Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Health Services/Health Systems Research

Henry Ford Health offers a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship. Aspiring independent researchers are trained broadly in health systems/health services research with a focus on mental health and substance use disorders as well as suicide prevention. Areas of particular interest and training are in clinical interventions, healthcare service delivery, implementation science, and health policy.

Fellows work alongside a primary mentor, while also receiving high-quality training from other scientists within multiple formats. Our Center currently has over 25 NIH, FDA, CDC, and/or philanthropically funded grants in the areas of suicide prevention, prescription opioid use, opioid use disorder treatment, chronic pain management and treatment, SBIRT for alcohol use, tobacco cessation, adolescent alcohol use prevention, suicide etiology, natural language processing, and technology-driven assessment and intervention, among others. We are core members of the NIMH-funded Mental Health Research Network (MHRN), the Health Systems Node of the NIDA Clinical Trials Network, and the Trans-America Consortium of the HCSRN for the NIH Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program. These consortia are part of the larger Health Care Systems Research Network.

In addition to one-on-one mentoring in the fellow’s area of interest, they also receive additional training. With few exceptions, all meetings take place on Academic Thursday, a full day devoted to training workshops, didactics, coursework, and other seminars. Please see our T32 webpage for more information about these seminars.

Grant writing

As the fellowship is primarily focused on developing independent researchers, grant writing will be a major training area. Fellows are expected to develop and submit a foundation or NIH grant by the end of their first year. As such, they are provided with training in all aspects of grantsmanship to make this possible.

Professional Development

We are eager for our trainees to be competitive in the job market, should they choose to pursue employment outside of Henry Ford after graduation. We offer regular seminars on topics related to job negotiation, tailoring your CV to different positions, networking best practices, how to engage stakeholders in research, and how to conduct health system-based research.

Research Competency

This ongoing seminar covers rotating topics that include, but are not limited to, using different research methods (e.g., cluster randomized designs, multi-site randomized trials, case-control designs) to answer different research questions, responding to manuscript and grant reviews, improving writing skills on each manuscript section, and human subjects/ethics.


Tailored meetings allow each fellow to briefly present their current work and receive feedback from all faculty members and other fellows.

Journal Club

Fellows and faculty attend journal club meetings. Meeting topics vary and include critiques of the article, impact on the literature, and development of future directions.

Psychiatry Grand Rounds

The Henry Ford Department of Psychiatry hosts a weekly Grand Rounds lecture series featuring internal, local, national, and international experts presenting on a wide range of mental health and substance use topics. Opportunities also exist for fellows to deliver a Grand Rounds lecture.

Etiology, Prevention, and Treatment of Substance Use Disorders (Odd years)

In this course, fellows are exposed to leading theories on the development and course of substance use disorders. Topics also address leading scholarly activity in substance use prevention and the current evidence base of psychosocial and pharmacological treatment of substance use disorders. A major focus of this seminar is the critique of the literature and development of new research questions.

Etiology, Prevention, and Treatment of Mental Health Disorders (Even years)

This course operates in similar fashion to the seminar on substance use disorders, but with a focus on mental health problems, particularly suicide prevention. Henry Ford is one of the world’s leaders in suicide prevention care and research. As funding for mental health and substance use research spans a vast areas focus, we devote attention to epidemiology, neurobiology, genetics, comorbid conditions, social/environmental influences, health policy, and special populations.

Mentored-Research Experience

Fellows will have the opportunity to participate in ongoing faculty research. Given the breadth of funded studies in our Center, faculty and trainees will work to match the best training experiences with project needs, resulting in fellows serving in various roles on R01-level studies.

Teaching opportunities are also available, as are clinical experiences for those seeking licensure.

Salary and Benefits

Salaries and benefits will be commensurate with NIH’s NRSA stipend levels and include options for medical, dental, and vision insurance for self and dependents, and vacation/personal time. The fellow will have access to funds to conduct their own research, as well as attend scientific meetings and other professional development opportunities.

Application Process

Start date is flexible and varies between June 1 and September 15.

Competitive applicants have extensive research backgrounds; previous grant writing is not required, but highly attractive, while excellent writing skills are imperative. Experience in health care settings and quantitative methods are preferred. Applicants should have a PhD, MD, or other doctoral degree in behavioral or social science (e.g., psychology, social work, public health). Only U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals, green card holders, and permanent U.S. residents may be eligible for post-doctoral roles with HFH. Valid Visa types for Research Fellow Positions are H1B, Non-Clinical J-1, F1 Student Visa (OPT), and a TN for Canadian research trainees.

Interested candidates should send a CV, writing sample, one letter of recommendation, and cover letter/personal statement stating their research interests and career goals to: Brian K. Ahmedani, PhD. Materials are due by November 1, 2023. Individuals from all backgrounds, especially those from historically underrepresented groups, are encouraged to apply. Questions can also be directed to

For more information about Henry Ford’s Center for Health Policy and Health Services Research


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