Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.



Quick Links

Veterans Crisis Line Badge
My healthevet badge
EBenefits Badge

VISN 5 MIRECC - VA Advanced Fellowship Program in Mental Illness Research and Treatment


About Us • Clinical • Education • Research


VISN 5 MIRECC Fellowship Brochure 2019

Download Postdoctoral Residency Admissions, Support, and Initial Placement Data

VISN 5 MIRECC Fellowship Brief Description

The Advanced Fellowship Program in Mental Illness Research and Treatment at the VISN 5 MIRECC offers a post-doctoral Fellowship in Clinical Psychology and a post-residency Fellowship in Psychiatry. The goal of these two-year Fellowships is to train psychologists and psychiatrists to become leading clinicians and clinical researchers in the area of serious mental illness.

Our Program provides Fellows an outstanding collaborative and interdisciplinary setting in which to pursue advanced research training within the field of serious mental illness in the following areas:

  • psychosocial intervention development and testing
  • recovery-oriented and rehabilitation services
  • comorbid conditions and health behavior change
  • dissemination and implementation of health services
  • family and community intervention
  • special populations
  • psychopharmacology
  • neurobiological bases of serious mental illness

Fellows receive intensive mentoring from MIRECC investigators and pursue their research interests while learning to apply advanced biostatistical methods and develop skills in manuscript submission and grant writing. Fellows gain advanced clinical training in the delivery of evidence-based practices for Veterans with serious mental illness in a range of service delivery settings. Our Fellowship Program has clinical supervisors who work throughout the mental health and substance abuse programs offered at the VA Maryland Health Care System (VAMHCS); Fellows can design clinical experience that fit in with their training needs. In line with our adherence to a scientist-practitioner model, Fellows integrate their clinical and research training and use research as an opportunity both to further develop their clinical skills as well as contribute to the evidence base of services for individuals with mental illness.

Our site is one of 25 Advanced Fellowship sites located at MIRECCs across the country that are linked via a Hub Site that coordinates activities electronically and by two-way interactive videoconference for learning and information sharing. The Hub Site provides educational opportunities and administrative support to our Fellows in all aspects of their training and career development over the course of their participation in the Fellowship.

Fellowship Goals & Objectives

The primary goal of our Fellowship Program is to develop outstanding healthcare system and academic leaders who will be experts in evidence-based practice, research methods, and training in order to improve the lives of Veterans with serious mental illness. This goal is achieved by providing Fellows with advanced clinical and research training through supervised and mentored experiences and cutting-edge educational opportunities. Successful graduates of the Program pursue careers in academic research and education in mental health, as well as leadership careers that emphasize education and clinical contributions in mental health in VA settings, local communities, and state-run mental health systems. In particular, our Program aims to train Fellows for academic and leadership careers within the VA Mental Health Service System.

Program Structure

There are three main components of the Fellowship Program: research, educational, and clinical activities. Patient-oriented research and educational activities comprise the majority of the Fellowship training, while 25% of the training is devoted to supervised direct patient clinical care. These activities are outlined in detail below. The Fellowship Program contains a didactic component which provides key core content on the three main components of the Fellowship Program. Fellows are linked to other sites by means of a monthly Video Teleconference (V-Tel) seminar hosted by the Hub Site. This seminar provides an in-depth overview of key topics in mental health research and clinical practice by experts in the field.

Psychology Resident Applicants

Applicants for the psychology fellowship must have graduated from an American Psychological Association (APA) accredited doctoral program in clinical or counseling psychology (or be on track to complete their graduate program prior to beginning the Fellowship), must have completed an APA-accredited internship, and must be U.S. citizens. Successful applicants typically have substantial research and clinical experience in the area of adult serious mental illness and plan to pursue a career focused on research.

Individuals interested in applying for the Fellowship may send materials electronically to Melanie Bennett, PhD via email at or or via phone at (410) 637-1859. Dr. Bennett can also answer inquiries or questions about the Fellowship and provide details about the Fellowship's training opportunities.

The current stipend rate is $46,169.00 for first-year Fellows.

Post-Residency Fellowship Applicants

Applicants for the Post-Residency Fellowship must have completed Accrediting Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) or American Osteopathic Association (AOA) accredited residency training, must be either board-certified or actively pursuing board certification, and must be specifically interested in pursuing a clinical research career focused on psychiatric disorders and associated conditions. Applicants must also have an active, unrestricted U.S. license to practice. International medical graduates must also have a current visa and an Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) certificate that is valid indefinitely. Applicants on a J-1 visa must also have current ECFMG sponsorship.

Applicants are asked to submit a letter/statement of interest, three signed reference letters (with at least two that include the applicant's research experiences/skills), a Curriculum Vitae, and copy of medical school transcripts. Materials may be sent electronically to Seth Himelhoch, MD, MPH, via email at or shimelho@psych.umaryland@edu or via phone at (410) 637-1863. Dr. Himelhoch can also answer inquiries or questions about the Fellowship and provide details about the Fellowship's training opportunities.

Stipends will be based on years of previously completed residency training accredited by the ACGME and index rates approved at the respective VA facility and affiliated university.

Additional information about the VA Special Fellowship Program in Advanced Psychiatry and Psychology is available on the national MIRECC website at