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Little Rock, Arkansas Fellowships | South Central MIRECC

Buildings and flag pole on the North Little Rock campus of Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System


We offer two-year postdoctoral fellowships at our Little Rock, Arkansas site. Our mission is to promote equity in engagement, access, and quality of mental healthcare to Veterans facing barriers to care, especially rural Veterans. The purpose of these fellowships is to train health care professionals for future leadership roles in research, education, and clinical services, particularly in academic and medical care settings such as VA. Although many Fellows pursue careers focused predominantly on academic research and education in mental health, successful graduates of the program also pursue leadership careers that emphasize education and clinical contributions in mental health.

By the end of the fellowship program, Fellows should be ready to pursue entry-level leadership roles, which integrate state-of-the-art research, education, and clinical approaches to mental health in the VA healthcare system and other settings. Fellows pursuing academic clinical-research careers should also be ready to submit applications for career development awards (such as VA Career Development Awards or NIH K-Awards) toward the end of their fellowship.

Advanced Fellowship in Mental Illness and Treatment

Advanced Fellowship Program in Mental Illness Research and Treatment

Practitioners, including psychologists, pharmacists, nurses, and social workers are eligible to apply. This fellowship is a two-year research training program with 75% time devoted to research and 25% to advanced clinical training.

Advanced Psychiatry Fellowship

Advanced Psychiatry Fellowship

This fellowship for professional psychiatrists is a two-year research training program with 75% time devoted to research and 25% to advanced clinical training.


Research Mentors and Interest Areas

  • Michael A. Cucciare, PhD: Implementation of evidence-based treatments, computer-based technology in mental health treatment, treatments for substance use disorders
  • Geoffrey Curran, PhD: Implementation science, qualitative methods, substance use disorders
  • Ellen Fischer, PhD: Rural populations’ access to treatment, family involvement in care for PTSD and schizophrenia, outcomes of care
  • Teresa Hudson, PharmD, PhD: Use of large epidemiologic databases to study access and quality of care, opioid use and risk factors for misuse/abuse, rural/urban disparities in care
  • JoAnn Kirchner, MD: Implementation science, implementation of evidence-based practices in clinical settings, primary care mental health integration
  • Sara Landes, PhD: Implementation science, suicide prevention, dialectical behavior therapy
  • Richard R. Owen, MD: Schizophrenia, depression, management of antipsychotic drug side effects, implementation science; quality of care
  • Jacob Painter, PharmD, MBA, PhD: Implementation science, cost effectiveness analysis, treating depression in persons with HIV, improving care for Veterans with complex behavioral health conditions
  • Jeffrey Pyne, MD: Telemedicine, PTSD, psychophysiological assessment, virtual reality, substance use disorders, cost-effectiveness analyses, mental health-clergy collaboration
  • Eva Woodward, PhD: Implementation science; health disparities and health equity; mental health evaluations in medical settings; community and patient engagement in research; implementation practice

Training Site

Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System (CAVHS) is a large and complex VA Medical System, with two large medical facilities in the Little Rock metropolitan area of about 580,000 people. CAVHS also has community-based outpatient clinics (CBOCs) throughout Arkansas to serve its large rural population of Veterans. In addition to the SC MIRECC, CAVHS hosts three other VA research centers: the HSR&D Center for Mental Healthcare Outcomes Research (CeMHOR), the Behavioral Health Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (BH QUERI), and the Little Rock Geriatric, Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC). The academic affiliate is the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). Fellows receive Instructor appointments and are involved in the academic activities of UAMS faculty in the Center for Health Services Research within the Department of Psychiatry.

Arkansas, “the Natural State,” offers a multitude of scenic landscapes along with natural and cultural resources and programs. Little Rock, the state capitol, has many excellent restaurants, a thriving cultural community, museums, public golf courses, Pinnacle Mountain State Park, and the 17-mile Arkansas River Trail for walking, jogging, and cycling. Arkansas has a large state park system with campsites, hiking trails, mountain lodges, interpretive events, fall foliage programs, and activities for all seasons.

Contact Us

Please direct questions about the Advanced Fellowship Program at CAVHS and application process to Ms. Kristin Ward (see contact information below) or to Dr. Michael A. Cucciare (

Administrative Contact/Submission of Materials:
Kristin Ward
South Central MIRECC
2200 Fort Roots Drive, 16MIR
N. Little Rock, AR 72114-1706

Other Helpful Information


Last updated: February 12, 2024