The goal of this training program is to prepare clinical psychologists, who are trained in university Departments of Psychology, for careers as clinical researchers in a variety of settings, including academic medical centers. Clinical psychologists are well trained in psychological theory, research methodology, and quantitative skills and are committed to empirical approaches to clinical science. Additional preparation is necessary, however, to enable them to work effectively with patients with major psychiatric disorders;to collaborate with members of an interdisciplinary team, many of whom have medical backgrounds;and to compete successfully for independent research funding. In this competing renewal application, we propose to continue an existing program that has successfully become a model of an integrated three-year predoctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship for promising researchers trained initially in clinical psychology. We are requesting support only for the latter two years of the program, that is, six stipends for clinical research training at the postdoctoral stage. Nonetheless, by recruiting graduate students in clinical psychology with demonstrated scholarly accomplishments prior to the predoctoral internship, we are in a unique position to identify and prepare talented young psychologists for academic careers.
The specific aims are to provide trainees with (1) intensive clinical experience (during the internship) in the management of a broad spectrum of patients seen in an academic medical center;(2) a predoctoral and postdoctoral curriculum that enhances conceptual and practical skills in clinical research, including instruction in the responsible conduct of research;and (3) an intensive research apprenticeship (at the postdoctoral level) with an established clinical investigator and mentor. We have a sustained record of recruiting trainees from the best clinical psychology programs in the country and helping them to launch research careers. The program has made a strong showing on outcomes central to the mandate of institutional research training grants: placement of graduates in academic positions (84%) and successful pursuit by graduates of independent research funding (70%).
Our three-year, intern-to-postdoctoral-scholar training sequence is uniquely positioned to train psychological clinical scientists needed to enhance the public health by promoting translational research combining basic behavioral and biological science, development and adaptation of emipirically supported treatments, and the dissemination of such treatments in the health care system.
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