Postdoctoral Associate in Pharmacoepidemiology – Yale School of Medicine

Posting Date: 

Join the VACS team!

The Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS) team is seeking a Postdoctoral Associate in Pharmacoepidemiology who will be responsible for conducting NIH- and FDA-funded mentored research, focusing primarily, but not exclusively, on deriving real-world evidence on the safety of prescription stimulants among patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and effectiveness of repurposed medications to treat alcohol use disorder in people with and without HIV. More details on the aims and objectives of these grants found below.

The Postdoctoral Associate will join a multi-site, multidisciplinary research team, and be mentored primarily by Dr Christopher Rentsch, PhD, with the opportunity to collaborate with the wider VACS team and external partners through its infrastructure of Cores and Workgroups to acquire experience and knowledge outside of their primarily responsibilities.

The Postdoctoral Associate will be encouraged to articulate research questions of clinical, population health, and mechanistic importance, design research projects, develop detailed analytic plans, perform analyses, interpret results, effectively communicate results orally and in writing, lead and submit results for peer-reviewed publication, and disseminate findings at national and international conferences. 

The ideal candidate will be self-motivated and collaborative, have strong epidemiological skills with some experience using complex, large-scale data (e.g., electronic health records) and a passion for deriving high-quality real-world evidence on medication safety/effectiveness, ideally in the field of addiction.


  • Lead and assist in designing, conducting, and interpreting epidemiological and pharmacoepidemiological research
  • Extract and clean very large sources of electronic health records and other routinely-collected data
  • Lead and assist with the preparation of abstracts and presentations at national and international scientific meetings and manuscripts for publication, including as lead author 
  • Manage elements of larger grants, ensuring compliance with good practice in relation to the conduct of research, and institutional ethics policies
  • Undertake high quality research and scholarship, including contributing to drafting major grant proposals and/or leading on drafting smaller grant proposals
  • Other duties and responsibilities as assigned or directed by the supervisors, including, but not limited to, travel and attendance of and participation in training and data access activities required for this role

Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Experience of performing epidemiological or statistical analyses
  • Experience extracting and/or analyzing large-scale health datasets, including those derived from electronic health records or other routinely-collected data
  • Previous contributions to written output, preferably peer-reviewed
  • Proven ability to work independently, as well as collaboratively as part of a research team, and proven ability to meet research deadlines
  • Evidence of excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing
  • Evidence of good organizational skills, including effective time management
  • Proficiency in SAS, SQL, or other programming languages

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • 1-2 years prior post-doctoral experience are preferred but not required
  • Some experience of contributing to research grant applications
  • Some experience using propensity score approaches, including propensity score matching and/or inverse probability of treatment weighting
  • Some knowledge of addiction treatment
  • A strong interest and willingness to learn these preferred skills will be reviewed favorably 

This position is jointly funded by NIH and FDA grants and available for a full time (100% FTE) one-year appointment with the possibility of extension upon mutual agreement and availability of funds. Candidates interested in this opportunity are invited to email Dr Christopher Rentsch ( with questions, or to apply, with a single PDF including:

  1. Cover letter of up to 2 pages detailing previous research experience, interests, and career goals
  2. Names and contact information of 2-3 academic references
  3. CV

About the projects

FDA funding

The overall aim of this grant is to elucidate current patterns of prescription stimulant receipt and improve our understanding of potential harms associated with these medications. To achieve this aim, these analyses will: 1) characterize patterns of and identify factors associated with receipt of prescription stimulant medication; 2) develop and validate the accuracy of algorithms used to identify patients with ADHD, a key indication of prescription stimulant use, in electronic health record data, and stimulant use disorder codes; and 3) among patients with ADHD, to examine the association between receipt of prescription stimulants and incident addiction, cardiovascular-related health outcomes, and neuropsychiatric outcomes.

NIH funding

The overall aim of this grant is to investigate potential repurposing of medications for alcohol use disorders to provide health benefits in people living with HIV. These analyses will assess whether each medication under investigation is associated with: 1) improvements in direct HIV-related biomarkers, i.e. decrease in HIV RNA levels and/or increase in CD4 count, 2) improved retention on ART, 3) improvement in liver function as measured by clinically relevant biomarkers of liver damage and function; 4) improvement in physical health and physiological frailty; and 5) reduction in pain level.

About VACS

The Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS) is a well-established, international, collaborative network of epidemiological, statistical, and clinical experts, with an exceptional track record of productivity and development of early career researchers, many of whom have transitioned to independent NIH and VA funding. The team are excited to offer this opportunity to develop and apply advanced epidemiologic and statistical methods on large, complex, national cohorts derived from electronic health records (EHR) at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Over the past 25 years, the VACS team have curated and maintained several well-characterized cohorts based on VA data made possible by the national

VA Corporate Data Warehouse. The Warehouse provides access to all VA EHR data, including hospital and outpatient diagnoses (recorded using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision [ICD-9] and Tenth Revision [ICD-10] codes), pharmacy data (i.e., dispensed outpatient and inpatient prescriptions), and laboratory results as well as clinical notes, vital signs (including weight and height), and health factors data (level of alcohol use collected via the AUDIT-C and smoking).

Yale University is an affirmative Acton/Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes applications from women, persons with disabilities, protected Veterans and member of minority groups. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Job Type: 
Academic Jobs - Yale
Posting Date Field: 
Monday, March 4, 2024