VA Advanced Fellowship Program in Mental Illness Research and Treatment (Dementia or PTSD/Trauma)

The San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center is one of over 20 sites of the US Department of Veteran Affairs’ Advanced Fellowship Program in Mental Illness Research and Treatment. The primary goal of this program is to train psychologists, MDs, or other allied health professionals to become leading clinical researchers in high priority areas of mental health. The San Francisco site’s fellowship program has two areas of focus: dementia or post-traumatic stress disorder/trauma. This fellowship program is associated with the VISN21 Sierra Pacific Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC), affiliated with the University of California San Francisco, and funded by the Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Over the course of a two-year fellowship program, fellows are trained in academic and health systems research, advanced clinical care service delivery, and program administration in an interdisciplinary setting. The fellowship program combines individual mentored research and clinical training with state-of-the-art educational experiences. Fellows devote 75% time to research and educational activities and 25% to clinical training. Research training activities include statistics, epidemiology, mental health systems, quality improvement methods, education, and service delivery. In collaboration with their mentors, fellows will develop and implement research projects, publish and present findings, participate in grant writing, and utilize the latest technology for educational activities and clinical service delivery.

One highly successful aspect of training has been the video conference seminar series. Led by experts in the field, this series provides didactics to VA fellows at all sites across the country through the video conferencing system. These didactics emphasize presentations on all aspects of career development, from grant and manuscript preparation to the role of mentorship. A second emphasis is on the most recent advances in conducting specific components of clinical research in mental health, from genetics to designing the best interventions. There is also a strong emphasis on state-of-the-art methodological approaches to mental health research and practice. Seminar topics last year included VA career development, funding and resources, behavioral genetics, health informatics, and designing clinical trials of behavioral therapies. Ongoing multi-site workshops on manuscript and grant preparation are provided to the fellows in addition to ongoing weekly biostatistical consultation through the coordinating center.

Core faculty members



Eligibility requirements

Applicants from doctoral programs in psychology and other allied health professions must be U.S. citizens. Psychology applicants must have graduated from an American Psychological Association (APA)-accredited doctoral program in clinical or counseling psychology. Completion of an APA-accredited internship in clinical or counseling psychology also is required. For information on eligibility requirements for other allied health disciplines, please contact Sherry Beaudreau. Also, see the national fellowship website for additional information.

Contacts and application information

Applications are now being accepted for the 2018-2019 academic year. Application deadline is December 15, 2017.

Interested psychologists, MDs, and allied health professionals who meet the eligibility requirements should submit:

  1. A letter of interest detailing the applicant’s research experience, interests, career goals, and proposed faculty mentor(s) from list above
  2. CV
  3. Three letters of recommendation

Applicants interested in the dementia focus should submit their materials via email to Dr. Kaup. Applicants interested in the PTSD/trauma focus should submit their materials via email to Dr. Maguen.

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