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Houston, Texas Fellowships | South Central MIRECC

Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center


The South Central Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC) has two-year postdoctoral fellowships in psychology and psychiatry in Houston, Texas. By the end of the program, Fellows pursuing academic clinical-research careers should be ready to submit applications for career development awards, such as VA Career Development Awards or NIMH K-Awards.

MIRECC Advanced Psychology Fellowship

This two-year postdoctoral clinical research training program in advanced psychology has three components: research, education, and clinical care.

Applied clinical research and education activities make up 75% of fellowship training, and formal clinical training rotations make up 25% of the fellowship. Core research areas include:

  • Evidence-based psychotherapies
  • Primary care mental health
  • Behavioral Medicine
  • Geropsychology and dementia
  • PTSD
  • Other anxiety disorders (panic, OCD, generalized anxiety disorder)
  • Substance use disorders
  • Sleep and CBT for insomnia
  • Outcome research, intervention development, clinical trials
  • Health disparities
  • Health-services and implementation research
  • Distance-based or technology-based mental health interventions
  • Smoking cessation

MIRECC Advanced Physician Fellowship

The MIRECC Advanced Physician Fellowship in Houston, Texas, offers a two-year fellowship program training future VA leaders for academic and research careers in a rapidly evolving heath care arena by providing a firm foundation in mental health research, education, and clinical care. It offers four specialty tracks:

  1. Interventional Psychiatry: Focus on developing specialized expertise in approved and experimental interventional treatments such as rTMS, ECT, DBS, ketamine and psychedelics.
  2. Health Services: Trains researchers who are well-versed in the issues of access, utilization, outcomes, and effectiveness of geriatric mental health disorders.
  3. Clinical Psychopharmacology: Helps investigators translate discoveries in brain science into clinically effective treatments for brain-based illnesses like depression and bipolar disorder.
  4. Brain Imaging: Explores brain and behavior relationships in mental illness that influence their cause and treatment. Conditions such as anxiety disorders and complications of impulsivity, aggression, language, and mood disturbances are presently under study, but in principle this approach is applicable to a wide range of conditions.


Fellowship Benefits

  • A paid full-time fellowship through the VA Office of Academic Affiliations.
  • Financial support for books and research start-up funds
  • A two-year program cultivating expertise in VA mental health services research, administration, leadership, and clinical care
  • Research mentoring from a primary mentor and a team of mentors

Program Director

Chadi G. Abdallah, MD

Current Postdoctoral Fellows:

  • Rachele Lipsky, PhD, MSN, PMHNP-BC
  • Alan Sheinfil, PhD
  • Juinell Williams, PhD


  • US Citizenship
  • MD degree and US physician license
  • Completed ACGME-accredited residency

Application materials:

  • CV
  • Cover letter/statement of interest
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Optional: Writing sample (e., first author publication, dissertation chapter)

For more information or any questions, you may have, contact the fellowship director, Dr. Abdallah ( To submit an application, contact Kendall Moore ( For more information on the program and application processes, see:

Preceptors & Mentors

Training Site

Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is one of the largest clinical care facilities in VA and is host to one of 14 VA Health Services Research and Development Centers of Innovation (COIN).

The Houston COIN houses over 30 research investigators and 150 research staff from disciplines including medicine, psychology, psychiatry, epidemiology, and statistics/methodology.

The academic affiliate for MEDVAMC is Baylor College of Medicine. Selected fellows will be appointed Instructors in the Baylor College of Medicine Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

These fellowships are part of the national VA Special Fellowships Program. Working with their mentoring team, each fellow will develop a set of practice experiences that best complement their research and career.

Other Helpful Information



Last updated: June 13, 2024