MIRA Chat Group

MIRA is Hiring! Postdoctoral Fellow, Psychiatry (Remote - 24 months)

May 27th, 2022


Dear colleagues and friends,

We are currently looking to identify a Psychiatry Postdoctoral Fellow (PDF) to support the expansion of services of MIRA, the mental health system navigation chatbot, to additional specialized groups (incl. workplaces and universities), and provinces, and oversee the development of peer-support training modules that will be integrated into the chatbots service offerings specifically to peer-support workers and trainees over the next two years (2022-2024). They would also support the translation of the chatbot to French.

They will be working on a multi-disciplinary team, inclusive of 2 computing science Master students, 2 psychiatry Postdoctoral Fellows (one supporting overall project coordination, as well as working hand-in-hand with this Fellow on the expansion of services to additional groups and provinces, and one supporting the expansion of services to children and youth), and 1 Indigenous studies PhD student, supporting the co-creation of MIRA with Indigenous communities.

Funding is secured to fully support this position. The PDF would be first offered a 6-month contract, with the opportunity for extension following a review. The PDF would be working under the supervision of Dr. Andrew J. Greenshaw, Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Alberta; Scientific Director of the APEC Digital Hub for Mental Health, and Dr. Vincent Agyapong, Professor of Psychiatry and Global Mental Health, Head of the Department of Psychiatry, Dalhousie University; Chief of Psychiatry, Central Zone, Nova Scotia Health Authority.

Start date is as soon as possible. The annual stipend/salary is $50,000. This is a full- time position.

About MIRA:

This project is being developed in partnership with Mood Disorders Society of Canada, the Universities of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Western, and Dalhousie University, AI4Society, International Indigenous Health Research and Training Centre, and the APEC Digital Hub for Mental Health. It seeks to develop a mental health system navigation machine intelligence chatbot (MIRA, the Mental Health Virtual Assistant) and evaluate its feasibility and effectiveness for specialized groups in the provinces of Ontario, Alberta, Nova Scotia, British Columbia and Quebec. The chatbot will serve as an information broker, inclusive of supporting mental health literacy and the provision of evidence-based self-care tools, in addition to general mental health system navigation. It seeks to complement existing services, rather than compete with them. This project would be an expansion using an existing prototype of the chatbot developed in the Summer of 2021 and anticipated to be piloted later this year and in early 2022 to healthcare workers and their families in Alberta and Nova Scotia. The chatbot will draw resources for recommendation to clients via a validated resource portal (rather than the open internet), named the MIRA Library, to ensure resources recommended are viable and of quality. This portal was developed in Summer 2021, to complement our first iteration of the chatbot and would also be expanded to include resources for the expansion of services to additional groups and provinces.

PDF Job Description:

The primary responsibility of this PDF will be to support the expansion of the MIRA Mental Health Virtual Assistant to specialized groups of interest (healthcare workers, Veterans, first responders and others as identified by MDSC), in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, and oversee the development of peer-support training modules that will be integrated into the chatbots service offerings specifically to peer-support workers and trainees. This PDF will also be responsible for overseeing the chatbots expansion of service offerings into French (for the MIRA Chatbot and MIRA Library), with the assistance of contracted translation services. For this, a strong contextual understanding of the French language is needed, and as such, we are looking for a native French speaker with certifications of a working knowledge of the French language.

The PDF would work hand-in-hand with our existing MIRA team, including:

  • Project Coordinator (and fellow PDF) working on the expansion of services to the same specialized groups in the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, and Nova Scotia,
  • 2 Master students from the Computing Science department at the University of Alberta,
  • 1 Postdoctoral Fellow from Western University responsible for the expansion of services to children and youth, and
  • 1 PhD student with expertise in Indigenous Studies,
  • a strong core team (inclusive of members from all partner organizations noted above),
  • an existing multi-disciplinary 30-member Expert Advisory Committee from across Canada, inclusive of Members of the Indigenous Community, Individuals with Lived Experience, as well as health service providers, front-line healthcare workers, and senior policy makers.

Advancements in Computing Science and Psychiatry:

  • Expansion of a new mental health system navigation tool tailored to specialized groups
  • Evaluation for effectiveness and client satisfaction
  • Sub-group analysis of digital health tools, including exploring concepts related to Health Information-Seeking Behaviour
  • Contributions to the deliberations around ethics and legal issues in AI and chatbot space
  • Psychiatric expertise and contributions in the advancement of computing science including supporting advancements in:
    • Natural Language Processing
    • Data augmentation
    • Voice command and speech to text
    • Sentiment analysis
    • Explainability
    • Development of domain specific knowledge graphs

Responsibilities:

  • Designs research projects.
  • Collects administrative project approvals (health research ethics board approvals, operational and administrative approvals if required, etc.).
  • Designs experiments, data collection protocols and standards.
  • Oversees and/or conducts participant recruitment and data collection.
  • Conducts advanced analysis of research results.
  • Prepares proposals for new research activities, including assisting in the preparation of research grant applications.
  • Prepares research papers and presentations.
  • Presents research results in laboratory meetings, seminars, scientific conferences and/or related settings.
  • Trains and supervises new support staff and students (graduate and undergraduate).
  • Fosters communication with off-campus partners.
  • Assists with related administrative duties as required by the principal investigator.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Advanced verbal and written command of the French language (French as a first language is an asset). Certification supporting the candidates working knowledge of the French language is also an asset.
  • Advanced verbal and written command of the English language
  • The candidate must have obtained a PhD in a relevant field within the last 5 years and have research experience in psychiatry, health sciences or related fields.
  • Expertise in clinical trials, statistics and/or qualitative methodologies and concepts.
  • Ability to develop a strong rapport with clinicians in combination with strong communication skills.
  • Experience writing peer-reviewed manuscripts, conference abstracts and/or government grants.
  • Ability to work independently as well as contributing to team development, including during the supervisor's periodic absences from the lab, is required.
  • Experience working with new digital innovations in mental health.

How to Apply:

If interested, please send Dr. Jasmine Noble (Project Coordinator and PDF) a cover letter and full curriculum vitae: j.m.noble@ualberta.ca.

Please note: This position will remain open until filled. If this job posting is live, the position is still available.

No residency requirement: Please note that remote appointments will also be considered for applicants living in Canada but outside Edmonton, AB. Successful application will be allowed to take on this position remotely (you will not need to relocate).