University of British Columbia, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

The application deadline for this job posting has passed. Although you can still view the information no new applications for this job are currently being accepted.
Reference: JOB36817
Application deadline: CLOSED

RANK:   Postdoctoral Research Fellow
FACULTY:  Faculty of Medicine
DEPARTMENT:  School of Population and Public Health
SALARY:   $50,000 annual
DURATION:   One year with possibility of extension
LOCATION:  UBC, Point Grey Campus


JOB/ POSITION SUMMARY: The position is in the School of Population and Public Health’s Health and Community Design Lab, which is in the Faculty of Medicine at the Vancouver Campus of the University of British Columbia. The incumbent will work with Dr. Lawrence Frank on a recently funded research project titled “Investigating Associations between Built Environment Characteristics, Health Care Utilization Patterns, and Costs in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland”. This study seeks to fill a critical gap by examining the relationships between the built environment and health expenditures among residents of British Columbia, while building a foundation for similar future analyses across Canada. The study will leverage data collected through three databases: 1) The BC Generations Project dataset; 2) Health care utilization costs data; and 3) a built environment measures database incorporating walkability, bikeability and regional accessibility data.

ORGANIZATION STATUS: Housed within the Faculty of Medicine, the School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) is an innovative unit that encompasses many of the health-related groupings at UBC as a collaborative venture. The School is structured around seven thematic areas: Social and Lifecourse Determinants of Health; Occupational and Environmental Health; Global and Indigenous Health; Health Care Services and Systems; Public Health and Emerging Threats; Epidemiology and Biostatistics; and Maternal-Child Health. The resulting mix of professions and disciplines is seen as a means of connecting individuals and learners to galvanize the relationship between health research, public health and health services and to enhance learning. Operating within the School of Population and Public Health, the Health and Community Design Lab is focused on the links between the built environment, travel behaviour, and health. The Postdoctoral Research Fellow will report to Dr. Lawrence Frank, Director of the Health and Community Design Lab, on all research, management and administrative matters.

WORK PERFORMED: The primary activities of the Postdoctoral Research Fellow include:

  • to coordinate with Statistics Canada and Population Data BC to gain access to data
  • to integrate study databases and develop a database of individuals
  • to conduct initial analyses using a variety of statistical methods including linear and logistic regression
  • to support the preparation of research reports

SUPERVISION RECEIVED: Reports to Dr. Lawrence Frank, Director of the Health and Community Design Lab. Work will be reviewed for soundness of approach, analysis, and report preparation by the Director. The Postdoctoral Research Fellow will also receive day-to-day supervision and support from Dr. Josh van Loon, Research Associate in the Lab.

SUPERVISION GIVEN: Minimal supervisory responsibilities


  • Completion of a PhD in a relevant discipline (environmental health, epidemiology, health promotion, urban planning, geography, or a related field)


  • Strong understanding of, and proven experience using, advanced statistical and empirical analysis methods (particularly with linear and logistic regression; experience with structural equation modeling would be an asset), as well as proficiency with related software (SPSS, R or SAS).
  • Writing scientific manuscripts in the field of environmental health, epidemiology, health promotion, urban planning, geography, or a related area
  • Previous experience acquiring and/or working with data from Statistics Canada and/or Population Data BC is an asset



  • Sound theoretical and practical understanding of the linkages between the built environment and travel behavior, including relationships with secondary outcomes such as physical activity, obesity, air pollution, and access to food.
  • Strong analytical skills are desired.
  • Excellent communication skills, including strong writing, research and interpersonal skills.

CONSEQUENCE OF ERROR/JUDGEMENT: Errors made could influence the ability of the research team to meet critical deadlines, as well as compromise the results of research project, and therefore impact the credibility of the Principal Investigator. Poor decisions may be damaging to the reputation of the Principal Investigator, the Department, and the University and could lead to incorrect or inappropriate policy recommendations being made.

UBC hires on the basis of merit and is committed to employment equity. All qualified persons are encouraged to apply. UBC is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes application from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas. Canadians and permanent residents of Canada will be given priority.

Please follow this link to our Careers page where you can submit your application by 18/07, 2014.

While we greatly appreciate all the replies we receive, regretfully only those selected for an interview will be contacted.