments, community organizations, and other public stakeholders; and generate data that informs program and policy development. A unique feature of her work is the training of public stakeholders to evaluate the services they receive or to utilize data so that they can provide rigorous and systematic feedback to improve services and participate in decision-making about their community. Dr. Kaufman's research interests include the identification of contextual factors that impact outcomes for individuals with emotional and behavioral difficulties. The fellow would have the opportunity to join one or more of the following projects: (a) an evaluation of the implementation and outcomes of statewide systems of care for children with severe emotional and behavioral issues (e.g., youth substance use, exposure to traumatic events, parental stress, social and emotional difficulties); (b) examination of data collected as part of a national multi-site study to evaluate the implementation and outcomes of model programs to reduce the rate of homicide resulting from domestic violence; and/or (c) engage in a community-based participatory research project where youth receiving behavioral health services will be trained to gather and analyze data assessing the behavioral health system of care.

Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, PhD , Professor of Psychiatry, Chair of the Human Investigations Committee at Yale School of Medicine, and Co-PI on a FDA and NIH funded center focused on tobacco regulatory science research. Her research is focused on developing a bio-behavioral understanding of the underpinnings of alcohol, tobacco (nicotine), and marijuana use, in adolescent and adult populations, and developing new pharmacological and behavioral interventions to reduce and prevent use of these substances. She is also conducting qualitative and quantitative tobacco regulatory research in adolescents. The fellow could be involved in analyzing evidence from an ongoing study that is conducting local surveys with middle and high school adolescents and college-aged young adults to assess use rates and perceptions and attitudes towards tobacco products, or evidence collected from national datasets like the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health.

Sherry McKee, PhD , is Professor of Psychiatry; Director, Yale Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory; and Clinical Director, Forensic Drug Diversion Clinic. Her research is focused on improving treatment for those with addiction. Using a transdisciplinary perspective, she uses human laboratory paradigms, survey research, epidemiological research, and policy research to uncover the mechanisms underlying poor outcomes and translate these findings into improved interventions. In particular, Dr. McKee is interested in improving treatment outcomes for women and those with criminal justice involvement. Dr. McKee leads an interdisciplinary research effort to develop gender-informed interventions for alcohol use disorders. Researchers spanning diverse areas of expertise (e.g., molecular biology, neuroimaging, pharmacology, pharmacogenetics, health economics, policy) are collaborating to develop effective interventions for female and male drinkers. Dr. McKee also leads a SAMSHA-funded partnership between Yale and the State of Connecticut Department of Corrections and Department of Addiction and Mental Health Services to improve addiction outcomes in offenders who are re-entering their communities following incarceration.

Stephanie S. O'Malley, PhD , is Professor of Psychiatry; Director, Division of Substance Abuse Research in Psychiatry; and Deputy Chair, Clinical Research. Her research uses human laboratory methods and clinical trials methods to investigate alcohol and tobacco use behaviors and the prevention of long-term problems. She is Co-PI of the Yale Tobacco Center for Regulatory Research and has expertise in tobacco use including emerging products. Fellows have access to several large data sets for secondary analyses as well as the opportunity to develop new studies.

Carolyn E. Sartor, PhD , is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry. Her program of research is aimed at refining etiological models of problem substance use in adolescents and young adults by integrating a developmental psychopathology perspective with genetically-informative designs. The identification of differences by gender and race/ethnicity in the contribution of socioenvironmental influences such as trauma, discrimination, and religious involvement - as well as genetic liability - to substance use behaviors is central to this pursuit. Dr. Sartor’s work focuses in particular on the progression through stages of alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana use (e.g., initiation, onset of symptoms) and the timing of stage transitions in relation to risk and protective factors. Fellows have access to data from multiple large-scale population based studies of adolescents and adults as well as a large-scale cross-sectional study of college students to conduct secondary data analysis projects.

Rajita Sinha, PhD , is Foundations Fund Professor of Psychiatry and Professor in the Child Study Center and of Neuroscience; Director, Yale Interdisciplinary Stress Center; Chief, Psychology Section in Psychiatry; and Co-Director of Education, Yale Center for Clinical Investigation. Her research is focused on the mechanisms linking stress to addiction and seeks to: (a) elucidate sex-specific neurobiological mechanisms underlying stress in humans; (b) examine neurobiological alterations in stress and reward circuits associated with addictive disorders; and (c) develop effective addiction prevention and treatment strategies that target stress and emotion regulation in individuals both at-risk for and those with addiction problems. These objectives are accomplished through various NIH funded research projects available for fellow involvement.

Tami P. Sullivan, PhD , is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology); Co-Director, Division of Prevention and Community Research; and Director, Family Violence Research and Programs. Her program of research is centered on individual- and system-level factors that affect the wellbeing of victims of intimate partner violence (IPV), with specific attention to daily processes and micro-longitudinal designs. At the individual level, Dr. Sullivan's work aims to advance understanding of the relationships among IPV and its highly prevalent negative outcomes such as posttraumatic stress, substance use, and sexual risk in an effort to develop preventive interventions that promote safety and resilience. At the systems-level, she conducts IPV research and evaluation within the criminal justice and other service systems. She studies the impact of the system’s response on victims’ wellbeing including the ways in which it promotes or impedes victims’ safety, recovery and resilience. She collaborates with community partners locally and nationally to study the impact of criminal justice system interventions, including being a key investigator on the National Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Demonstration Initiative, a multi-site evaluation of two interventions to reduce IPV and IPV-related homicide across the United States. She disseminates findings broadly to have the greatest impact including to professionals (e.g., to court-based practitioners through the Center for Court Innovation) and the general public (Cosmopolitan magazine). Dr. Sullivan is a licensed psychologist who has extensive clinical experience with victims and offenders of IPV, providing services in a range of settings from community programs, dual diagnosis programs, inpatient settings, and outpatient clinics to domestic violence shelters, transitional living programs, and community programs.

Jacob K. Tebes, PhD , is Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology), in the Child Study Center and in Public Health; Director, Division of Prevention and Community Research & The Consultation Center; Chief Psychologist, Connecticut Mental Health Center and T32 Training Director. Dr. Tebes uses participatory research methods to examine the prevention of substance abuse and related problem behaviors and the promotion of resilience in various community contexts (e.g., schools, families, clinics, neighborhoods). He also studies how participatory and team-based approaches to science, particularly in relation to substance abuse and addiction, promote innovation and enhance scholarly impact. Fellows would have access to one or more datasets in these areas that were funded with NIH, SAMHSA, state, or foundation support.