UCSF Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative Postdoctoral Program

Overview: The goal of the UCSF Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative (BHHI) is to provide accurate, timely policy-oriented research to inform appropriate programmatic and policy responses to prevent and end homelessness. Funded by a generous gift from Marc and Lynne Benioff, the BHHI, based at the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations, seeks to become a trusted source for evidence-based practice and policy, turning evidence into action to prevent and end homelessness

The BHHI will use strategic science to derive evidence-based practices and policies to prevent and end homelessness. Strategic science is a way to conduct research that creates a reciprocal relationship between the researchers and those who act upon it—policymakers, practitioners, and those living with homelessness. Those who act upon research (“end users”) play a major role in developing the research agenda. In strategic science, researchers work together with these end-users to identify high priority questions and identify which of these require new research. We will work closely with end-users to develop policy recommendations, seeking opportunities to provide non-partisan, expert opinion to influence policymaking at the local, state and federal levels. We will seek opportunities to communicate our findings broadly, including the peer-reviewed scientific literature as well as non-peer-reviewed sources. 

In this larger effort to prevent and end homelessness, the BHHI has developed a post-doctoral training program to train the next generation of strategic scientists who are empowered to address upstream causes of homelessness. Our projects will rely on diverse research methodologies including quantitative methods, qualitative methods, or mixed methods and utilize a diverse set of research designs including longitudinal, cross-sectional, quasi-experimental, natural experiments, implementation and translational science, and policy evaluation. 

Post-Doctoral Program Description: The UCSF BHHI is seeking highly motivated scholars to join a multidisciplinary team for a 2-year postdoctoral program. This is a full-time position based in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Scholars will work closely with established BHHI faculty to conduct research on projects related to homelessness, and to translate these findings into evidence-based programs and policy solutions. Scholars will be based at the UCSF Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital campus and will have access to resources across the UCSF campuses.  Scholars will be assigned a primary research mentor from within the UCSF faculty but will have the opportunity to work with multiple BHHI faculty. They will be engaged in a structured training program, working with Scholars and faculty from different disciplinary backgrounds. 

Postdoctoral candidates must possess a doctoral degree (PhD, DrPH, or equivalent) in epidemiology, health or public health, urban policy, social work, sociology, anthropology, economics, health services research or a related field. Strong quantitative or qualitative analytical and writing skills are required. This position is for two years and suitable for graduating doctoral students who are looking to gain research experience and further career development in either academic or applied settings. Previous experience in social determinants of health, health and/or racial disparities, and populations at risk for or experiencing homelessness is desirable. Methodological expertise in cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis, qualitative and mixed methods research is highly desirable. Experience in Stata, R, or SAS for quantitative analyses and Atlas.ti., Dedoose or Nvivo for qualitative analyses is required. Fellows will be expected to conduct statistical and/or qualitative research analysis, publish first-authored manuscripts on projects aligned with the primary research topic, present findings at national conferences and disseminate with local partners, and prepare grant applications to establish research independence. In keeping with our goal of training the next generation of strategic scientists, fellows will also be expected to pursue communication opportunities beyond the peer-reviewed literature such as op-eds, policy briefs or white papers. Drs. Maya Vijayaraghavan and Meghan Morris will serve as core mentors and scholars will benefit from mentorship from a rich set of BHHI faculty.  

All application packets must include: 1) a cover letter describing your interests and experience, 2) your CV, 3) one manuscript and/or writing sample (published or unpublished), and 4) names of three references. Screening of applicants will begin immediately and will continue as needed throughout the recruitment period. Applications are due by April 15, 2020, with final decisions to be mailed out in June 2020. The earliest start date is September 1, 2020. Salaries are competitive and will be commensurate with the applicants’ experience and training. Additional funding is available for travel, coursework, presentations, and research expenses.

Applicants may submit their applications in an email entitled “BHHI postdoc application” to Dr. Meghan Morris ([email protected]) and Dr. Maya Vijayaraghavan ([email protected]). Questions about the position can also be directed to Drs. Morris and Vijayaraghavan. 

We welcome applications from Scholars with lived experience of homelessness or substantive engagement with populations that experience homelessness. We have a clear vision where a diverse mix of talented people can do their best work. BHHI’s dedication to promoting diversity, multiculturalism and inclusion is grounded in our goal to prevent and end homelessness. 

The UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations at San Francisco General Hospital carries out innovative research to prevent and treat chronic disease in populations for whom social conditions often conspire to both promote various chronic diseases and make their management more challenging. Founded in 2006, the CVP is located on the campus of San Francisco General Hospital. Beyond the local communities it serves, CVP is nationally and internationally known for its research in health communication and health policy to reduce health disparities, with special expertise in the social determinants of health, including literacy, homelessness, food policy, poverty, and minority status, with a focus on the clinical conditions of pre-diabetes, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

The University of California San Francisco is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.