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CEEHRC / Postdoctoral Scholar in Epigenetics and Children’s Mental Health /

The Cumming School of Medicine (Departments of Community Health Sciences and Pediatrics) at the University of Calgary is seeking a postdoctoral scholar to work in the area of child and youth epigenetics in relation to mental health and neurodevelopment.

Employer: Cumming School of Medicine, Departments of Pediatrics and Community Health Sciences

Duration: Two years; renewable for up to two additional years

Salary: $55,000-65,000/year (depending on experience) plus Plan C health benefits through Alberta Blue Cross.

Job Description:

Our team is recruiting a scholar to become part of an active and innovative research program funded by CIHR that focusses on links between early life environments, epigenetics and mental health and neurodevelopment in children and youth. The scholar’s work will focus on the role of epigenetics (e.g., DNA methylation) as a mediator between early life environmental factors and mental health and neurodevelopment; however, the work and opportunities are interdisciplinary. The scholar will collaborate with other postdoctoral scholars who are experts in nutrition and gut microbiota.

The source data for the scholar’s work will be several ongoing cohort studies that are prospectively collecting data starting in pregnancy with multiple waves of follow-up in children. One of these cohorts was initiated in 2010 (n = 450) and the other during the COVID-19 pandemic (n > 10,000). We have/are collecting DNA methylation data, anthropometric, dietary, and questionnaire data to accurately document nutritional intake and dietary patterns, physiological and psychological experiences of stress and mental health, behavioral and social outcomes in children, and comprehensive neurocognitive assessments. The scholar will have immediate access to this data to address questions related to early emerging mental health problems. In additional to a focus on data analysis, writing manuscripts, and learning new skills related to child development, the scholar will have opportunities to contribute to new data collection with children 1-4 years and adolescents age 9-14 years, and to designing new projects for further follow-up.


  • Applicants must have completed a PhD within the last 2 years.
  • Applicants must hold a PhD and have expertise in epigenetics-focussed analysis (e.g., DNA methylation)
  • 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 supervised by Dr. Gerry Giesbrecht in the Developmental Psychobiology Laboratory For more information, or to apply, please contact Dr. Giesbrecht (

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.

About the University of Calgary:

The University of Calgary is a leading Canadian university located in the nation’s most enterprising city. The university has a clear strategic direction to become one of Canada’s top five research universities by 2016, where innovative teaching and groundbreaking research go hand in hand, and where we fully engage the communities we both serve and lead. The strategy is called Eyes High, inspired by our Gaelic motto, which translates to ‘I will lift up my eyes.’

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:

Named a cultural capital of Canada and one of the best places to live in the world, 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 majestic Rocky Mountains and boasts the most extensive urban pathway and bikeway network in North America.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. The University of Calgary respects, appreciates, and encourages diversity.

University of Calgary
Date posted: