Job Information

University of Utah Psychiatry, suicide research in Salt Lake City, Utah


Open Date

Requisition Number PRN26622B

Job Title Post Doc Res Assoc

Working Title Psychiatry, suicide research

Job Grade A00

FLSA Code Administrative

Patient Sensitive Job Code? No

Standard Hours per Week 40

Full Time or Part Time? Full Time

Shift Day

Work Schedule Summary

VP Area U of U Health - Academics

Department 00250 - Psychiatry

Location Campus

City Salt Lake City, UT

Type of Recruitment External Posting

Pay Rate Range $60,000

Close Date

Open Until Filled No

Job Summary


The University of Utah has become a world leader in the study of risk factors leading to suicide death. Our highly collaborative, interdisciplinary team of researchers is embedded in the new Huntsman Mental Health Institute ( HMHI ). The HMHI is committed to excellence in research, clinical care, and education.


Minimum Qualifications


The Utah Suicide Genetic Research Study (PI: Hilary Coon, PhD) is seeking a postdoctoral fellow to join our productive team in our search for risk factors leading to suicide death. Experts in our research group span the fields of psychiatric genetics, epigenetics, statistics, epidemiology, clinical research, and ethics. Together, our group has over $12million in research funding. We publish regularly in high-profile journals, and serve in leadership roles in national and international collaborative consortia.

The project: while prediction of suicide attempt has been improving, prediction of suicide death remains near zero. In addition, though prior attempt is currently the best predictor,<10% of suicide attempters go on to die by suicide, and >50% of suicide deaths occur without a prior attempt. Better understanding of risks leading to suicide death is critical, and will direct scarce resources to aid those most in need. Our current projects employ risk modeling using all measured demographic and longitudinal heath data, employing natural language processing ( NLP ) of physician notes for more accurate determination of suicide attempts. Results will be further informed by assessing contributions of polygenic risk scores and of rarer functional variants from whole genome sequence data.

The data resource: >8,000 biosamples from population-ascertained suicide deaths linked to extensive longitudinal health records, demographics, deep genealogical data back to the 1700’s, and genomic array and sequencing data. This is the largest genetically-informative data set of suicide death in the world. Genotyping has been completed on 5,500 suicide deaths, and whole genome sequencing has been completed on a selected subset of 670 suicides at increased genetic risk. Future additional studies will be possible in viably frozen cells from 3,500 skin samples from a subset of the suicides. The resource grows by an average of 700-750 suicides per year; numbers with DNA will approach 10,000 within two years.

The work environment: The University of Utah is committed to creating an environment of inclusion and respect, and to actively recruit and fully foster the development of a physician and scientist workforce that reflects the diversity of our community.

Please apply online and send a curriculum vitae and contact information for references. Send inquiries to


Type Benefited Staff

Special Instructions Summary

Additional Information

The University of Utah values candidates who have experience working in settings with students from diverse backgrounds and possess a strong commitment to improving access to higher education for historically underrepresented students.

Individuals from historically underrepresented groups, such as minorities, women, qualified persons with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply. Veterans’ preference is extended to qualified applicants, upon request and consistent with University policy and Utah state law. Upon request, reasonable accommodations in the application process will be provided to individuals with disabilities.

The University of Utah is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and does not discriminate based upon race, ethnicity, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, pregnancy-related conditions, genetic information, or protected veteran’s status. The University does not discriminate on the basis of sex in the education program or activity that it operates, as required by Title IX and 34 CFR part 106. The requirement not to discriminate in education programs or activities extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator, to the Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, or both.

To request a reasonable accommodation for a disability or if you or someone you know has experienced discrimination or sexual misconduct including sexual harassment, you may contact the Director/Title IX Coordinator in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action:

Director/ Title IX Coordinator

Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action ( OEO /AA)

135 Park Building

Salt Lake City, UT 84112


Online reports may be submitted at

For more information:

To inquire about this posting, ( or call 801-581-2300.

The University is a participating employer with Utah Retirement Systems (“URS”). Eligible new hires with prior URS service, may elect to enroll in URS if they make the election before they become eligible for retirement (usually the first day of work). Contact Human Resources at (801) 581-7447 for information. Individuals who previously retired and are receiving monthly retirement benefits from URS are subject to URS’ post-retirement rules and restrictions. Please contact Utah Retirement Systems at (801) 366-7770 or (800) 695-4877 or University Human Resource Management at (801) 581-7447 if you have questions regarding the post-retirement rules.

This position may require the successful completion of a criminal background check and/or drug screen.