Skip to Content

Health Communication and Virtual Reality Research Methods

National Human Genome Research Institute, Bethesda, MD and surrounding area

Position Description:

The Communication, Attitudes, and Behavior Unit within the Social and Behavioral Research Branch (SBRB) of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) is seeking applicants for a postdoctoral position. The Social and Behavioral Research Branch of the NHGRI has the mission to understand the broad swath of behavioral and social issues in translating genomic discovery for health promotion, disease prevention, and health care improvements. 
We seek candidates whose interests align with the goal of the Unit to investigate the psychological and behavioral processes that underlie potential effects of genomic translation alongside, and in advance of, clinical and practical implementation. This work aims to help optimize communication guidelines and practices in the context of common, complex diseases and conditions (e.g., obesity, diabetes). More information is available here:
The Unit is also the home of the Immersive Virtual Environment Testing Area wherein we use immersive virtual reality tools to conduct experiments investigating an array of psychological and interpersonal processes relevant to applying emerging genomic knowledge in clinical and public health contexts. Virtual reality enables us to anticipate and conduct rigorous social and behavioral research at the leading edge of the field.
Additionally, fellows will be encouraged to work collaboratively with others within the Social and Behavioral Research Branch to foster an interdisciplinary research approach. 


The fellowship is designed for those who have completed their doctoral training within the last 5 years.  Experience in experimental behavioral science research and strong quantitative skills are required. Interest in virtual reality and/or other emerging computing technologies is strongly preferred. While no background in genetics is required, the post-doctoral fellow will be expected to gain understanding of the field of genomics translation.

To Apply:

Initial questions about the fellowship should be addressed to Susan Persky (  The fellowship includes a competitive salary, benefits, and a professional travel stipend. Applicants should send a curriculum vitae, a statement of research interests, and names of three references to Dr. Persky. 
More information about the SBRB can be found at

The NIH is dedicated to building a diverse community in its training and employment programs.