VISN 17 Center of Excellence - MIRECC / CoE
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VISN 17 Center of Excellence

Postdoctoral Fellowship Program




Program Overview

The purpose of the Program is to prepare postdoctoral clinical and counseling psychology fellows for advanced practice and research with Veterans who suffer with PTSD, TBI, depression, substance use, chronic pain and other co-occurring disorders. This program aims to train psychologists to become outstanding clinical research leaders in high priority areas of mental health. Individualized, mentored research and clinical training is combined with a state-of-the-art curriculum that emphasizes research methods, statistics, epidemiology, mental health systems, quality improvement methods, education, and service delivery. The VISN17 Waco Center of Excellence is one of 25 fellowship sites nationally. Sites are linked electronically with the hub site in Palo Alto, CA for didactic, academic, and research efforts.

Our training model is that fellows devote 75% of their time to clinical research, education activities, and the business administration of research, and 25% to clinical training and service delivery. In collaboration with their mentors, fellows develop and implement a research project, publish and present findings, participate in grant writing and submit a grant, and utilize advanced technology for educational activities and clinical service delivery. Fellows also obtain training in research-related administration activities via involvement in one or more designated projects. Current fellowship openings are within the VISN 17 Center of Excellence (CoE)’s Assessment Core, which conducts clinically-meaningful research to better understand the experiences and needs of returning war Veterans and their families over time so that effective early intervention and treatment programs can be developed.


About the Program

Clinical Rotations
In addition to the training and supervision Fellows will receive in conducting research, applying for grants, and reporting research findings, clinical fellows will assume clinical responsibilities through at least one of the mental health clinics of the Waco VA Medical Center. Past fellows have worked in both outpatient and residential treatment settings, dedicated to the treatment of PTSD, SUD, cognitive disorders, and mood disorders.

The Fellowship Calendar
The Fellowship in Professional Psychology is full-time for two years (with possible renewal for a third year), beginning between July 1 and October (negotiable). Fellows are given credit for 2080 hours of training for a full year, thereby fulfilling the licensing requirements of most states. It is the responsibility of the Fellow to determine the licensing requirements of any state(s) or jurisdiction(s) where they intend to seek licensure or registration, and to take steps to ensure that they meet these requirements.

Hours/Tour of Duty
Training is conducted during regular work hours, Monday through Friday. Work hours will vary to some degree according to the work setting/team/project. A typical "tour of duty" for VISN 17 CoE is from 8:00am to 4:30pm, with 12:00pm to 12:30pm designated for lunchtime. A Fellow receives credit for 40 hours each week. Extended hours are periodically required in order to fulfill research, clinical and/or administrative expectations. Due to specific needs, some projects or clinical units organize their week to include one or more days when the staff works different hours (e.g., 12:00 noon – 8:30pm, or 10:00am – 6:30pm). The Training Director must be notified in writing of non-standard schedules, which require approval.

Fellows accrue 4 hours per pay period each for annual leave and sick leave (13 days each, annually), in addition to 10 Federal holidays. Except in an emergency, planned leave time must first be negotiated with the supervisor, taking into account CoE, Core and patient coverage issues, and subsequently submitted electronically to the supervisor for approval. Per VA policy, leave can be used only after it is accrued; advanced leave may be authorized by the supervisor only in exceptional circumstances. Additional time (e.g., travel authorization, authorized absences) to attend educational activities, to present research papers, or to attend professional meetings can be negotiated with the clinical supervisor and the Director of Training, within the same guidelines as other VISN 17 CoE staff. VA policy prohibits terminal leave. In other words, all Fellows must clear station (be present) on their final day of duty.

Salary and Benefits
The annual stipend for Psychology Fellows for FY2015 is $42,239 in the first year, $44,522 in the second year, and if applicable, $46,806 in the third year. Fellows are eligible to participate in the optional health and life insurance plans that are available to other employees of the Veterans Health Care Administration. There are a variety of plans and premiums available. If you are interested in gathering more information about these plans, please contact Human Resources Management Service at (254) 743 0048. From with the VA system, the extension is 40048.

Guiding Principles
The fellowship program has been developed in accordance with guidelines established by the American Psychological Association, the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC), and VA Guidelines for Postdoctoral Programs. The program is not currently APA accredited, nor an APPIC member, but intends to seek APPIC membership, and accreditation through the American Psychological Association.


How to Apply

If you have any questions or would like more information about our Fellowship program, please contact Dr. Richard Seim at 254-297-5109 or

Application Information

Applicants must be U.S. citizens. Applicants must complete all requirements of an APA-accredited doctoral program in clinical or counseling psychology and an APA-accredited internship in clinical or counseling psychology prior to entering the program. Applicants can be in the process of completing these requirements.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until positions are filled.

Application Procedure

The following materials are required to apply:

1. A cover letter that includes in detail the following elements:

a. Previous clinical, educational and/or research experience or interest involving Veterans.

b. Previous clinical, educational and/or research experience or interest in any of the Center’s areas of research.

c. A description of your career goals and how you envision the Fellowship advancing them.

2. Curriculum Vitae

3. Official transcripts from graduate school (including awarding date of doctoral degree). If the doctoral degree has not yet been awarded, we will require an official transcript with awarding date before admission to the Program.

4. Three or four letters of recommendation, from:

a. Your dissertation Chair (to include the status of your dissertation and anticipated completion date, if your doctoral degree has not yet been awarded)

b. A clinical supervisor who is very familiar with your work

c. Another supervisor who is very familiar with your clinical/research work

d. At least one letter should be from an internship supervisor discussing progress on internship and anticipated completion date.

Complete application materials can be submitted electronically to the email address above, or by mail/courier to:

WACO, TX 76711-1329