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Harvard University Postdoctoral Research Fellow - Mississippi Delta Partnership in Public Health in Cambridge, Massachusetts


Title Postdoctoral Research Fellow - Mississippi Delta Partnership in Public Health

School Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Department/Area Epidemiology

Position Description

The Mississippi Delta Partnership in Public Health at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health is a program designed to advance health and well-being in the Mississippi Delta through community engagement, collaborative research, and leadership development.

The program seeks a post-doctoral researcher to serve as a Teaching Fellow. One of the program’s main components is the Delta Scholars Program in Public Health ( DIPH ). The DIPH provides a well-structured, high-quality combined research training and service-learning experience for undergraduate and graduate students from the Mississippi Delta region. Harvard Chan School is particularly interested in supporting students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in Mississippi with this program. The program objectives are listed below.

Program Objectives

  • To encourage students from the Mississippi Delta region to pursue careers in public health research by providing applied research training.

  • To stimulate and support public health research and collaborations between Harvard Chan School faculty and researchers in the Mississippi Delta region.

  • To provide community-engaged research and field practice experiences for Harvard Chan School graduate students.

  • To assess environmental, economic, social, and political determinants of health disparities in the Delta region so that innovative strategies for closing health disparities gaps may be developed, implemented, and evaluated.

The DIPH Program is jointly administered by faculty at the Harvard Chan School, Mississippi State University, and the University of Mississippi. During the Delta Scholars Summer Institute, the core curriculum consists of didactic and highly interactive classroom instruction and one-on-one in experiential learning. Scholars also receive sustained mentoring for their Delta Scholars project and support for their academic career plans for graduate school or professional school during the academic year. The overall goal of the program is to prepare talented students for public health careers, focusing on students that are from the Mississippi Delta region, attend school in the Mississippi Delta Region, or desire to work in the area. Scholars will be provided with opportunities to obtain the necessary intellectual qualifications and experiences needed to become leaders in public health.

The Delta Teaching Fellow in Public Health will be a key member of the Delta Program. The fellowship job tasks will focus on research, teaching, and mentoring of Delta scholars supported by Harvard Chan – these will primarily be students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in Mississippi. There are additional duties in program management and community engagement to support program work.

The primary duties will include teaching and data analysis under the guidance of the program director, Bizu Gelaye, Ph.D., M.P.H., a faculty member in the Department of Epidemiology. S/he will develop content and materials for teaching epidemiologic methods and data analysis, serving as an instructor for Delta scholars. The Teaching Fellow will also manage research projects from their initial development through the publication of findings in journals. The research will be in the areas of perinatal epidemiology, chronic disease epidemiology, social epidemiology and nutritional epidemiology. Specific projects will be determined based on discussions with stakeholders in Delta Direction ( s leadership, community-based stakeholders in Mississippi, and faculty at Harvard Chan. In addition, the Delta Teaching Fellow may work on independent research projects in collaboration with Mississippi partners that impact public health in the state. The research will be under the supervision of Harvard Chan Faculty, Mississippi State University, and University of Mississippi faculty mentors focused on topics relevant to the Mississippi Delta region.

Other Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Designs research studies and protocols that impact public health in Mississippi. This involves working with Delta Directions collaborating faculty to identify research projects for Delta Scholars, preparing analyzable data sets and guiding research projects.

  2. Develops content and materials for teaching epidemiologic methods and serves as an instructor for Delta Scholars.

  3. Leads the recruitment of Delta scholars from HBCUs in Mississippi – ( These HBCUs include Alcorn State University, Coahoma Community College, Jackson State University, Mississippi Valley State University, Rust College, and Tougaloo College. Recruitment involves connecting with the university leadership, faculty, and program leaders. The fellow also helps select program fellows in collaboration with Delta Directions collaborators.

  4. Mentors Delta Scholars during their fellowship period.

  5. Works with Delta Consortium collaborators in Mississippi to develop plans for service-learning activities for Delta Scholars and identify opportunities for Harvard Chan Masters and Doctoral Students in Mississippi.

  6. Liaises with Delta Direction Leadership, Harvard Chan School Faculty, Harvard Law School, and affiliates engaged in Delta Programs, focusing on stakeholders in Mississippi.

  7. Supports preparation of project abstracts, posters, presentations, and other forms of publishing project findings.

  8. Finds or develops opportunities for students to present project work.

  9. Supports preparation of manuscripts detailing research findings and submits to peer-reviewed journals for Delta Scholars.

  10. Liaises with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and other offices in efforts to support pipeline programs at Harvard Chan.

    Basic Qualifications

Education Requirements

  • A doctoral degree, such as Ph.D., Sc.D., Dr.PH. in public health-related fields such as epidemiology, and biostatistics.

Technical Skill Requirements

  • Intermediate knowledge of scientific research methods.

  • Familiar with statistical software, including STATA , R, SAS .

  • Teaching experience at the graduate or undergraduate level.

  • Ability to learn techniques for analyzing complex data.

  • Strong written and interpersonal communication skills.

  • Ability to work independently and manage time effectively.

  • Ability to collaborate across academic programs within the university.

  • Ability to collaborate with external partners to accomplish program goals.

    Additional Qualifications

Preferred Experience

  • Professional, academic, or personal experience in Mississippi or the southern region of the United States with similar health indicators, economic environment, and culture.

  • Professional, academic, or personal experience with HBCUs.

  • Experience mentoring undergraduate and/or undergraduate students one-on-one for internship projects and guiding students to create research abstracts, posters, and present research projects.

  • Experience advising students for graduate and professional schools and guiding students in completing graduate school applications.

Additional Information: The position is available immediately and applications will be considered as they arrive. Per university payroll tax guidelines all applicants must reside in any of the following states or be willing to relocate to: Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maryland, Vermont or New York.

Special Instructions

Contact Information

For additional questions about the position, please contact Dr. Bizu Gelaye

Contact Email

Equal Opportunity Employer

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions or any other characteristic protected by law.

Minimum Number of References Required 3

Maximum Number of References Allowed 3


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