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Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Clinical Biobehavioral Research on Mindfulness and Integrative Behavioral Health Interventions

Eric Garland, PhD, Director of the Center on Mindfulness and Integrative Health Intervention Development (C-MIIND) and Associate Dean for Research at the University of Utah College of Social Work, is seeking postdoctoral fellows to support federally-funded, biobehavioral clinical research on mindfulness-based interventions for chronic pain and prescription opioid misuse at C-MIIND, which currently oversees more than $25 million in NIH DOD, and PCORI-funded studies. In particular, fellows will help conduct randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and psychophysiological research on Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE), a manualized intervention for addiction, stress-related conditions, and chronic pain. For additional information on MORE and current research, see www.drericgarland.com.

Postdoctoral fellows will assist with the following duties: a) manuscript preparation from existing datasets; b) delivering mindfulness, CBT, and other behavioral interventions to study participants; c) clinical data collection; d) psychophysiological data collection (autonomic, EEG, and fMRI measures); e) data analysis; and f) designing and implementing new translational research studies. Postdoctoral fellows will be trained to implement MORE and other mindfulness-based interventions, Fellows will also have opportunities to coauthor multiple scientific articles from existing primary datasets and write federal grants leveraging the resources and interdisciplinary connections of the College of Social Work, which extend into Psychiatry, Psychology, Neuroscience, Oncology, Public Health, Anesthesiology, Family Medicine, and Nursing, among other departments.

Required Qualifications: Dr. Garland is seeking fellows with a PhD in Clinical Psychology, Social Work, Nursing, or a related discipline. Applicants must have good scientific writing skills with a solid publication record, clinical research experience, and strong quantitative data analytic skills.

Preferred Qualifications: Applicants with clinical experience (e.g., mental health, addiction, and/or chronic pain populations), previous experience with mindfulness, psychophysiological data collection/analysis (e.g., EEG, HRV, fMRI, eye tracking, etc.), and previous study coordination experience on Federally-funded studies will be given preference. A clinical license (or being license eligible) is preferred but not necessary.

College, University, and Environment:  As a major research and teaching university—and the flagship of the Utah System of Higher Education—the University of Utah strives to create an academic environment in which the highest standards of scholarship, professional practice and teaching are observed.  The University is located in Salt Lake City, at the base of the Wasatch Mountains, providing ready access to world class outdoor recreational opportunities.

The Center on Mindfulness and Integrative Health Intervention Development at the University of Utah College of Social Work has a number of excellent research facilities, including the state-of-the-art Bridge Training Clinic, consisting of four therapy rooms with one-way mirrors and videotaping capacity for behavioral observation and coding, as well as a complete psychophysiological laboratory for assessment of neurocognitive and neuroaffective mechanisms of therapeutic change.

Application Process:

Review of applications will begin immediately and the position will be open until filled. Applicants should provide cover letter, curriculum vitae, list of three professional references, and published writing sample(s).

Inquiries regarding the position may be directed to Dr. Eric Garland, PhD, Associate Dean for Research, at eric.garland@socwk.utah.edu, 801-581-3826.

Graduate Courses

I offer semester-long courses in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness for Master’s level graduate students. These courses combine didactic material with group discussion, digital and audiovisual media, experiential activities, and role play. For this purpose, I utilize a clinical teaching and research lab comprised by an interview and observation suite, separated from each other by a one-way mirror. Students practice and demonstrate clinical interviewing techniques while being observed by their peers. Concurrently, I provide real time feedback and instruction through the use of “bug in the ear” technology. Practice sessions may be videotaped for subsequent review and analysis. This interview-observation approach maximizes the learning process through multiple pathways: a) students learn through direct experience and practice of skills rather than solely through rote learning of didactic material; b) students learn by observing and critically analyzing their peers demonstrate skills; c) students learn through group discussion and debriefing the clinical practice experience; and d) students learn by my provision of coaching and active guidance during moment-by-moment interactions as they unfold in real time. This approach provides a safe milieu where students can feel comfortable facing challenging scenarios and experimenting with unfamiliar techniques.

I also offer a PhD-level course in intervention research, that covers: federal grant writing; clinical trial design and analysis; and intervention development, mechanistic considerations, and outcome testing. This course is conducted as a seminar where students critique each others’ work and complete the semester with the finished product of a grant proposal.

Independent Studies

In addition, I have overseen Master’s- and Bachelor’s-level directed independent studies on topics as diverse as:

  • Autonomic psychophysiology
  • Resilience and positive emotionality
  • Strategic therapy and Ericksonian hypnosis
  • Neuropharmacology of prescription opioid addiction
  • Mindfulness and family therapy

I am always happy to supervise committed, passionate, and self-directed students through independent studies, where they can become involved in my laboratory as research assistants while they pursue knowledge and training in subjects of mutual interest. Such independent studies often function as apprenticeships, in which the student learns skills (e.g., data collection and analysis, scientific manuscript preparation, theory construction) under my supervision, and then puts those skills into practice by providing assistance to ongoing research projects.

Students

At present, I am accepting Doctoral, Master’s, and Bachelor’s students to assist me in my research as mentees. Students work in my lab as research assistants (volunteer or paid positions), and/or in Doctoral, Master’s, and Bachelor’s-level directed independent studies on a range of topics. In addition to getting an “insider view” of the research process, students can acquire course credit, volunteer hours, or experience for their resumes.

I am always happy to supervise committed, passionate, and self-directed students in my lab, where they can become involved as research assistants while they pursue knowledge and training in subjects of mutual interest. Such independent studies often function as apprenticeships, in which the student learns skills (e.g., biopsychosocial and psychiatric assessment, data collection and analysis, psychophysiology, scientific manuscript preparation, theory construction) under my supervision, and then puts those skills into practice by providing assistance to ongoing research projects.

If you are interested in joining my lab, please email me or contact me through the form below.

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