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NIH Neighborhoods and Health Lab

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, Bethesda, MD and surrounding area

Position Description:

The Neighborhoods and Health Lab is seeking a full-time postdoctoral fellow. We invite candidates broadly interested in climate change and health behaviors to share their experience, skills, and ideas. The Neighborhoods and Health Lab – under the direction of Dr. Shannon Zenk – is launching a study investigating the impact of heat exposure on spatial and health behaviors, and the potential for increasing urban heat to exacerbate existing health disparities. Using data from wearable monitors, ecological momentary assessment surveys, and environmental modeling, this project will synthesize multiple streams to further understand the role of heat exposure in within- and between-person variability in spatial and health behaviors. The Fellow will participate in all aspects of the study, including data collection and management, analysis, and dissemination. In addition, in the broader area of environmental and social determinants of health and health disparities, the Fellow will have opportunities to participate in secondary analyses conducted with NIH and external partners, working collaboratively with other Lab personnel to develop and answer innovative research questions.
The Lab’s expertise includes observational and intervention research. It has collected data using observation (e.g., systematic social observation), wearable sensors (e.g., global positioning system tracker, accelerometer), and surveys (e.g., intercept, ecological momentary assessment). In addition, the Lab has expertise in the use of secondary health and environmental data such as electronic medical records, administrative records, and commercial business lists. The Neighborhoods and Health Lab takes an explicitly contextual and spatial approach to health outcomes and behaviors and uses a variety of resources to measure the environment and environmental exposures, including mapping, geographic imputation, and policy analyses. Finally, given the complex and contextual nature of the questions and data with which this lab engages, a variety of analytic and statistical approaches, ranging from econometric to geospatial to simulation, are used. Cross cutting each research project is a strong emphasis on the role of environmental exposures in creating, propagating, or mitigating health disparities.
Postdoctoral fellows in the NIH Intramural Research Program, located in Bethesda, MD, receive support and training with formal programs in grant writing, journal clubs, speaker series, and professional development, although the position’s primary responsibility will be in conducting research as part of the Neighborhoods and Health Lab.


  • Strong interest in minority health, health disparities, and contextual health research
  • Excellent written and oral communication
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively
  • Strong publication record
  • Strong analytic skills
  • Experience with human subjects research a plus
  • Experience with geographic information systems a plus

To Apply:

We invite candidates with doctoral degrees attained within the previous five years in nursing science, public health, epidemiology, psychology, medical sociology, biostatistics, urban planning, kinesiology, economics, geography, meteorology, or related fields to apply by emailing a cover letter outlining research interests and experience, a curriculum vita, and 3 letters of reference to Dr. Kelly Jones at with the email subject heading: Neighborhoods and Health Lab Postdoctoral Fellow Application [applicant last name]. For questions please contact Dr. Kelly Jones at Review of applications will begin immediately upon receipt.

The NIH is dedicated to building a diverse community in its training and employment programs. HHS and NIH are Equal Opportunity Employers.