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Biosocial Postdoctoral Training Program

The Biosocial Training Program produces integrative scientists who understand the complexity of factors that influence life course health and wellbeing. Training integrates approaches from the social and biological/health sciences that together address the complexity of causal factors that influence health and health disparities across the life course.

Scholars engage in independent and supervised work in close collaboration with interdisciplinary faculty mentors, take courses to further their professional goals, and receive training design to prepare them to work across disciplines and lead the next generation of population health researchers.

Directors and Mentors

Program Directors

Robert Hummer

Robert Hummer


Allison Aiello

Allison Aiello


Program Faculty

Full NameEmail AddressDepartment
Allison Aielloaaiello@email.unc.eduEpidemiology
Amanda Thompsonalthomps@email.unc.eduAnthropology
Andrew Olshanandy_olshan@unc.eduEpidemiology
Audrey Pettiforapettif@email.unc.eduEpidemiology
Barbara Entwisleentwisle@unc.eduSociology
Barry Popkinpopkin@unc.eduNutrition
Carolyn Halperncarolyn_halpern@unc.eduMaternal & Child Health
Chantel Martinmartchan@email.unc.eduEpidemiology
Chirayath Suchindransuchi@bios.unc.eduBiostatistics
Christy Averychristy_avery@unc.eduEpidemiology
Claire Yangyangy@unc.eduSociology
Clare Barringtoncbarring@email.unc.eduHealth Behavior
Dan Belskydaniel.belsky@duke.eduPopulation Health Sciences
Donna Gilleskiedonna_gilleskie@unc.eduEconomics
Duncan Thomasdthomas@econ.duke.eduEconomics and Public Policy
Elizabeth Frankenbergelizf@email.unc.eduSociology
Eric Whitseleric_whitsel@med.unc.eduEpidemiology
Guang Guoguang_guo@unc.eduSociology
James Moodyjmoody77@soc.duke.eduSociology
Jenny Tungjenny.tung@duke.eduEvolutionary Anthropology
Joanna Maselkojmaselko@email.unc.eduEpidemiology
Jon Husseyjon_hussey@unc.eduMaternal & Child Health
Karen Mohlkekaren_mohlke@med.unc.eduGenetics
Kari Northkari_north@unc.eduEpidemiology
Katherine Weisshaarweisshaar@unc.eduSociology
Kathleen Mullan Harriskathie_harris@unc.eduSociology
Kenneth Bollenbollen@unc.eduPsychology & Neuroscience; Sociology
Krista Perreirakrista_perreira@med.unc.eduSocial Medicine
Liana Richardsonliana_richardson@unc.eduSociology
Linda Adairlinda_adair@unc.eduNutrition
Lisa Keisterlkeister@soc.duke.eduSociology
Michael Emchemch@unc.eduGeography
Penny Gordon-Larsenpglarsen@unc.eduNutrition
Rebecca Fryrfry@unc.eduEnvironmental Sciences & Engineering
Robert Hummerrhummer@email.unc.eduSociology
S. Philip Morganpmorgan@unc.eduSociology
Stephanie EngelStephanie.Engel@unc.eduEpidemiology
Steven Meshnickmeshnick@email.unc.eduEpidemiology and Microbiology & Immunology
Whitney Robinsonwhitney_robinson@unc.eduEpidemiology

Program Requirements

Postdoctoral scholars are expected to be in the program for 2-3 years and complete 19 hours of coursework designed to complement their professional and research interests.


Incoming postdoctoral scholars assemble a team of two co-mentors. At least one of the mentors must be from a discipline that is different from the pre-doctoral home department.

The team will meet regularly to review progress in meeting goals, offer recommendations about new activities and opportunities, and to provide professional guidance as the postdoctoral scholar prepares grant and job applications.

Research Rotation Opportunity at Duke

In collaboration with Duke University’s Social Science Research Institute, postdoctoral scholars have the option to complete a rotation with the Triangle Working Group on the Social and Biological Determinants of Health. This working group is composed of Triangle-area social scientists and biologists with shared interests in biosocial processes that influence development and aging across the life course. Potential projects include investigation of socially sensitive biomarkers of aging and the effects of social relationships on morbidity/mortality, in a cross-species comparative context.

Interdisciplinary Professionalization Seminar

This one-credit course provides trainees with a context and forum to advance their understanding of the scientific challenges, ethical issues, and professional activities associated with conducting interdisciplinary biosocial research. The course meets once per week for one hour.

CPC Interdisciplinary Research Seminars

Postdoctoral scholars are strongly encouraged to attend the CPC Interdisciplinary Research Seminar on a regular basis. The CPC Interdisciplinary Research Seminar highlights speakers who are conducting cutting-edge research, some of whom are leading biosocial researchers.

Symposium on Biosocial Approaches to Population Health Across the Life Course Health

All scholars are required to submit an abstract and present their work at the annual UNC Symposium on Biosocial Approaches to Population Health, which is . This symposium includes oral and poster presentations, and a lunch presentation by a leading junior researcher.

IAPHS Attendance

All scholars are required to submit abstracts to interdisciplinary and gap discipline national conferences As part of this requirement, Biosocial trainees attend the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Sciences (IAPHS), a annual meeting for researchers using integrative approaches in population health.

Responsible Conduct in Research Training

As part of the training required for all UNC faculty, staff, and students who are engaged in the planning, conduct, or analysis of research involving human subjects, trainees must also obtain certification through the Collaborative IRB Training Initiative (CITI).

In addition to the CITI certification and one-on-one individual ethics mentoring, our trainees are also required to attend a minimum of four different approved sessions on research ethics each appointment year. Following the guiding principles established by NIH, these RCR opportunities must focus on the topics of conflict of interest; policies regarding human subjects; the mentor/mentee relationship; collaborative research; peer review; data acquisition and security; data sharing; research misconduct; authorship; conflicts of interest; and other contemporary challenges in social and biomedical research.


Postdoctoral trainees must complete their PhD degree by the time their postdoctoral training begins. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Applicants should clearly state where they are in the dissertation writing process; the applicant’s advisor should provide supporting evidence that the applicant will complete the PhD in time to be eligible for this program. Scholars from any academic program are eligible to apply.

Positions requires successful applicants to be US citizens or permanent residents at the time of appointment.

Stipend and Benefits

Scholars will be supported by fellowship funds from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Traineeship awards are made on a 12-month basis.

We cannot provide relocation expenses.

Supplemental Compensation Policy

Funded postdoctoral scholars are expected to have a full-time commitment to their research and training program.  Extramural activities resulting in supplemental compensation are allowed only when the activities result in a career building benefit, or in the case of a departmental requirement.  Income producing activities, with income enhancement as the primary motivation, are not allowed.

All requests to engage in work resulting in financial compensation are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and must be made in writing and approved by the Program Directors prior to beginning any work. All requests must be approved and endorsed by your faculty preceptors. Please contact Training Manager Abigail Haydon ( for information regarding the guidelines that must be followed for consideration of such requests.

How to Apply

We are currently accepting applications for a T32-funded postdoctoral scholar. Applications are due April 30, 2021. This application requires two separate submissions:

  • An application submitted through the posting on UNC Chapel Hill Careers website
  • Supplementary application materials submitted here


Robert Hummer

Robert Hummer

Allison Aiello

Allison Aiello