Postdoctoral Fellow: Human-Centered Design

United States
Job Posted Date: 
November 18, 2019
Postdoc Positions at UCSF
Global Health


We are seeking a post-doctoral scholar with expertise in human-centered design and mixed methods research to collaborate on a new study that aims to evaluate how self-injection (SI) of the contraceptive method DMPA-SC (depot medroxyprogesterone acetate administered subcutaneously) can be implemented to support informed contraceptive choice and use from the perspective of women in Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, and Uganda. 

This study is designed to obtain a deeper understanding of women’s contraceptive decision-making and identify promising approaches to help unlock the full potential of SI to meet women’s needs and support reproductive autonomy. Through a spectrum of different research methods to be implemented in Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, and Uganda, we will: 1) explore which women are most likely to be interested in using SI; 2) identify and test promising program implementation approaches across a variety of settings, channels, and user groups that directly support the needs of women who can benefit from SI to access and effectively use it; and 3) investigate the relationship between SI and sexual and reproductive empowerment and autonomy. This study is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and will be carried out in collaboration between researchers from various departments within the Schools of Medicine and Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco, and academic partners in the four study countries.


We are seeking a postdoctoral fellow with a strong background in quantitative research to contribute to the quantitative research components of both research studies over two years. The fellow will be part of the larger study team based at UCSF. Working in close collaboration with the study Principal Investigators, Dr. Jenny Liu and Dr. Kelsey Holt, the fellow will significantly contribute to and lead certain primary data collection activities across different study countries, as well as conduct analyses of resulting data for publication in peer-reviewed academic journals and other dissemination materials. They will collaborate with other team members of each study, including co-Investigators, UCSF research staff (e.g., Project Director, research assistants), and in-country research teams to oversee implementation of data collection, and will work closely with all teams to conduct data analyses, synthesis, manuscript preparation, and information dissemination. 

An important role of the postdoctoral fellow will be to support capacity building of in-country partners in all stages of the research. The fellow will be expected to travel a substantial amount over the course of two years to facilitate collaboration with, and capacity building of, in-country research teams. 

The fellow will be supported to lead planned study analyses. In collaboration with study PIs, the fellow may also propose supplemental research questions or activities that may contribute to their own research agenda, subject to feasibility and agreement by in-country study partners. Opportunities to further pursue independent research (e.g., through collaboration on other research projects and/or with other PIs, grant writing, skills building workshops or trainings) is also encouraged and can be discussed as opportunities arise.

Job Requirements: 

We are looking for someone who is enthusiastic, self-directed, and highly collegial. The Fellow should have a PhD (or the equivalent) in sociology, public health, epidemiology, biostatistics, demography, economics, or a related social science or health science field, and a strong track record demonstrating mastery of quantitative research approaches. Ideally, the fellow should have some prior knowledge and research implementation experience related to sexual and reproductive, maternal, or child health. Research experience in low-resource settings, especially in Africa, and ideally in at least two of the study countries, is highly valued. Ability to make at least four international trips per year is expected. Excellent communication and exemplary writing skills, effective time management and organization, and attention to detail and precision are imperative.

Timeframe: The anticipated start will be in Fall 2020 but is negotiable. Applications submitted by January 27, 2020 will be prioritized.

How to Apply: 


Please send your CV, cover letter, and an academic writing sample to: 

Dr. Jenny Liu (UCSF School of Nursing, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences): [email protected]


Dr. Kelsey Holt (UCSF School of Medicine, Person-Centered Reproductive Health Program within the Department of Family and Community Medicine): [email protected]

San Francisco
Greater Bay Area