Institution (Location)
The Pennsylvania State University
Start Date
July 1, 2018
salary and benefits based on those for NIH Postdoctoral Fellow
Position Description

Dr. Jennifer Savage Williams, Assistant Professor of Nutritional Sciences, and colleagues in the Center for Childhood Obesity Research (CCOR, at Penn State are seeking a postdoctoral scholar to join ongoing projects in the areas of childhood obesity prevention, responsive parenting, child eating behavior, community nutrition, and low-income and rural populations. CCOR is a college-wide research center created to catalyze innovative, interdisciplinary research and development of evidence-based interventions to prevent obesity in children. Our mission is to conduct interdisciplinary research that contributes to the evidence base needed to inform successful childhood obesity prevention programs that can then be disseminated to public health and clinical practice audiences. This center combines the research strengths of the College of Health & Human Development, including preventive interventions; attention to biology, behavior, and family relationships; medical and community partnerships; and real time ecological momentary assessment of health via data from sensors, accelerometers, and smartphone technology. The successful candidate will join a dynamic team at CCOR that currently consists of center director Dr. Savage Williams, 1 research faculty member, 3 graduate students, 4 full-time research staff, 3 nutrition educators, an administrative assistant, and a number of undergraduate research assistants. We work closely with a number of other units throughout Penn State including the departments of Nutritional Sciences (, Biobehavioral Health (, Human Development and Family Studies (, and Kinesiology (, the Methodology Center (, the Social Sciences Research Institute (, and the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (, as well as with colleagues at Penn State College of Medicine, and government and community organizations throughout Pennsylvania. The Postdoctoral Scholar will be have the opportunity to be involved in a number of ongoing projects at CCOR, including, but not limited to: a) INSIGHT, an NIH-funded RCT of a responsive parenting intervention to prevent obesity in infancy, which is now following participants into middle childhood; b) SIBSIGHT, an NIH-funded observational study of siblings of INSIGHT participants focused on crossover effects of the INSIGHT intervention as well as the effect of birth order, genetics, and parenting on obesity risk; c) the WEE Baby Care Study, a HRSA-funded trial to evaluate coordination of care between pediatricians and WIC nutritionists to prevent early childhood obesity; 4) development and testing of online educational modules for promotion of responsive feeding behaviors among low-income families; 5) a number of small projects to develop and/or improve delivery of nutrition education through SNAP-Ed. The candidate will also be heavily involved in developing grant proposals for submission to NIH, USDA, and other funding agencies. The initial position is guaranteed for one year with the possibility of extension. Initial duties will consist primarily of data analysis, manuscript preparation, and grant preparation, with ample opportunity for the postdoctoral scholar to pursue first-authored publications fitting with their research interests, and potential opportunities to pursue new projects. Additional duties will include supervision and mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students. The position provides salary and benefits based on those for NIH Postdoctoral Fellow. 

Candidate’s Qualifications (who should apply)

Candidates will have a PhD in nutrition, public health, human development and family studies, psychology, or a related field. We are especially interested in candidates with strong quantitative and analytical skills, with proficiency in SAS preferred. To be considered for the position please submit a cover letter, CV and research statement, along with the names of 3 academic references. The position will remain open until filled, but review will begin June 1, 2018.

How to Apply

Apply online at

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Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. 


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