Postdoctoral Fellowship in Gerontology and Community-Based Intervention Research

Fairfax, Virginia
Dec 03, 2020
Position Type
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Gerontology and Community-Based Intervention Research


George Mason University’s Department of Social Work invites applications for a one-year Postdoctoral Fellowship in Gerontology and Community-Based Intervention Research. George Mason University has a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of excellence and diversity among its faculty and staff, and strongly encourages candidates to apply who will enrich Mason’s academic and culturally inclusive environment. The University recently established an Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence (ARIE) Task Force to make certain that Mason is an inclusive and equitable campus community where everyone is valued, supported, and experiences a sense of belonging.


About the Department:

The Department of Social Work is one of six academic units in the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS), soon to transition to a College of Public Health, and has internationally recognized faculty for their expertise in areas of behavioral health, older adults, children and youth, and immigration, with a proud history of faculty-student-community research collaborations. The Department of Social Work offers BSW and MSW degree programs with an educational and research mission focusing on practice and policy interventions that improve health and well-being and promote economic and social justice, particularly for underserved individuals, families, and communities. The Department houses the Social Work integrative Research Lab (SWiRL), which uses a nested mentoring model to create opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to become involved with a wide variety of faculty research projects. The SWiRL faculty hold monthly analysis meetings which will be a place for the postdoctoral fellow to practice presenting questions, explaining research in an understandable way (for students), and helping others think through their questions. Further information about the Department may be found at:


About the Postdoctoral Fellowship:

This fellowship program focuses on community-based intervention research for older adults with health issues. Our gerontology research team has a particular focus on non-pharmacological interventions for individuals living with dementia and their caregivers. These types of interventions improve the quality of daily experiences by decreasing the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia and address some of the challenges that both formal and informal caregivers experience. Current grant-funded projects examine two specific interventions for individuals living with dementia – personalized music (M3I: The Mason Music & Memory Initiative) and creative storytelling (TimeSlips). The team is working on additional proposals to test creative art interventions for various populations (e.g., hospice patients and caregiver dyads). Working closely with various community partners, our team has developed resources to support the implementation of our interventions and is testing both the effects of the intervention and the process of implementation. The postdoctoral fellow will receive mentorship by the gerontology research team (Drs. Ihara, Inoue, and Tompkins). An Individual Development Plan (IDP) will be used to explore and identify the fellow’s professional needs and career objectives.


The Department of Social Work has multiple ways for a postdoctoral fellow to develop teaching acumen through the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and Master of Social Work (MSW) programs. Both programs offer on-campus and online social work courses and elective courses on specific topics related to aging. Depending on the fellow’s experience and interests, and juxtaposed with the career development plan, the fellow can spend the first year learning about various teaching styles and pedagogies in preparation to teach in the second year. Guest lectures will be an excellent way to combine the fellow’s interest in a topic area and gain experience in the classroom in that first year.



We are seeking a postdoctoral fellow who has previous experience conducting clinical or social research and a high commitment to aging and health-related issues. The postdoctoral fellow, while focused on conceiving and launching his/her own research agenda through the preparation of early career-stage grant applications, manuscripts, and presentations, will also be expected to: 

1) participate in the gerontology research team’s current initiatives; 

2) submit peer-reviewed manuscripts; 

3) present at appropriate research conferences; and 

4) develop teaching skills and experience.


Required Qualifications:

  • PhD in social work, gerontology, or related field by the time of entry into the Postdoctoral Fellowship.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Strong research and teaching skills and interest;
  • Excellent organizational, analytical, writing, communication, and interpersonal skills;
  • Experience using databases and statistical software.


NOTE: This is a one-year fellowship beginning in August of 2021. Continuation to a second year appointment is contingent upon available funding and early and significant progress of the fellow in the first year.


Special Instructions to Applicants: 

Applicants must apply for position number F527AZ at using the online submission system: Please complete the application and upload (1) curriculum vitae, (2) letter of interest describing your career plans, research interests, and experience, (3) a copy of your best written work, (4) a diversity statement [see prompt below] and (5) three current letters of recommendation, at least one of these from a faculty member in your doctoral program. An offer of employment is contingent upon background verification.


Diversity Statement Prompt: Have you worked with any individuals in a teaching, mentorship or advisory capacity who are from marginalized groups? If so, how did you help them identify and overcome barriers to success? Think about your experience with research mentorship, teaching or tutoring, academic advising, and community mentorship. (No more than 2 paragraphs)


George Mason University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, committed to promoting inclusion and equity in its community. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability or veteran status, or any characteristic protected by law.