Postdoctoral Fellowship

We are currently in the process of selecting one rural health equity postdoctoral fellowship position, to begin on or after September 1, 2020. Applications are no longer being accepted for this cycle, but please stay tuned. We will be seeking one new rural health equity postdoctoral fellow each year, and will provide details on the 2021-2022 application cycle in the months to come. See the position description below.

At the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center (RHRC), we conduct policy-relevant research to improve the lives of rural residents and families, to advance health equity, and to enhance the vitality of rural communities. We invite scholars from diverse backgrounds to apply for the RHRC’s Rural Health Equity Postdoctoral Fellowship.

The program will support the professional development of researchers who can address critical gaps in knowledge by doing the following:

  1. Conduct research to inform the development, implementation, and evaluation of health policy that advances health equity in individuals, families, and communities, with a focus on rural areas and geographic inequities. 
  2. Study the impacts of institutional and governmental policies that affect health care access, health care quality, social determinants of health, systems of care and services, and population health outcomes across the lifespan.
  3. Focus and engage with rural populations that face structural barriers to good health outcomes, including the following: communities of color, Indigenous people, women and girls, LGBTQ individuals, people with disabilities, older adults, and people with limited incomes.
  4. Conduct research in partnership with communities, and communicate findings to policymakers and back to communities, highlighting the impact of decisions for individual, family, and community health.

The primary goal of this program is to train scholars who will become innovative research leaders in rural health. The postdoctoral fellow will receive mentorship and support from the RHRC leadership and staff and closely collaborate on projects.

The postdoctoral fellow will be expected to co-lead, with RHRC faculty or staff, a one-year rural health focused project (Sep-Aug) that is specified by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. During the first year of the fellowship, the fellow will have an opportunity to provide input to shape a one-year project that they could lead during the second year of the fellowship. Results from these two projects will be published as peer-reviewed manuscripts, publicly-available policy briefs, and disseminated at rural-relevant conferences. RHRC’s work is characterized by rapid turnaround, policy-relevant, rigorous research that informs decision-making and improves the health of rural communities.

The fellow will also have an opportunity to develop and implement an independent rural health equity research project specifically focused on rural Minnesota. The specific focus and methodology of this project will depend on the expertise and interest of the fellow, but may include quantitative analysis, qualitative data collection and analysis, and community-engaged work.

Postdoctoral fellows must have (or be close to completing) the following requirements:

  • Graduated from a doctoral program with a focus in health policy, public health, demography, geography, sociology, or a closely-related discipline
  • Training and demonstrated excellence in methods/statistics, including analysis of survey data, claims data, and/or qualitative data; our research needs focus on quantitative analysis of secondary data.
  • Ability to conduct rigorous research efficiently in a fast-paced, policy-relevant, community-engaged environment.
  • Recently graduated individuals with a focus on racial equity, including rural Black and Indigenous populations, are especially encouraged to apply
  • Experience with data analysis in a US Census Research Data Center and US Census Special Sworn Status are preferred, but not required.

This is a two-year position, with the second year of funding being contingent on successful completion of the first. This is a 100% FTE position over a 2-year period using standard NIH postdoctoral position salary range; travel stipend to attend a national conference each year will also be made available.

About our Center

At RHRC, our dedicated team of experts conducts research that is informed by the lived experiences of people, families, and communities that experience increasing racial and economic disparities centered on place. Centering on diverse perspectives, we continually work to educate ourselves on the particular strength and resilience of rural people, Indigenous people, and communities of color. We study access to and quality of health care, social determinants of health, institutional and systematic barriers, and population health outcomes to build the evidence base for policymaking and system transformation that improves overall health and well-being. Our work focuses on eliminating inequities based on geography and place, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, age, and ability. We are committed to the highest standards of excellence in research and to communicating results broadly to inform policy, research, community, and individual decision-making.

The Rural Health Equity Postdoctoral Fellowship program is supported by the Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the Office of Academic Clinical Affairs at the University of Minnesota. It is housed in the Division of Health Policy and Management at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. The funding for this fellowship comes from the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, grant UL1TR002494.


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