ESSENCE Project Postdoctoral Fellowship

Sep 6,2017 | Consortium_staff Fellowships

The Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical school seeks a postdoctoral fellow to coordinate the ESSENCE project. ESSENCE (Enabling translation of Science to Service to ENhance Depression CarE) is a multi-component, multi-country program whose goal is to bridge the science to service gap by generating knowledge on cost-effective implementation approaches for scaling up of evidence-based interventions for mental disorders.

The research component focuses on the scaling up of a brief psychological treatment for depression delivered by Non-Specialist Health Workers as a core component of an evidence-based collaborative stepped care strategy to integrate mental health in routine health care platforms. The aim is to improve the outcomes of persons with moderate to severe depression attending routine primary health care facilities in Madhya Pradesh, India.

A collaborative network of institutions in India, Nepal, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, along with strategic partners in the USA and the UK, will implement the capacity building component, which is to conduct, exchange, and utilize implementation research with the ultimate goal of reducing the treatment gap for depression and other mental disorders in these South Asian countries.

Interviewing will begin in September for October 1, 2017 start date or as soon as possible thereafter. This project is scheduled for four to five years, ending on May 31, 2022. The research fellow position will be hired on an annual basis with renewal depending on continued funding and satisfactory performance.


Under the supervision of the PIs (Dr. Vikram Patel and Dr. Rahul Shidhaye) and in collaboration with the partners in India, the fellow will support the design, implementation, analysis, and dissemination of results from two trials. The fellow will serve as a bridge between the ESSENCE Administrative Core team based in India and the PI (Patel) in Harvard and the Harvard University Grants Administration Office and will oversee all the contractual arrangements and communication between the Harvard Medical School and the ESSENCE capacity building partners in the South Asian region. He/she will be responsible to obtain ethical approvals from the Harvard Longwood IRB Committee, coordinate the Research Management Group, and provide support to financial managers to prepare and submit annual technical and financial reports to the sponsor, the (US) National Institute of Mental Health. This position requires extended periods working in the field in India.


Applicants must have an MPH in epidemiology and a doctoral degree in a field relevant to this project. Other desirable qualifications include experience with the following:

  • Randomized clinical trials, mental health intervention research or implementation science
  • Quality improvement methodology
  • Qpplication of mobile technology in health care
  • Conducting research in India (or another low- or middle-income country)
  • Coordinating research projects
  • Authorship of peer-reviewed research publications

Additional information

  • Salary range: US$47,500 – $50,000
  • Location: Boston, MA, USA and Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India

To apply

Email the following items in one PDF with the surname as the first word of the PDF file:

  1. Cover letter stating long-term career aims, interest in the project, and suitability for the position, specifically referring to the essential and desirable criteria listed above;
  2. Curriculum vitae; and
  3. Contact information for three to five potential references. Email applications to

For additional information regarding the project institutions, see: and (the Indian partner institution)

For additional information regarding the project or the post, please email: Dr. Rahul Shidhaye, and Dr. Vikram Patel (
Harvard University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer and applications from women and underrepresented minorities are strongly encouraged.