Research Fellow, Institute for Human-Animal Connection

Apply now Job no: 497044
Work type: Staff Full-Time
Location: Denver, CO
Categories: Research, Postdoc / Fellow
Division: Graduate School Of Social Work

The Institute for Human-Animal Connection (IHAC) is a specialized center within the Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW) at the University of Denver (DU), which intentionally elevates the value of the living world and the interrelationship and health of people, other animals, and the environment. This is accomplished through natural and social science-informed education, applied knowledge, research and advocacy, with an ethical regard for all species. Focusing on the three core areas of Human Animal Interactions and Child Development, Human Animal Interactions and Trauma, and Animals and Communities, IHAC operationalizes our mission through innovation in education, research and advocacy.

Position Summary

A two-year position as an Institute for Human-Animal Connection (IHAC) Research Fellow is available. The goal of this position is to provide the Research Fellow with robust training in social science research with a focus on the Human-Animal Interaction field, in preparation for a career in research.

The IHAC Research Fellow will be an integral member of the IHAC research program at the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work, supervised by the Institute’s Executive Director with direct reporting to an IHAC Research Associate. An emphasis will be placed on developing strong research skills, strategies, and ethics that support the established IHAC research agenda. The Fellow will have opportunities to contribute to academic products including funding proposals, peer-reviewed journal articles, conference abstracts, and other research products. The Fellow can anticipate gaining exposure to a variety of research methods and substantive areas in the Human-Animal-Environment Interactions field. After two years, the IHAC Research Fellow will be prepared for doctoral programs and/or a research career within academic, non-profit, or for-profit environments.

This Research Fellow will focus on IHAC’s trauma portfolio, which includes examining the impacts of pairing service dogs with military veterans experiencing PTSD, staying current on best practices in conducting trauma-informed research, and exploring pet dogs’ impacts on their humans’ stress responses. This portfolio includes substantial exposure to project management, grant writing, and networking. An ideal candidate will be comfortable working in the social and biological sciences as well as engaging in qualitative work and other tasks that involve significant rapport-building.

Individuals who plan to pursue a career in research, particularly those who are interested in contributing to understanding the impacts of the intersections between people and other species, are encouraged to apply. We are especially interested in considering applications from members of socially and economically marginalized groups, military veterans, first-generation college graduates, or those who work on topics related to these issues. The IHAC Research Fellow will receive a full-time salary with access to University of Denver benefits. Preference will be given to applicants with a history of demonstrated interest in research, project management, and human-animal interactions.

The projected start date for this position is July 2024.

Essential Functions

In addition to following the University of Denver’s policies and procedures, responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Project Management

  • Supports day-to-day project management of research projects
  • Supports the research associate(s) in managing studies with multiple stakeholders and tasks

Project Design

  • Engage in learning about the design process for quantitative and qualitative research

Data Collection & Management

  • Supports implementation of data collection and management activities
  • Helps monitor the quality and completeness of data collection
  • Helps manage timelines


  • Complete preliminary analysis
  • Assist with inferential statistics
  • Make initial interpretations and conclusions

Reporting and Publications

  • Significantly contributes to and sometimes leads reports, publications, and dissemination as a co-author or co-presenter


  • Communicates in an effective and inclusive manner with community members, interdisciplinary collaborators, and graduate research assistants


  • Engages in learning about identifying and writing grant proposals

Management and Supervision

  • Supervise research assistant-level staff, including making recommendations about hiring, advancement, performance improvement, and/or termination of supervisees

Other Responsibilities

  • Attend and participate in DU and IHAC-related meetings, public events, trainings, and activities
  • Provide evaluation and research support in other areas within the research team upon request
  • Provide general support upon request such as generating meeting minutes, making logistical arrangements, attending and
  • participating in internal and external meetings, and other administrative duties as needed.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Ability to establish timelines and support project team members to meet those timelines
  • Ability to learn a broad array of research skills, such as proficiency in GraphPad, SPSS, and other statistical packages and visualization tools
  • Ability to resolve routine problems using existing guidelines and processes
  • Ability to make independent decisions and or/recommendations when necessary
  • Ability to prioritize tasks and meet deadlines
  • Ability to research, investigate, analyze, and evaluate data.
  • Capability to develop excellent writing skills and quality presentation abilities
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including ability to communicate effectively with colleagues and with research and evaluation participants, sponsors, supervisees, and university staff
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong MS Office skills, including Excel
  • Strong understanding of inferential statistics and/ or qualitative analysis techniques
  • Demonstrated skills and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, including the ability to approach work with diverse communities with respect and humility, as a listener and learner. This might include lived experience, volunteer, education, or work experience with socially and economically marginalized populations (e.g., low-income families, people of color, individuals with disabilities, aging adults)

Required Qualifications

  • Master’s degree, or Spring 2024 anticipated Master’s degree in a relevant field, or equivalent experience

Preferred Qualifications

  • At least one year of experience coordinating the work of a team or in a supervisory role
  • Intermediate to advanced user of Excel, statistical analysis software (e.g., SPSS, GraphPad, Atlas.Ti), or comparable software
  • Experience translating research findings into practice with multiple audiences using a variety of techniques. This could include facilitation of training, public-facing reports, peer-reviewed manuscripts, conference presentations, or public speaking
  • Experience working with military populations
  • Education or experience in hard sciences, particularly biology
  • At least one year of experience in research or evaluation project management, including providing strategy and support to leadership, supporting team members, and managing time effectively

Working Environment

  • Standard Office Environment
  • Noise level is quiet to moderate
  • Hybrid position, with the expectation to work on the main DU campus at least two days each week

Physical Activities

  • Ability to sit in front of a computer for an extended period of time
  • Occasionally required to move about the office/campus with the capability of transporting objects up to 20 lbs.
  • Occasionally required to travel by airplane to attend conferences and to conduct research activities.

Work Schedule
Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Application Deadline
For best consideration, please submit your application materials by 4:00 p.m. (MST) March 31, 2024.

Special Instructions
Candidates must apply online through to be considered. Only applications submitted online will be accepted.

Salary Grade Number:
The salary grade for the position is 8.

Salary Range:
The salary range for this position is $55,000-$60,000

The University of Denver has provided a compensation range that represents its good faith estimate of what the University may pay for the position at the time of posting. The University may ultimately pay more or less than the posted compensation range. The salary offered to the selected candidate will be determined based on factors such as the qualifications of the selected candidate, departmental budget availability, internal salary equity considerations, and available market information, but not based on a candidate’s sex or any other protected status.

The University of Denver offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO pass. The University of Denver is a private institution that empowers students who want to make a difference. Learn more about the University of Denver.

Please include the following documents with your application:
1. Resume
2. Cover letter that includes a description of why you are a good fit for this opportunity and how it fits your long-term professional goals (2-page maximum)

The University of Denver is an equal opportunity employer. The University of Denver prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, age, religion, creed, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, pregnancy, genetic information, military enlistment, or veteran status, and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination under federal, state, or local law, regulation, or ordinance in any of the University's educational programs and activities, and in the employment (including application for employment) and admissions (including application for admission) context, as required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; the Americans with Disabilities Act; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967; Equal Pay Act; Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act; the Colorado Protecting Opportunities and Workers' Rights ("POWR") Act; and any other federal, state, and local laws, regulations, or ordinances that prohibit discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation. For more information, please see the University of Denver's Non‑Discrimination‑Statement.\

All offers of employment are contingent upon satisfactory completion of a criminal history background check.

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