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Post Doctoral Associate - Disaster Mental Health and Vulnerable Populations


Institute of Behavioral Science

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Posting Close Date:


Job Summary

The Natural Hazards Center in the Institute of Behavioral Science at the University of Colorado Boulder seeks a Postdoctoral Research Associate for a full-time, 12-month position, with benefits, that can begin as early as January 1, 2019. The initial appointment will be for one year, with the possibility of renewal for a second year, contingent on funding availability and satisfactory performance.

This position will assist in developing mental health and vulnerable populations components associated with the Social Science Extreme Events Research (SSEER) and Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Extreme Events Research (ISEEER) platforms. SSEER and ISEEER—which are part of the newly established National Science Foundation CONVERGE facility at the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado Boulder—are designed to advance reconnaissance research and disaster science to benefit the broader hazards and disaster field. The ultimate vision for this work is to prepare individual researchers and interdisciplinary teams to carry out extreme events research that is coordinated, comprehensive, coherent, ethically grounded, and scientifically rigorous.

The Postdoctoral Research Associate will work under the direct supervision of Professor Lori Peek, who is Director of the Natural Hazards Center and Principal Investigator for the NSF CONVERGE project.


Who We Are

The Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center was founded more than 40 years ago as a result of the landmark Assessment of Natural Hazards Research in the United States. We are the one academic center in the nation dedicated to linking researchers, practitioners, and policy makers to reduce the harm from disasters. We share and advance social science and interdisciplinary knowledge, with a special emphasis on the most vulnerable populations and places. Every day, we work to empower a culture where all people are educated and inspired to take positive action to mitigate hazards losses and to build stronger communities.

The Natural Hazards Center is an institution committed to creating a center of gravity for the hazards and disaster community. We care deeply about facilitating scientific and practice-oriented connections because we recognize that we are all living at risk, we are all interconnected, and we must all play a role in effectively responding to 21st century social and environmental challenges. Everything we do at the Center is informed by a justice and equity approach, and our core values are focused around our commitment to human dignity, collective wellbeing, scientific understanding, sustainable hazards mitigation, and environmental stewardship. 

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

The successful candidate will contribute to the development of all mental health and vulnerable population related outputs for SSEER and ISEEER platforms by drawing upon insights and materials from the disaster mental health and disaster social science literature. Familiarity with resources from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other leading knowledge creators focusing on mental and behavioral health and public health in disasters is desired. 

The successful candidate will be expected to: 1) catalogue vulnerable population rapid reconnaissance research instruments and primary and secondary data sets; 2) catalogue mental health scales, measures, instruments, and data sets; 3) develop online training modules regarding vulnerable populations in disaster; 4) develop online training modules regarding mental health in disasters; and 5) develop evaluations and assessments to measure the impact of training modules and resources created.    


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

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What We Require

  • Experience working with large data sets and data repository platforms. 
  • Experience with disaster reconnaissance field studies. 
  • A Ph.D. in psychology, public health, sociology, or a related social or behavioral science area of study is required at the time of appointment.

What You Will Need

  • Demonstrated quantitative and qualitative methodological skills with a primary focus on mental health and/or public health research. 
  • Strong verbal communication skills. 
  • Interest in disaster research and/or the science of team science.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:
  1. Resume/CV
  2. Cover Letter which describes your experience or interests in hazards and disaster research. 
  3. Proof of Degree: The document uploaded for Proof of Degree can be a Transcript which shows the date the degree was conferred; Copy of Diploma; or official letter from the Registrar or the Dean of the School or College conferring the degree. 
  4. PDF Sample of Work- one sample published paper (co-authored papers are acceptable)
  5. List of 3 References
  6. 1 Letter of Recommendation (Not Confidential)
Review of applications will begin on November 5, 2018 and will continue until the position is filled.

Additional letters or other supporting documentation may be requested from the finalists for this position. Top candidates will be interviewed by phone with the possibility of a campus visit.

Posting Contact Name: Boulder Campus Human Resources

Posting Contact Email:

The University of Colorado is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer