Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Psychiatry

A Postdoctoral Research Fellow (PDF) position is available in the Behaviour Reward Affect and Impulsivity Neuroscience (B.R.A.I.N.) lab (Professor Christian Schütz) and the Forensic Research lab (Professor Tonia Nicholls) both within the Department of Psychiatry of the University of British Columbia. Candidates should be aware, however, that the research sites are located throughout Burnaby and Coquitlam.  Specifically, Drs. Schutz and Nicholls are senior scientists with BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services (see

The successful candidate will be expected to support ongoing funded research, such as our ROAR CANADA study: ROAR Canada stands for Reducing Overdose and Relapse: Concurrent Attention to Neuropsychiatric Ailments and Drug Addiction. ROAR CANADA is a five-year research study funded by Health Canada, focused on people being treated for severe concurrent disorders. Concurrent disorders are mental illness and substance use disorders that happen at the same time. Often, people with severe concurrent disorders only receive treatment for one of their conditions at a time. Currently, there are only a few places that provide integrated comprehensive treatment and recovery for severe concurrent disorders. ROAR is the largest funded follow-up study of individuals with clinical concurrent disorders receiving novel inpatient care in two Canadian Provinces, at the Burnaby Centre in BC and St Josephs’ Healthcare in Hamilton, ON. The Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addiction, an inpatient centre where people with severe concurrent disorders stay for long-term treatment M1 ward of St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, an acute inpatient ward where people with severe concurrent disorders are stabilized and receive care before transitioning to other treatments. By following clients (patients) from BCMHA and M1, we will learn more about people with severe concurrent disorders and about treatment outcomes.

The PDF will also have the opportunity to contribute to the development of new research and grant applications in a transdisciplinary team, collaborating locally, nationally and internationally. The focus of the BRAIN lab research is substance use disorders, specifically methamphetamine, opioids and cannabis, related mental disorders and the transdiagnostic role of cognitive control. The candidate will work closely with the BRAIN lab team and will also be welcome to do research within Professor Nicholls’ team, examining these issues and more forensic/correctional focused topics (e.g., crime, inpatient aggression, risk assessment) across BCMHSUS sites.  Research including surveys, cognitive assessments, and randomized clinical trials are mainly conducted at UBC and tertiary treatment centres (BCMHA, the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, forensic outpatient clinics, prisons). Responsibilities will include research design, study implementation, data analyses, publications, grant writing, and supervision of research assistants/trainees.

Applicants for this position should be either a PhD graduate within the last 5 years, or an MD graduate in psychiatry within the last 10 years. The successful applicant will have a PhD in a relevant discipline (e.g., neuroscience, psychology, medicine), have strong statistical skills and excellent oral and written communication skills. The position is for 1 year starting as soon as possible, with a strong preference for renewal based on productivity for an additional year or longer. Specifically, the successful candidate will be expected to apply for university (Marshall Fellowship), provincial (Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research) and federal funding (CIHR, SSHRC, NSCERC) PDF funding.


  • Ability to thrive in a collaborative multi-disciplinary team environment and work effectively with research personnel, clinicians, patients, and industry partners
  • Demonstrated potential for excellence in research productivity and grant writing
  • Understanding of research ethics and integrity, including conduct of clinical studies
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills; ability to think conceptually and be detail-oriented; outstanding analytical and critical appraisal skills
  • Interest and eligibility in applying for competitive fellowships and other funded career development opportunities.
Reference Number

Please mention reference number GPS-54647 in all your correspondence about this Postdoctoral Fellow position.

This position will be supervised by

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