University of Pennsylvania

Job Description
The Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families and Health (MLSFH) at the University of Pennsylvania seeks applicants for a postdoctoral researcher to support a new NIA-funded 5-year project on Adversity, Aging and ADRD Risk: A Biosocial Approach (

This novel global aging project supplements a quarter-century of social and contextual MLSFH data with additional longitudinal measures of cognition and epigenomic data (N=3,500) to investigate critical factors contributing to accelerated biological aging in an LIC population with extensive lifecourse adversities, analyze the relationship between social adversities, epigenetic biomarkers and cognitive function, and evaluate the biosocial determinants of ADRD risk.

The postdoc will work closely with Hans-Peter Kohler, Lauren Schmitz, Iliana V. Kohler and other members of the MLSFH team at the University of Pennsylvania and the MLSFH collaborating partners in Malawi.

The postdoctoral scholar will have the opportunity to engage in this innovative MLSFH project from its inception, thereby allowing them to build experience in study design and data collection. Through this project, the postdoctoral fellow will gain access to newly collected and novel global aging data that provide exceptional research opportunities and facilitate long-term career building.

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Responsibilities include:

  • Analyses of existing MLSFH data on global aging, cognition and ADRD risk, including the biosocial and life-course determinants of accelerated aging
  • Contributions to the development of study instruments and/or study protocols for upcoming MLSFH survey and biomarker data collections
  • Contribution to the implementation of innovative biosocial data collections in Malawi, including travel to Malawi
  • Data management during data collections and/or analyses
  • Collaboration with a multidisciplinary and international research team in the analyses of 25+ years of novel data generated by this project, which will provide the first evaluation of contributors to accelerated biological aging in a low-income country context
  • Dissemination of research findings at scientific conferences and stake-holder meetings
  • Provide technical and written assistance on grants for NIH and other external funding
  • Ph.D. in economics, demography, sociology, epidemiology and/or related fields
  • Interest in global health and aging, lifecourse analyses, and biosocial studies of health and aging
  • Skilled in quantitative data collection and/or methods and econometric/statistical analysis
  • Experience in the development of survey instruments with a focus on health outcomes and their determinants.
  • Excellent English verbal and written skills
    • Strong organizational skills and ability to establish priorities to meet deadlines
  • Ability to work in a multidisciplinary setting with an international research team
  • Ability to travel internationally for a extended periods (2-3 months)

Application information

Applications and letters of recommendations can be submitted via Interfolio

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement
The University of Pennsylvania values diversity and seeks talented students, faculty, and staff from diverse backgrounds. The University of Pennsylvania is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. Candidates are considered for employment without regard to race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class. Questions or concerns about this should be directed to the Executive Director of the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs (, University of Pennsylvania, 421 Franklin Building, 3451 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6205; or (215) 898-6993 (Voice) or (215) 898-7803 (TDD).

How to Apply
Applications and letters of recommendations can be submitted via Interfolio

Expiration date

Iliana Kohler


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