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Family Networks and Health

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

Position Description:

The Social Network Methods Section within the Social and Behavioral Research Branch of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health is seeking applicants for a postdoctoral position. The mission of the Social and Behavioral Research Branch is to understand the broad swath of behavioral and social issues in translating genomic discovery for health promotion, disease prevention, and health care improvements.
The goals of the Social Network Methods Section include: 1) developing methods that measure and model the complexities of relational systems; 2) using such models to understand the social, psychological and communicative context of families at risk of hereditary and common complex diseases; and 3) translating these findings into effective network-based interventions. Using multi-informant designs, we consider the role of interpersonal mechanisms on health outcomes across the disease career – that is, early on with a focus on health promotion and disease prevention, as well as later, when disease management and informal caregiving are at play. Our ideal candidate will have research interests that align well with these goals.


We are seeking an individual with an interest in family networks and health, with a focus on families affected by inherited conditions. We aim to understand how interpersonal processes are related to communication about risk, preventive health behaviors, disease management and caregiving roles. Our ideal candidate will have expertise in social network methods and analysis and an interest in family systems. Preferred candidates will also have demonstrated skills and experience in quantitative or qualitative research methods.
A doctoral degree in a health science (biology, medicine, nursing, etc.), computational social science (computer science, statistics, etc.), social and behavioral science (psychology, sociology, etc.) or related field (epidemiology, public health, etc.) is required. The fellowship is designed for those who have completed their doctoral training within the last five years.

To Apply: 

Applicants should send a curriculum vitae, a statement of research interests, and names of three references to Dr. Laura Koehly, Senior Investigator (
The NIH is dedicated to building a diverse community in its training and employment programs. Women, minorities and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.