Post Doctoral Fellow Sierra Leone RPCA Research Program on Children & Adversity Boston College School of Social Work
The Research Program on Children and Adversity (RPCA) at the Boston College School of Social Work seeks a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Global Mental Health to be based in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The RPCA is an applied research program dedicated to improving the evidence base on the epidemiology of mental health problems and family functioning as well as intervention research to develop and test mental health services for children and families affected by multiple forms of adversity, including armed conflict, poverty, and infectious disease. The newest phase of our work in Sierra Leone involves a mental health service research hub called Youth FORWARD (Youth Functioning and Organizational Success for West African Regional Development). Over the next 3-4 years, in collaboration with the University of Sierra Leone, the University of Liberia, IPA, CARITAS and the World Bank, we will be exploring ways to link evidence based mental health services for youth to the youth employment, education and other alternative sectors in Sierra Leone and also build capacity for mental health services research in both Sierra Leone and Liberia.
The post-doctoral fellow will oversee all implementation science aspects related to a scale-up study of cognitive behavioral therapy treatment groups (the YRI/Youth Readiness Intervention) for youth (males and females ages 15-24) exposed to violence and other forms of adversity linked to alternative delivery platforms such as education and youth employment programs in Sierra Leone. The post-doctoral fellow will also contribute to analysis of data an intergenerational Study of War, which has been on-going in Sierra Leone since 2002.
The research fellow will report to Dr. Theresa Betancourt and her lab and will join an on-going research collaboration between the Boston College School of Social Work, IPA, CARITAS Sierra Leone and the National Institutes of Mental Health.
Please include a cover letter with your application.
The ideal candidate will have a strong background in global mental health and implementation science with an interest in the effects of violence on mental health in diverse cultures. Experience with intervention study data, hybrid implementation science design and longitudinal data is especially needed. Desired statistical strengths include ability to analyze data from cluster randomized trials, work with missing data, conduct multilevel modeling, oversee technology-based data collection and data monitoring, and utilize mixed methodologies to triangulate qualitative and quantitative data. The postdoctoral fellow will also assist with direct supervision of Sierra Leonean staff who currently are working to process incoming data. The fellow will work alongside an in-country Program Manager to provide supervision as needed while developing and maintain established relationship with in-country partners and stakeholders. We seek a self-driven, creative thinker with strong qualitative and statistical skills to help develop methods which investigate mechanisms shaping treatment outcomes, agency and provider level data, the impact of inter agency collaborative teams on fidelity to evidence based practices, etc. The research fellow will be expected to collaborate on grant writing and publications, and engage in dissemination of findings and close work with the government and other stakeholders to translate research findings to inform policy development.
The successful candidate should be comfortable with advanced statistical and computational programming and have some background related to conducting research in culturally diverse contexts, preferably in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs). A publication record that demonstrates candidate's capacities is also desirable. The postdoctoral fellow will engage in high-level research and will be involved in analysis and publication on projects regarding ongoing work related to the Scale-up study, the Youth FORWARD and the Intergenerational Study of War.
Boston College is one of the nation's best and most selective universities, with U.S. News & World Report ranking Boston College 31st among national universities, and Forbes ranking it 26th in its 2012 America's Best Colleges listing. Boston College confers more than 4,000 degrees annually in more than 50 fields of study through eight schools and colleges. Faculty members are committed to both tea...ching and research having earned nearly $60 million in research grants in the last year alone. The University has made a major commitment to academic excellence. As part of its Strategic Plan, Boston College is in the process of adding 100 new faculty positions, expanding faculty and graduate research, increasing student financial aid to more than $128 million annually, and widening opportunities in key undergraduate programs, such as international study, internships and student formation.