The National Center for Health Statistics Postdoctoral Research Program
The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) is a unique public resource for health information. As the Nation’s principal health statistics agency, NCHS provides the information needed to develop the programs and policies that will improve the health of the American people. NCHS’s mission is to monitor American’s health, and our activities mirror the multifaceted aspects of health and health care.
The objective of the NCHS Postdoctoral Research Program is to provide opportunities for postdoctoral candidates of unusual promise and ability to conduct research in problems of their choosing that are compatible with the interests of NCHS.
General areas of interest for research at NCHS include statistical theory, survey methodology, statistical computing, economics, demography, and social and behavioral science. Refer to the Suggested Research Areas section.
Conditions of Postdoctoral Research Appointments
- A Postdoctoral Researcher is a temporary resident employee of NCHS (Title 42, Subchapter E, Part 61 and Title 5, Part 213.3101R, Excepted Appointment). Postdoctoral Researchers are analogous to fellows or similar temporary researchers at the postdoctoral level in universities and other organizations. Postdoctoral Research positions are not intended to be or to compete with permanent professional career positions.
- No commitment on the part of a Postdoctoral Researcher or NCHS with regard to later employment is implied or should be inferred by the offer or acceptance of an award as a Postdoctoral Researcher.
- Postdoctoral Researchers must devote their full-time effort to the research program and must be in residence at NCHS during the program. No period of tenure may be spent in residence at another agency or institution. No additional monetary aid or other remuneration may be accepted from another appointment, fellowship, or similar grant during the period of the program.
Eligibility and Consideration
- This opportunity at NCHS is open to citizens of the United States or legal permanent residency with a work authorization. Applicants are responsible for obtaining the necessary authorization. Permanent residency status does not qualify as citizenship.
- Postdoctoral Research positions are awarded only to persons who have held doctorates for less than 3 years or are in the process of receiving doctorate degrees at the time of application.
- Qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, creed, color, age, sex, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation.
Awardees are offered 2-year appointments, but extensions are possible with special consideration. An evaluation is conducted after 1 year to ensure that the Postdoctoral Researcher is making suitable progress.
Education and Experience
- Awardees must hold the Ph.D. or other earned research degree recognized in the United States as equivalent to the Ph.D. or must present acceptable evidence of having completed all the formal academic requirements for the degree before appointment. Applicants must have demonstrated ability for creative research.
- An applicant’s training and research experience may be in any appropriate discipline or combination of disciplines required for the proposed research.
Statement of Research Interest
- Each applicant must submit a statement of research interest describing the project to be completed during the postdoctoral appointment. The proposal should describe the purpose and context of the research project, the research approach and methods to be used, key activities to be undertaken during the fellowship period, and the expected contributions of the proposed research. (Applications are accepted throughout the year until positions are filled, however, preference will be given to those who apply by March 15, 2013.)
- Proposals should not exceed five pages in length.
- Applicants are encouraged to contact NCHS to obtain specific information on current research and available technical facilities and to speak to NCHS researchers working in the specific area of interest.
The Panel Review
- The Office of Management and Operations, NCHS, receives all application materials and supporting documents.
- The evaluation of Postdoctoral Research proposals will be conducted annually in March or April by a special panel convened for this purpose. Panelists are chosen to review applications on the basis of their stature and research experience in relevant fields of statistics, mathematics, computer science, statistical computing, economics, sociology, demography, social science research, and psychology. Their evaluation is the basis for NCHS selections.
- Proposals will be evaluated with respect to the following criteria:
- The project's relevance to NCHS's mission and contribution to the field: Proposals should clearly articulate the overall purpose of the project, its relationship to NCHS's mission, and the overall scientific or policy contributions of the proposed work.
- The strength of the approach, design, and methodology: Proposals should clearly describe the analytic approach to be used as well as how the approach will address research questions of interest.
- The feasibility of the project: Proposals will be evaluated in terms of their substantive and methodological feasibility. Applicants should demonstrate sufficient knowledge of data systems proposed for use in the project to demonstrate feasibility. Proposals will also be assessed with respect to the feasibility of completion of key activities within the proposed timeframe.
- The applicant's personal and professional qualifications: Applicants will be assessed with respect to their academic achievements, scientific and programmatic accomplishments, and other professional accomplishments.
Salary and Benefits
- For the 2013 program year, the annual starting salary for a NCHS Postdoctoral Researcher is $74,872–$115,742 (equivalent to GS-12/13), with adjustments depending on qualifications and experience.
- Sick leave, annual leave, Thrift Savings 401(k)-equivalent), and health and life insurance are available.
- FlexiTime or an Alternate Work Schedule is available with supervisor’s approval.
- NCHS is located in Hyattsville, Maryland. The option of free onsite parking or a public transportation subsidy is available. The local subway station is within walking distance.
Initiation of Tenure
NCHS will offer a limited number of awards annually. The date on which an appointment would begin is negotiable on an individual basis but is expected to occur between June 1 and December 31.
Cost of relocation to the Washington, D.C. area, within allowances prescribed by law, will be determined on an individual basis.
Applications will be accepted throughout the year until positions are filled.
Notification of Awards
Notification of awards will be made beginning in mid-April.
Application Materials and Supporting Documents
Submit the following to the address below:
- A curriculum vitae
- Official transcripts of all graduate and undergraduate credits
- Three reference letters
- Statement of research interest
- Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
Office of Management and Operations
National Center for Health Statistics
3311 Toledo Road, Room 5117
Hyattsville, MD 20782
Fax: (301) 458-4018
Suggested Research Areas
- Confidentiality protection and related topics
- Data linkage
- Quality control, quality improvement, and its measurement
- Adjustment for nonresponse in sample surveys
- Telephone survey methods
- Data collection in a changing health care system
- Small-area estimation
- Cognitive processes and question response
- Data editing and imputation
- Statistical computing
- Sampling and estimation
- Questionnaire design and measurement research
- Human factors and usability research
- Data mining