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Posted: Friday, July 27th, 2018
JOB TITLE: Postdoctoral Scholar
DEADLINE: Tuesday, August 21st, 2018
LOCATION: University of California (Berkeley and Davis)
Sacramento, California, California, United States
CONTACT: Mark Yarborough
TELEPHONE: 916-734-7158
We are looking for a postdoctoral scholar to help address the unrealistic expectations of participants in Phase 1 trials. Up to 90% of participants in Phase 1 oncology trials are subject to unrealistic optimism and 60-90% to therapeutic mis-estimation, which arguably invalidates the informed consent process. We hypothesize that patients with genetic diseases who are seriously ill and desperate will also show unrealistic expectations for cure or significant health improvement. In addition, there are historical events that may create both added hype and added fear regarding genetic interventions. Add to this that we anticipate combined Phase 1/Phase 2 gene modification trials, which are likely to create confused expectations for personal medical benefit in physicians referring their patients to the trials as well as in potential research participants. In addition, there is active engagement of genetic scientists in seeking opportunities for clinical trials. We will interview patients, physicians engaged in clinical trials, and genetic scientists supporting clinical trials. Our long-term aim is to identify specific nodal points for intervening to improve informed consent and/or to identify leverage points to create a more systemic shift in how informed consent processes ought to be conducted for people deliberating about trial participation and for physicians deciding who to refer to such trials.
research for this project, (ii) literature reviews spanning all aspects of informed consent, ranging from decisional neuroscience to social influence research to ethics and science and technology studies. The Postdoctoral Scholar will write IRB applications, help analyze qualitative data, and draft manuscripts.
Reporting will be to the project co-PI’s: Jodi Halpern and Ken Taymor (both at UC Berkeley) and Mark Yarborough (UC Davis). It is essential that the Postdoc Scholar be able to work both independently and collaboratively, with frequent team meetings and weekly project status reports.
Responsibilities will include the following duties:
1. Organize and conduct the qualitative research interviews with affected patient populations, and with other stakeholders including physicians and research scientists.
2. Systematic review of the most recent research in the social and biomedical sciences, decisional neuroscience, bioethics and other fields related to informed consent, participant understanding, social influence, Phase 1 trials and new genetic modification research.
3. Develop manuscripts for co-authored publication.
4. Overall project management including
• Drafting slides and presentation materials
• Organizing workshops and conferences to obtain expert input and disseminate results
• Collaborating in identification of new research priorities and proposal development/grant writing
• Annual and all other reporting
• Maintaining up-to-date web text regarding program work and projects
• Collaborating with other academic research institutions working on similar projects
Basic Qualifications (required at the time of application):
Advanced degree or enrolled in an advanced degree program at the time of application.
Additional Qualifications (required by the start date):
PhD, MD, JD, or equivalent international degree required by start date.
Candidate must have fewer than one year of post-PhD research experience by the start date.
Preferred Qualifications:
• Doctoral-level degree in social science, law, ethics, philosophy, bioethics, public health or other relevant discipline (J.D., Ph.D., M.D., etc.).
• Demonstrated record of accomplishment of research, analysis and writing skills with track record in academic publishing.
• Exceptional research and literature review skills spanning the scientific aspects of genetic modification, neuroscience, behavioral economics, as well as bioethics and the social sciences. Proficiency with Lexis, PubMed, and other research tools.
• Record of conducting social science and/or bioethics research and publishing in these areas.
• Ability to independently identify and complete tasks
• Ability to work well with a variety of stakeholders and collaborators
• Ability to complete tasks in a timely fashion
• Demonstrated experience with grants/contracts.

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