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Postdoctoral Fellowships: Software Engineering for Connected Health

Canadian studies have shown that non-communicable chronic diseases (NCDs, e.g., heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, respiratory disease) account for over 65% of all deaths. In addition to the human toll, NCDs consume 58% of Canada’s annual healthcare budget, costing the Canadian economy over $190 billion/year. Similar trends are observed in most other countries. Most NCDs are behavioural in nature: high levels of health risk behaviours (unhealthy eating patterns, physical inactivity, smoking, etc.) cause the onset and exacerbation of NCDs. Health interventions, whereby health professionals, working with patients, try to induce positive health behaviours (stopping smoking, exercising, etc.) are mostly effective, when they are available, affordable, long-lasting, and performed by properly trained health professionals. In practice, these conditions are rarely met.

Would you like to join an international, multidisciplinary research team, that aims at combining the state of the art in IoT application engineering (www.latece.uqam.ca), behavioural medicine (https://mbmc-cmcm.ca/), and machine learning (https://liviamtl.ca), to develop connected, intelligent, behaviour change intervention applications that help patients adopt healthy behaviours in an effective and sustainable way?

A “stone age” version of the envisioned application helped participating patients gain an estimated 18 months of life expectancyDo you care to participate in research with real impact? Work with actual, motivated users (patients), in real-life (hospital) settings? Make the application available to patients in developing countries?

Some the research problems we are working on: 1) developing a flexible representation of intervention programs, and matching representations of individual interventions, that consider the malleable nature of interventions, and their customization to the profiles and circumstances of individual patients;  2) developing flexible user experiences combining state of the art NLP and automatic facial expression recognition, and that consider users (patients) varying levels of digital literacy, physical and cognitive abilities, and current state of mind; 3) developing efficient scalable architectures that are resilient, that make the best use of the “edge” capabilities, and that can live with intermittent connectivity; etc.

The lucky candidate will have access to state-of-the-art research equipment, including an experimental multisite cloud computing infrastructure and state of the art mobile and stationary UX lab, as well as access to a sizeable research panel consisting of patients, community members, and a variety of practicing healthcare professionals.

Montreal is a dynamic, multicultural, scientific, and technological metropolis, with over 200,000 students, attending nine major universities and schools, and many research institutes. It has a thriving high-tech industry (IT, aeronautics, pharmaceutical, health sciences), offering numerous opportunities for post postdoctoral employment, in either academia or industry. Montréal also has an effervescent year-around cultural scene, and is one of the safest, most affordable cities in North America.

Provincial, national and international candidates are encouraged to apply

Start date, Duration, and Location

The start date is flexible but not later than September 2024 – possibly before, if you are available. The position is full time for at least two years and is renewable. The funding package consists of a stipend (consistent with CIHR funding levels) plus conference / training funding. The successful candidates can be registered at either UQAM or Concordia University.

To apply, please forward the following:

  • A complete curriculum vitae, including summary of GPA’s, a full publication list (including hyperlinks where possible), and names of three references who may be contacted to supply reference letters
  • A letter of motivation, including reasons for applying, a statement of research accomplishments, and future research goals
  • 2-3 research publications (electronic copies or, preferably, hyperlinks) that best demonstrate your fit for the position

How to apply: 

  • The complete application package must be emailed to: apply@mbmc-cmcm.ca. Please include “Connected Health Fellowship” in the subject line.
  • Queries about the application should be sent to either Dr. Mili (mili.hafedh@uqam.ca; computer engineering) or Dr. Bacon (simon.bacon@concordia.ca; behavioural medicine).
  • The closing date for receipt of applications is Friday March 29, 2024, 5pm ET.