About IPR

Established in 1980, the University of Southern California Institute for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention Research (IPR) is dedicated to the advancement of interdisciplinary research and education to improve the health and well-being of society. Collectively, the members of IPR have been authors of thousands of scientific articles, books, chapters, and other writings in the field of health promotion and disease prevention. Additionally, IPR maintains the longest running National Cancer Institute T32 research training program. Overall, the USC-IPR is a thriving, dynamic institute that has made significant strides toward promoting health and preventing disease in the population, and expects to continue advancing the field in future years.

Mission of IPR is to engage in scientific research and educational training on the risk and prevention of disease as well as the promotion of health. The long-term goal is to reduce disease risk, eliminate disparities, and to improve the health of diverse populations by: (a) increasing understanding of the epidemiology, determinants, and consequences of disease; (b) conducting field trials to develop and test evidence-based prevention programs; and (c) disseminating model health promotion and disease prevention programs in national and global settings.


The Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California seeks candidates for one‐ to three‐year research fellowships (pending final funding decisions).

Fellowship positions provide mentored training in research as well as protected time to participate in publishing, grant writing, and other career development activities. Fellows will have the opportunity to work with an interdisciplinary group of faculty who conduct research on the determinants, epidemiology, and intervention/prevention of behavioral influences on cancer risk and survivorship: (a) tobacco product, alcohol, and drug use; (b) obesity, diet, physical activity, and sedentary behavior; (c) sexually‐transmitted infections related to cancer (e.g., HPV infection); and (d) mental health/quality of life. We seek candidates with backgrounds and interests that complement existing strengths in: (1) health disparities and social/environmental determinants of health; (2) psychological influences on health behavior, (3) behavioral and social science methodologies (e.g., longitudinal data analysis, ecological momentary assessment, social network analysis, qualitative research, human biobehavioral laboratory paradigms), (4) developmental processes and youth health behavior; and (5) psychoneuroimmunology.

The fellowship program is funded by the National Cancer Institute (T32) and administered by the Division of Health Behavior Research within the Department of Preventive Medicine and provides an annual salary (based upon year doctorate received), health insurance, tuition, and conference travel support. This multi‐disciplinary department of behavioral scientists, epidemiologists, environmental health scientists, and biostatisticians has a long history of conducting innovative externally‐funded research and currently holds active research centers on tobacco products, obesity, and other public health issues. Many faculty members are also members of the USC/Norris Cancer Center, an NCI‐Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center with strong research programs in cancer control and epidemiology. More information about can be found at ipr.usc.edu and uscnorriscancer.usc.edu.

Qualified individuals must have completed a PhD, MD or equivalent, and must be a US
citizen or have permanent resident status. Women, minorities, and candidates from other underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply.

USC is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.

Send curriculum vitae and statement of interest to:

Marny Barovich, barovich@usc.edu; or call 323‐442‐8299 for more information.


There are multiple steps within an interview, including the introduction and the ways in which you should present yourself. There are simple tips and tricks that can be used to effectively separate your self from other individuals interviewing for the same position. The words, “so tell me about yourself,” can tricky to interrupt and answer in an interview setting. There is balance that must be accomplished within the minute and a half you have to present yourself to the interviewer. Speaking about your personal and professional background will help to impress the interviewer along with helping to get to know you better. If you are able to, use a personable experience to demonstrate how your professional skills would be applied if offered the position. This is a great way to kill two birds with one stone! Denise M. Dudley, founder of Skill Path, Los Angeles, says to “wow them with perceivable enthusiasm.” Though you want to express interest and passion, you want to avoid coming off as an artificial and rehearsed candidate. There are three ideals that must be present in an interviewee.

  1. First off, is the person able to engage in small tasks? Though this may sound unappealing at first, most, if not all positions in different fields will require small tasks.
  2. The second question is whether or not the individual is scripted or organic. If you sound as if you have memorized a response to every question, the interviewer will be able to sense this, leaving them with a false reality of who you really are as a person. If the interviewee feels confident in his/her responses, they are more likely to succeed in whatever position it is.
  3. The third aspect is the ability for an employee to be a storyteller.

Aside from these three ideals, there are eight steps that should be accomplished prior to the big interview day.

  • The night before your interview it is important to review where exactly you are going. The morning of, your scheduled route could have been hit with an accident, backed up with traffic, or there could be a road closure.
  • Organizing your bag the night before with your resume, cover letter, and any other required paperwork will help you to save time the next morning.
  • In addition to the technical planning, it is important to have your special outfit set up. Check for any winkles or stains to ensure your presentation is at its finest.
  • Though minor, rehearsing your body language is incredibly important. Moving your hands around, moving around in the chair, or bouncing your leg up and down can be incredibly distracting during an interview.
  • Focus on your talking points so that when you are nervous you do not start to ramble, but stay on track hitting every important question with a strong response.
  • Doing five extra minutes of research on the company can be a game changer, especially if the interviewer asks you to present any information you might already know.
  • Though straightforward, set an alarm if not multiple. Sleeping through your interview or even running late would probably not be the best way to impress the company.

Lastly, make sure you get sleep the night before. Staying alert will ensure that you are confident and certain with every response you make during your time to shine. Overall, it is important to remain positive and look at the interview as a beneficial learning experience, whether offered the position or not.

Dr. Kimberly Miller's Story

Dr. Kim Miller has received the the Aflac Archie Bleyer Young Investigator Award in AYA Oncology, a competitive career development grant administered by the Children’s Oncology Group available to investigators across all the NCTN groups. The award provides $50,000 per year for two years. Her research study is entitled “Colorectal Cancer in Adolescents and Young Adults: A Pilot Study of Medical and Psychosocial Issues.” Co-mentors on the grant are two oncologists (Afsaneh Barzi, MD, PhD from Norris and David Freyer, DO, MS from CHLA and Norris) and two Preventive Med faculty( Ann Hamilton and from IPR, Joel Milam, PhD). This focus of young adult cancer is very important to not only Dr. Miller but also others here at IPR (Dr. Joel Milam and Dr. Anamara Ritt). This achievement is of a significant personal importance to Dr. Miller because she has had a family member affected by a hereditary cancer syndrome that strikes young adults.

A Statement from Dr. Miller…

“I’d love to shine a light on this not simply as a professional achievement, but also because it’s a research focus (young adult cancer) that myself and others in IPR (Joel, Anamara) are very committed to. And as someone from a family affected by a hereditary cancer syndrome that often strikes young, this achievement is of significant personal importance to me.”

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