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Post Doctoral Scholar, Microbiome and Health/Developmental Psychology

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Job ID: 18852

Updated: September 3, 2019

Location: Main Campus

Position Description

Area: Faculty of Arts, Department of Psychology and Cumming School of Medicine, Community Health Sciences and Department of Pediatrics 

Duration:One year; renewable for an additional year

Start Date: October 2019

Salary:$55,000/year plus Plan C health benefits through Alberta Blue Cross

The Department of Community Health Sciences and Pediatrics in the Cumming School of Medicine and the Department of Psychology in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Calgary is accepting applications for a Postdoctoral Scholar in the area of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD).

Job Description:

Our team is recruiting a scholar to become part of an active and innovative research program that is elucidating the links between gut microbiota, mental health, neurodevelopment, and health behaviors (sleep, diet, exercise) in children. The scholar’s work will help to identify novel and actionable intervention targets to optimize neurodevelopmental and mental health outcomes in children and adolescents. 

The source data for the scholar’s work will be an ongoing cohort study (PI Giesbrecht) that has been funded until 2025 by grants from CIHR. This study has prospectively followed a cohort of 450 women and their offspring beginning from early pregnancy and currently through to child age 6. We have collected biological samples and questionnaire data to accurately document participants' physiological and psychological experiences of stress and mental health. In our most recent data collection at 4 years of age, we conducted comprehensive neurocognitive assessments, collected stress biomarkers, and health behavior data from 389 preschool children. The scholar will have immediate access to this data to address questions about the influence of the role of gut microbiota in child development outcomes. We will train the scholar in assessment and analysis of health behaviors, an area of neglected research in relation to the microbiome. These training opportunities will position the scholar with unique interdisciplinary research expertise to launch the next phase of their academic career.


  •     Applicants must hold a PhD and have experience working with gut microbiota data
  •     Desired qualifications also include experience with (or training in) experimental and longitudinal research design and analysis
  •     Applicants are required to have demonstrated capacity to work effectively in a collaborative and interdisciplinary environment.
  •     Fellows are expected to engage in full-time research activities and actively engage in the University of Calgary’s professional development program as opportunities are being offered.
  •     The successful scholar will be strongly encouraged to apply for national/international awards.

Application Details:

The postdoctoral scholar will be co-supervised by Drs. Giesbrecht and Tomfohr-Madsen. For additional information about ours labs and ongoing work please visit and

To apply, please contact Dr. Gerry Giesbrecht ( and/or Dr. Tomfohr-Madsen ( directly.

Application deadline is October 2019

Our research group is committed to enhancing and supporting equity, diversity and inclusion. Applicants from diverse backgrounds, including age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, language, national origin, race, religion, culture, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status, are encouraged to apply. Our commitment is demonstrated in our academic work, clinical training, and research.


Additional Information

To learn more about postdoctoral scholar opportunities at the University of Calgary and all we have to offer, view our Postdoc Careers website. For more information about the Faculty of Arts visit Careers in the Faculty of Arts  or information about the Cumming School of Medicine visit Careers in the Cumming School of Medicine

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit

To succeed as one of Canada’s top universities, where new ideas are created, tested and applied through first-class teaching and research, the University of Calgary needs more of the best minds in our classrooms and labs. We’re increasing our scholarly capacity by investing in people who want to change the world, bringing the best and brightest to Calgary to form a global intellectual hub and achieve advances that matter to everyone.

About Calgary, Alberta

Calgary is one of the world's cleanest cities and has been named one of the world's most livable cities for years. Calgary is a city of leaders – in business, community, philanthropy and volunteerism. Calgarians benefit from the strongest economy in the nation and enjoy more days of sunshine per year than any other major Canadian city. Calgary is less than an hour’s drive from the Rocky Mountains and boasts the most extensive urban pathway and bikeway network in North America.

The University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their professional success while they are here. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.


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