Postdoctoral Program in Brain Health Equity

In 2022, the UCSF Memory and Aging Center (MAC) and the Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI) received a Ruth L. Kirschstein Institutional National Research Service Award (T32) from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant funds postdoctoral scholars with a focus on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias who will engage with UCSF MAC and GBHI for a 2–3-year postdoctoral program in Brain Health Equity.

Disparities in dementia research are well-recognized in the U.S. In 2021, the Alzheimer’s Association published a special report entitled Race, Ethnicity and Alzheimer’s in America noting that 36% of Black Americans, 18% of Hispanic Americans and 19% of Asian Americans believe discrimination is a barrier to receiving dementia care. Increasing the number of investigators addressing equity in dementia research is crucial to disrupting the disparities.

Opportunities and Expectations

Candidates in the Postdoctoral Program in Brain Health Equity will benefit from the curricula and environments of the MAC and GBHI, which include a large portfolio of local, national and international research. Prospective candidates should link to MAC faculty for their primary work, choosing from any faculty member with shared expertise. GBHI provides added curricula including leadership training and skills in grant writing as well as overviews on policy, economics, prevention, epidemiology, neuroscience and clinical care.

The new program offers mentored support for patient-oriented early career researchers in all aspects of dementia. Throughout the experience, candidates will have protected time for research—including access to the MAC’s renowned faculty and labs—and are expected to publish with their mentoring team and transition to independent developmental grant support (i.e., K-series at NIH) within the three training years.

Candidates will be expected to apply for the Atlantic Fellowship for Equity in Brain Health and complete the 12-month in-residence program during the second year of their training period. This interdisciplinary, international program is devoted to improving brain health and reducing the scale and impact of dementia internationally with a focus on vulnerable populations and health equity. It offers a unique opportunity for candidates to embed in a world-class international cohort with the flexibility and encouragement to nurture concurrent professional development. The curricula and experiences of the Atlantic Fellow experience provide ample time for candidates to continue their scholarly activities with their primary mentor, accelerating their research productivity. All will have access to a special grant funding mechanism specific to Atlantic Fellows, offering $25K for a focused project to be completed in year 3.

In addition, completion of the Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health training allows candidates to join an international group of more than 500 equity-focused Atlantic Fellows worldwide, access pilot grant funding, and obtain further leadership training provided at the Atlantic Institute at Rhodes House in Oxford, England and GBHI.

How to Apply

This training program is open to all U.S. citizens or permanent residents with advanced degrees (e.g., MD, PhD). Applicants will typically be in their first or second postdoctoral year and have research interests aligned with GBHI’s mission of improving brain health and reducing the scale and impact of dementia. Individuals from all medical and non-medical disciplines (e.g., policy, economics) are welcome to apply. Interested candidates can reach out to [email protected] to express interest.

Click here for the program application.