Postdoctoral Opportunity: COVID-19 County Policies and Health


The Social Policies for Health Equity Research (SPHERE) program at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) seeks a postdoctoral fellow to conduct research on the effects of COVID-19 social and economic policies on health inequities. The COVID-19 pandemic prompted rapid and innovative policymaking around the world at the national, regional, and local levels. Researchers at SPHERE are creating a national database of local COVID-19-related public health and social policies. The U.S. COVID-19 County Policy (UCCP) Database aims to provide a reliable record of what local governments have done in response to the pandemic. The postdoctoral fellow will link the policy database with national health data sets that provide individual-level information on mental health and healthcare utilization to assess how these pandemic-era policies affected these outcomes, particularly health inequities.


Fellows will be expected to conduct statistical analysis using state-of-the-art quasi-experimental techniques, publish first-authored manuscripts on projects aligned with the primary research topic, present findings at national conferences, and prepare grant applications to establish research independence. They will benefit from a strong mentorship team led by principal investigator Dr. Rita Hamad.

Postdoctoral candidates must possess a doctoral degree (PhD, DrPH, or equivalent) in epidemiology, health policy, economics, political science, or a related field. Strong quantitative analytical and writing skills are required, including experience in Stata.  Research experience in social determinants of health, policy evaluation, and racial/socioeconomic disparities is desirable. Methodological expertise in longitudinal analysis and econometric methods (e.g., instrumental variables and difference-in-differences analysis) is also highly desirable. Ideally, the candidate will have experience working with population-level data sets.

This fellowship is suitable for graduating doctoral students seeking research experience and further career development. Salaries are competitive and will be commensurate with the applicant’s experience and training. Additional funding is available for travel, presentations, and research expenses.


Social Policies for Health Equity Research Program, Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, UCSF. There is a chance that the research team may move to Harvard University in July 2023, in which case the postdoc would be located at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston rather than UCSF.


The position will be based at UCSF’s Mission Bay Campus in San Francisco. As noted above, there is a chance that the position will instead be located at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. Office space will be provided. Candidates are expected to work on-site for at least two days a week.  This position also requires the candidate to analyze data at a Federal Statistical Research Data Center, either in Berkeley or Boston.

Duration: Two years

Effort: 100%; Full-time

How to Apply:

To indicate interest in the position, submit a cover letter, CV, one manuscript (published or unpublished), and one sample of statistical code to Dr. Hamad at [email protected]. Questions about the position can also be directed to Dr. Hamad. Screening of applicants will begin immediately and will continue as needed throughout the recruitment period. The earliest start date is September 2023, but we will consider later start dates for competitive candidates.

Equal Employment Opportunity: 

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.