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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

bullet graphicA 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.

bullet graphicNo 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.

bullet graphicPostdoctoral 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

bullet graphicThis 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.

bullet graphicPostdoctoral Research positions are awarded only to persons who have held doctorates less than 3 years or are in the process of receiving doctorate degrees at the time of application.

bullet graphicQualified 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

bullet graphicAwardees 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.

bullet graphicAn 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

bullet graphicEach 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. (For fullest consideration, submit the application by February 28, 2008. However, applications will be accepted throughout the year until positions are filled.)

bullet graphicProposals should not exceed five pages in length.

bullet graphicApplicants 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

bullet graphicThe Office of Management and Operations, NCHS receives all application materials and supporting documents.

bullet graphicThe evaluation of Postdoctoral Research proposals will be conducted annually in March-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.

bullet graphicProposals 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

bullet graphicFor the 2008 program year, the annual salary for a NCHS Postdoctoral Researcher starts from $70,000 to $89,000 with adjustments depending on qualifications and experience.

bullet graphicSick leave, annual leave, thrift savings (401(k) equivalent), and health and life insurance are available.

bullet graphicFlex Time is available. With supervisor’s approval, starting time can be as early as 6:00 a.m. and ending time as late as 6:30 p.m.

bullet graphicAlternate Work Schedule is also available with supervisor approval. This means having a 3-day weekend every other week. Every 2 weeks, work 8 9-hour days, 1 8-hour day, and get the 10th day off.

bullet graphicNCHS is located in Hyattsville, Maryland. Free parking is available on-site. A metro area subway station is nearby.

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.

Relocation Expenses
Cost of relocation to the Washington, DC area, within allowances prescribed by law, will be determined on an individual basis.

Application Deadline

bullet graphicApplications will be accepted throughout the year until positions are filled.

Notification of Awards
bullet graphic
Notification of awards will be made beginning mid-April.

Application Materials and Supporting Documents
bullet graphic
Submit the following to the address below:
1. A curriculum vitae
2. Official transcripts of all graduate and undergraduate credits
3. Three reference letters
4. Statement of research interest
5. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Mailing address:
Ms. Venita B. Smith
Office of Management and Operations
National Center for Health Statistics
3311 Toledo Road, Room 5111
Hyattsville, Maryland 20782

Phone: (301)458-4514
Fax: (301)458-401

Suggested Research Areas
bullet graphic
Confidentiality protection and related topics
bullet graphicData linkage
bullet graphicQuality control, quality improvement and its measurement
bullet graphicAdjustment for nonresponse in sample surveys
bullet graphicTelephone survey methods
bullet graphicData collection in a changing health care system
bullet graphicSmall-area estimation
bullet graphicCognitive processes and question response
bullet graphicData editing and imputation
bullet graphicStatistical computing
bullet graphicSampling and estimation
bullet graphicQuestionnaire design and measurement research
bullet graphicHuman factors and usability research
bullet graphicData mining


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This page last reviewed September 09, 2008

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