Postdoctoral Positions

2 Postdoc Positions Open – Modeling the impact of policies & programs on youth substance abuse

Applications will remain open until the positions are filled

In partnership with the Applied Research Division (ARD) at the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC:, two post-doctoral positions are available in the School of Public Health & Health Systems at the University of Waterloo, Canada. The applicant(s) will work with Dr. Scott Leatherdale (COMPASS) and the Director of the PHAC-ARD for a 1-year (renewable) training program using data from the COMPASS study to explore how substance use related prevention programs and policies impact youth substance use (alcohol, cannabis, tobacco) over time.

As an overview, COMPASS (2012-2021) is a longitudinal quasi-experimental research project following 60,000+ students from 100+ secondary schools in Ontario, Alberta, Quebec, British Columbia, and Nunavut to evaluate how ongoing changes in prevention policies or programs are related to changes in multiple outcomes over time. The main outcomes available in COMPASS include Cannabis, Obesity, Mental health, Physical activity, Alcohol use, Smoking (including e-cigarettes), and Sedentary behaviour. Additional details on COMPASS are available in print ( or online (

The primary objective of these positions are to use the longitudinal COMPASS data to address two domains PHAC has identified as priorities: alcohol use and the co-occurrence of cannabis and tobacco use. Interested applicants will be expected to work with PHAC and Dr. Leatherdale to develop a program of research in one of these domains. Over the course of the position, applicants may also be encouraged to explore additional data systems for advancing policy-relevant analyses in the relevant domain of inquiry (e.g., the International Alcohol Control pilot in Ontario).

To apply, please submit an application by email to:
Scott Leatherdale, PhD
Associate Professor, CIHR-PHAC Chair in Applied Health Research

Your application package should include:

  • an up-to-date curriculum vitae
  • a statement of research interests specific to the COMPASS study and the domain of interest
  • up to three samples of scholarly work, and
  • the name of two referees


Qualifications: - Ph.D. in a relevant area (e.g., epidemiology, biostatistics, public health)
- No more than 2 years of prior postdoctoral experience
- Strong writing and quantitative analysis skills
- Prior experience with quasi-experimental, hierarchical, and/or longitudinal models is an asset
Requirements: Successful applicants will be required to apply for an NSERC fellowship program.
Anticipated start date: September 2017 (some flexibility)
Eligibility: - All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority.
- Applications from all qualified individuals including women, members of visible minorities, Aboriginal peoples, and persons with disabilities are encouraged.

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