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Student Research Opportunities

Graduate Research Assistant Position 

PI: Keshia Pollack Porter, PhD, MPH
Project Coordinator and Contact: Stefanie Carignan, MA:

Project Title: Legislative Health Notes and Judicial Health Notes Pilot

The Health in All Policies Research Center works with state and local legislatures to facilitate informed decision-making by conducting “legislative health notes,” or syntheses of peer-reviewed evidence and public health data to explain potential positive and negative health effects of proposed legislation. Drawing from legislative health note and health impact assessment principles, the Center will develop the nation’s first “judicial health notes” to identify the potential and often overlooked health and equity impacts of legal decisions for policymakers, public health agencies, and community members, and to inform future judicial action. The Center will pilot this new research methodology to conduct a systematic analysis of the public health impacts of three selected court decisions, which may include cases heard at the state level, the lower court level, and/or in the Supreme Court.

We are seeking two public health graduate students with strong writing skills who are interested in social determinants of health, health equity, and the public health effects of judicial and legislative decisions to help conduct research for legislative and judicial health notes. Prior coursework or experience with policy analysis, health impact assessment, systematic literature reviews, and distilling technical and scientific data into language accessible to non-experts is preferred. The Research Assistants will work closely with the Project Coordinator and meet weekly to discuss project tasks.

Position Details:

  • $25/hour approx. 5-15 hours/ week
  • Remote, with possible occasional in person meetings
  • Anticipated timeline: August 2023-March 2024

Deadline to apply: Open until filled

MPH/MSPH/PhD Graduate Student Position 

PI: Yeeli Mui, PhD, MPH

Project coordinator or contact (email and/or phone #): Carolyn Bresnahan, MPH (

Project Title: Structural Opportunities to Rebuild Equitable Environments (StOREE) Study

Project overview:

This research study seeks to explore the relationships between historical structural racism and current day urban food environments and obesity risk in 6 U.S. cities that are part of the Multi-ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) cohort. One of the aims of this study is to use historical and contemporary document review, media analysis, and qualitative interviews of key informants to assess the sociopolitical context of three policies (redlining, “slum” clearance, and highway development) and urban planning practices in MESA cities.

We are seeking one MPH/MSPH/PhD graduate student interested in food environments, structural racism, and weight-related health outcomes to assist in coding city comprehensive plans – a conventional tool that urban planners use to shape the future of cities by regulating public policies on land use, housing, and transportation – newspaper articles, and conducting key informant interviews. Prior qualitative coursework or experience with document review, coding, and conducting qualitative interviews is preferred. The Research Assistant will work closely with the Project Coordinator and meet weekly to discuss project tasks.

Position Details:

  • $20-$23/hour (commensurate with experience)
  • Remote
  • ASAP to May 31, 2024
  • Approx. 20 hours/ week
  • Deadline to apply: July 14, 2023