Postdoctoral Training Opportunity in Translational and Community-Engaged Scholarship to Improve Community Living and Participation of People with Disabilities

Postdoctoral Training Opportunity in Translational and Community-Engaged Scholarship to Improve Community Living and Participation of People with Disabilities

Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Illinois at Chicago Postdoctoral Research Associate

The Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is inviting applications from qualified candidates in any relevant discipline for postdoctoral research training experiences in research to improve community living and participation outcomes for persons with disabilities. This interdisciplinary postdoctoral program emphasizes preparing scholars to conduct research that has real world impact (i.e., guiding and changing services, programs, organizations and policies that affect persons with disabilities).

The training program includes: a) didactic preparation, b) close mentoring by highly qualified researchers, c) immersion in ongoing research, and d) field placement in carefully selected programs or organizations partnering with researchers on research projects that promote translational and community-engaged scholarship. Trainees undergo a closely-supervised training process with a range of opportunities for developing their own research program, didactic and experiential training, and with common expected milestones. Each trainee’s program will be individually designed to assure that the trainee has access to the most rigorous and relevant concepts and research methodologies for his/her chosen focus for studying needs, services, and outcomes.

Applicants must have received their doctoral degree (e.g., PhD, ScD)by the time of hire and within the past 3 years. The length of the training program is one year with potential for extending to two years. UIC offers a competitive salary and benefits to eligible employees including health, dental and vision insurance, and paid holiday and leave time. In addition, eligible employees will receive a small travel budget as well as tuition support for any courses taken at UIC.

For potential postdoctoral fellows interested in studying with Dr. Joy Hammel, Professor in Disability Studies and Occupational Therapy, her scholarship and funded research portfolio focuses on participatory action research in close collaboration and partnership with disability and aging communities. Projects focus on 1) consumer-directed assessment of participation and environmental barriers and supports to full participation; 2) participation-focused intervention research with people who have had a stroke, and with people with long term disabilities who are trying to transition out of public nursing homes and institutions to least restrictive community living; 3) large scale, population level participation disparities research to document home, community participation, and work/economic disparities and promising practices 25 years post the Americans with Disabilities Act at the national, state and city levels; and 4) systems change and policy analysis research to ensure and enforce civil rights and to increase participation opportunities for people with disabilities as citizens and as a social group.


Postdoctoral fellows can also work with Dr. Susan Magasi. Her research focus is healthcare equity among people with disabilities. She works closely with the disability community to develop a peer-to-peer interventions that break down barriers to health and cancer care.
Two on-going research studies are: OP-ENS (Our Peers
Empowerment and Navigational Support) - a peer health navigator program for people with disabilities (funded by a Rehabilitation Research Training Center Grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, Disability and Rehabilitation Research) and We-CanConnect - an accessible peer support app-based intervention for people with disabilities and cancer (funded by the National Cancer Institute as part of the Chicago Cancer Health Equity Collaborative). Both projects offer excellent opportunities for related independent and collaborative scholarship.

Applicants should submit a curriculum vita and contact information for three professional references. Copies of relevant publications and a letter including a brief statement of research experience and research goals must be provided for full consideration. For fullest consideration, please submit application by January 15th 2015. Applications will continue to be accepted until the position is filled.

Please send application to Matrice Truevillian at For inquiries about this postdoctoral training opportunity contact Dr. Yolanda Suarez-Balcazar at

The University of Illinois at Chicago is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

The University of Illinois may conduct background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. Background checks will be performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.