Postdoctoral, research staff or GSRA position modeling social inequity in infectious disease dynamics at the University of Michigan


Jon Zelner


March 13, 2023


The EpiBayes research group, led by Dr. Jon Zelner in the Dept. of Epidemiology and Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health (CSEPH) at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, seeks one or more postdoctoral fellows, research staff members, and/or Graduate Student Research Assistants to work with us on a new, interdisciplinary, NIH-funded project focused on developing new ways of modeling infectious disease dynamics which account for the joint social and biological drivers of infection inequality.

Please contact Jon Zelner ([email protected]) with any inquiries related to this position. If you ae interested in applying, please include a brief CV and a short description of your research interests and experiences.

Position Description

The overarching goal of this position will be to advance the use of mathematical and statistical models of infectious disease transmission as tools for anticipating and addressing socioeconomic and geographic inequalities in infectious disease morbidity and mortality, with a particular focus on the impact of these factors on minoritized and marginalized groups (e.g. race/ethnic, sex/gender minority groups as well as others with stigmatized identities). This requires an individual who is methodologically and theoretically adventurous, committed to health justice, and who is excited to stake out new terrain in the world of infectious disease epidemiology and social epidemiology.

Graduate students interested in this position should be committed to completing dissertation research using data resources from this project.

Topic Areas

Potential projects include (but are not limited to):

  • Development of theoretical models of the social dynamics of infectious disease transmission.

  • Spatial statistical models fit to complex spatiotemporal datasets, and other opportunities.

  • Projects will have a primary focus on respiratory infections including SARS-CoV-2 and seasonal and pandemic influenza, but other infectious disease systems characterized by significant socioeconomic inequality are also potential foci.

Research and Mentorship Team

The individual who fills this position will work directly with Dr. Zelner as well as key collaborators on the project at the University of Michigan School of Public Health including Dr. Marisa Eisenberg, Dr. Emily Martin, and Dr. Abram Wagner. This individual will also work with project partners Dr. Nigel Paneth at Michigan State University, Dr. Sanyu Mojola at Princeton University and Dr. Merlin Chowkwanyun at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

Please contact Jon Zelner ([email protected]) with any inquiries related to this position.


  • Conduct collaborative research on the social determinants of inequity in infectious disease risks.
  • Develop novel quantitative models of infectious disease transmission that account for structural drivers of infection inequity.
  • Publication of peer-reviewed manuscripts.
  • Engagement with government and community stakeholders and partners.
  • Presentation of research at local, national and international conferences and meetings.

Required Qualifications

  • Candidates for a postdoctoral or research staff position must hold a PhD in epidemiology, statistics, ecology, social science or related field at the time of appointment. GSRA candidates should be enrolled full-time in a PhD program in a relevant field at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

  • A long-term career interest in the social epidemiology of infectious disease, with a focus on some combination of infectious disease transmission modeling, spatial analysis, and Bayesian hierarchical modeling is essential.

Additional Information

  • This position is expected to be primarily in-person at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. However, flexibility around working hours, location, and travel for personal and professional reasons are core values of our research group.

  • This position can be filled immediately, but the start date is flexible.

  • The initial term of this position will be for two years, with the possibility of extension depending on funding availability and performance.

  • Michigan Public Health is seeking a dynamic staff member with a commitment to contributing to a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment for all members of our community.