Job Opportunities

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Psychology

Apply Now Job no: 539806
Work type: Research Fellows
Location: San Diego
Categories: Excluded, Faculty - Behavioral Sciences, Temporary, Full Time, Research

Position Summary

The Society, Equity, Stigma, and Health Lab (SESH Lab), directed by Dr. Arjan van der Star, conducts research focused on multilevel, societal systemic mechanisms driving adverse mental health outcomes among sexual and gender minorities, using a wide range of (social) epidemiological methods. The SESH Lab is part of a new collaborative multidisciplinary research center, the Center for the Integration of Public Health and Clinical Psychology in Health Equity Research (CIPHER). This new center is an initiative by its co-directors, Drs. Blashill and Van der Star, aiming to bring together researchers from clinical and population health sciences to advance health equity for marginalized and underserved groups through multidisciplinary epidemiological, clinical, and implementation research. At launch, the center will include Dr. Van der Star’s SESH Lab and Dr. Blashill’s Body Image, Sexuality, and Health Lab (BISH Lab).

This position will be primarily involved in an NIH-funded research project: an epidemiological data harmonization study on the socioecology of sexual minority stigma and sexual minority mental health. This is a two-year position, with opportunities for extension pending availability of funding. Start date is summer/fall 2024. The Postdoctoral Scholar will interact with multidisciplinary research labs, within CIPHER and beyond, focused on LGBTQ+ health, clinical psychology, health behavior, social and psychiatric epidemiology, and intervention development.

Serving as Project Director, the Postdoctoral Research Scholar will oversee day-to-day operations of the research project. This individual will report directly to the PI, Dr. Van der Star. The Scholar will be involved in data management and access, harmonization, construction of structural stigma indices, and data integration and analysis, as well as supervising research assistants, other staff, and IRB/NIH documentation, correspondence, and compliance reports. The Scholar will also lead regular project meetings and work with the Co-Investigators on data management, analysis, and manuscript preparation.

In addition to the role of Project Director, the Scholar will have the opportunity to pursue independent data analysis/manuscripts on multiple existing datasets focused on sexual orientation/gender identity health disparities, more broadly. The Scholar will also have opportunities for mentorship in career development, research methodology, teaching, and grant writing, and will be encouraged to develop their own F, K, or other career development award applications. Structured mentorship will be available from Drs. Blashill and Van der Star across the disciplines of epidemiology, health disparity research, and clinical psychology. The position will be full-time (salaried), with benefits included. The position will be with the San Diego State University, in collaboration with the San Diego State Research Foundation, for a minimum of two years, with the possibility of extension for the full length of the grant (3 years).

This is a full-time (1.0 time-base), benefits eligible, temporary position anticipated to end one year from start date with the opportunity for reappointment for a second year. This position is designated as exempt under FLSA and is not eligible for overtime compensation.

Please email Dr. Arjan van der Star (PI; with any questions regarding this position.

Department Summary

The Department of Psychology, within the College of Sciences, employs over 50 faculty members in various areas of the discipline. The department faculty includes recognized leaders in their fields who have attracted major external funding to the University. In 2023, SDSU psychology department researchers obtained $63.7 million in research funds from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other external sources.

For more information regarding the Department of Psychology, click here.

Education and Experience

  • Doctoral degree in clinical psychology, epidemiology, public health, social and behavioral sciences, or related fields (or close to finishing degree).
  • Training and experience in quantitative research methods, research design, and statistical methods.

Key Qualifications

  • Ability to communicate effectively (both written and verbal), including communication with staff, faculty, students, and research participants, as well as groups.
  • Ability to train and supervise staff and students.
  • Ability to establish and maintain cooperative working relationships and interact effectively with young adults, coworkers, research teams, and administrative staff.
  • Knowledge of manuscript writing, grant proposals, and other grant responsibilities such as summary or progress reports.
  • Ability to prepare conference presentations and make presentations to groups.
  • Ability to mentor undergraduate and postgraduate students and research staff.
  • Ability to understand and follow work procedures.
  • Ability to be well organized, meet deadlines, display detail orientation, and possess good judgment and common sense.
  • Knowledge of sexual orientation/gender identity health disparities.
  • Ability to work with vulnerable, marginalized, and diverse populations including sexual or gender minority individuals.
  • Ability to demonstrate a high level of cross-cultural sensitivity.
  • Relevant research experience (e.g., quantitative research methods and analysis, epidemiological methodologies).
  • Relevant regulatory experience (e.g., institutional research boards, funding agencies, data and quality management systems).
  • Experience using statistical software programs (e.g., SPSS, Stata, R, Mplus).
  • Experience conducting statistical analysis with large databases.
  • Experience with longitudinal research methods and data analysis.
  • Experience in leadership, group coordination, or management.
  • Experience in working with vulnerable, marginalized and diverse populations, including sexual and/or gender minority individuals (preferred).
  • Experience in working in an ethnically, culturally, and racially diverse environment (preferred).
  • Motivated and enthusiastic.
  • Good attention to detail and high standards of accuracy in all aspects of work.
  • A high level of cross-cultural sensitivity.
  • Ability to work independently and within a team, and with a wide range of colleagues.

Compensation and Benefits

Anticipated hiring range: $60,000 - $70,000 annually

Salary placement is determined by the education, experience, and qualifications the candidate brings to the position, internal equity, and the hiring department’s fiscal resources.

San Diego State University offers a rich benefits package that constitutes a major portion of total compensation. For more information regarding SDSU benefits, please click here.

Diversity and Community at SDSU

At SDSU, our diversity gives us power and benefits every single member of our community.

Through our commitment to equity and inclusion, we encourage all members of our community to purposefully learn from one another through open and respectful dialogue and responsible engagement. For more information, click here.

Principles of Community

At San Diego State University, we are a community of diverse individuals who have and represent many perspectives, beliefs, and identities. This diversity lends our community strength, and we commit to creating and sustaining an inclusive and intellectually vibrant environment that benefits all members of our university. 

SDSU’s Principles of Community is an aspirational statement that is intended to evolve over time. The statement reflects the ideals we are encouraged to uphold in our interactions with one another. 

Supplemental Information

Review of the required application materials will be ongoing. The following documents will be required: a current CV, a cover letter describing fit with the position and research/career goals, and a separate document outlining a (high-level) program of research. The position will remain open until filled.

The person holding this position is considered a ‘mandated reporter’ under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment. 

A background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily and is required for employment. SDSU will make a conditional offer of employment, which may be rescinded if the background check reveals disqualifying information, and/or it is discovered that the candidate knowingly withheld or falsified information. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may affect the continued employment of a current SDSU employee who was conditionally offered the position.

SDSU is a smoke-free campus. For more information, please click here.

SDSU is an Equal Opportunity Employer that considers all qualified candidates for employment and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, gender, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, medical condition, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, covered military and veteran status, or any other protected characteristic or status. Reasonable accommodations will be provided for qualified applicants with disabilities who request an accommodation by contacting Rachael Stalmann at

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