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University of Florida—Doctoral Training Positions in Health Education & Behavior

News Date: Tuesday, November 17, 2020 - 14:30

The University of Florida Department of Health Education and Behavior (HEB) is seeking PhD students to begin study in the fall of 2021. The HEB PhD program offers a concentration in health behavior and prepares scientists to research, develop, implement, and evaluate innovative strategies to improve health outcomes. Several faculty in the department offer opportunities for specialization in substance abuse, addiction, HIV/AIDS, substance-related sexual risk, and prevention science. More information about admissions and faculty research can be found here:


Interested students should demonstrate an interest in a research-involved career and evidence of research experience or potential. Fully funded assistantships and fellowships (with tuition waivers), and conference travel funds are available. For priority consideration, please apply by January 4, 2021


Please see below for information on specific faculty members looking for students: 


Dr. Rob Leeman's primary research interest is in relationships between various difficulties with self-control and addictive behaviors, particularly alcohol and opioid misuse. He also has research interests in sexual health behavior and HIV prevention. Dr. Leeman, his collaborators and students also test new interventions to ameliorate addictive behaviors and prevent HIV using human laboratory and randomized controlled trial approaches.


Dr. Maldonado-Molina’s research program focuses on reducing health disparities in child and adolescent health, alcohol use, and alcohol-related consequences in particular, with a focus on vulnerable populations. Her work centers on applying innovative statistical methods in prevention-oriented studies of youth, with expertise in cultural processes associated with substance use in Latinx youth. A current study examines migration and cultural stressors, alcohol misuse, and mental health problems in Puerto Rican families who migrated after Hurricane Maria; and examine prospective relationships to test cultural stress theory across distinct resettlement contexts.

Dr. Nichole Scaglione's research aims to reduce substance abuse and sexual assault risk in adolescents and young adults. She is interested in decision-making processes that impact risk during specific substance use events; Dr. Scaglione’s team also develops and tests prevention strategies to reduce high-risk drinking and sexual violence in high school, college, and military settings. Current DoD- and CDC-funded projects will provide scientific and professional development opportunities for incoming PhD students.


Dr. Jalie Tucker is a clinical psychologist with public health expertise who conducts applied behavioral economic research on behaviors that involve choices between sooner smaller rewards (e.g., substance use, risky sex) and delayed larger rewards (e.g., benefits of a healthy/sober lifestyle, safer sex practices). She investigates addictive and related behavior patterns within the natural environment using measurement and sampling methodologies for community-based research with hard-to-reach risk populations. Current work focuses on natural recovery from Alcohol Use Disorder and behavioral economic risk factors for harmful drinking among emerging adults. Dr. Tucker directs the University of Florida Center for Behavioral Economic Health Research, which supports research, applications, and education aimed at understanding human choice behavior and decision-making with emphasis on health and health behavior change.


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