Post Doctoral Researcher
The Ohio State University

The Department of Sociology, within the College of Arts and Sciences at The Ohio State University, seeks a postdoctoral researcher to join our team. The College of Arts and Sciences is the largest college and the academic heart of the university. The College hosts 81 majors. With 38 departments, 20+ world-class research centers, and more than 2,000 faculty and staff members, students have the unique opportunity to study with the best artists, scholars, and scientists in their field. The College values diversity and offers a supportive, open, and inclusive community.

The postdoctoral researcher will join a multi-institution team working to create and improve statistical and computational methods to characterize the burden of disease globally. The project focuses on improving and implementing the verbal autopsy method for ascertaining cause of death when traditional autopsy is not feasible. Verbal autopsy uses information obtained from the caregiver(s) of a recently deceased person to assign likely causes to the death. This work is funded by the National Institutes of Health and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

The project works in four areas: (i) developing new statistical methods to classify deaths by cause using data from verbal autopsies, (ii) understanding measurement error inherent in verbal autopsy interviews, (iii) contributing to the creation and maintenance of global standards for verbal autopsy, and (iv) developing software to integrate automated cause of death classification methods into civil registration and vital statistics work flows in 10-20 developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. While making contributions in all three areas, the Postdoctoral Researcher’s primary responsibility will be developing and improving new statistical methods for the automated classification of deaths by cause using verbal autopsy data. The Postdoctoral Researcher will join a highly active team consisting of statisticians at the University of Washington and Yale University; the OSU-based team; and collaborators at the World Health Organization, the US CDC, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Vital Strategies (a Bloomberg grantee). The project is expected to publish methods development in statistical journals, substantive applications in health and medical journals, and to create and disseminate robust open source software to implement the methods. The Postdoctoral Researcher will be expected to lead work on publications aimed at leading statistical journals, to present that work at statistics conferences, and to create open source software implementing the results. For examples see:,,

This is a two-year position. The initial term of appointment is one year, with reappointment to a second year conditional on performance and availability of funds. Inquiries about this position should be directed to Sam Clark (

Required: PhD in statistics, computer science, or related field with experience in statistical/computational methods development.

Desirable: Specific experience with classification algorithms, topic models, graphical models, and related topics; experience with software development and open source tools such as R, Python, Github, Java, C, etc. Interest in population and health research; experience with data management.

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