Careers - PTSD: National Center for PTSD
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PTSD: National Center for PTSD

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Careers

The National Center for PTSD has fellowships and internships programs as well as a list of current positions available at the Center's divisions. If you are interested in a career at the VA in mental health, resources are listed in this article.

Internship and Postdoctoral Fellowship Programs

Approved pre-doctoral internships and postdoctoral fellowships for psychology are offered at some Center Divisions, see below. For Fellowship Requirements, see the bottom of this page. For internships, please see the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (www.appic.org).

Mental Health Careers

VA is a leader in treating mental health issues, including PTSD, and employs a number of different types of mental health providers. Becoming a PTSD therapist within the VA first requires training and licensure as a psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse, psychologist, clinical social worker, or master's level clinician as described above. In addition to obtaining a license, experience in assessing and treating PTSD is expected.

Learn about VA's mission to improve the lives of Veterans and their families and locate job openings: VA's Mental Health Careers.

There are more types of therapists, counselors, and mental health providers who are qualified to treat issues related to trauma. To find information about becoming a mental health counselor and licensure in your state, visit the National Board for Certified CounselorsLink will take you outside the VA website. VA is not responsible for the content of the linked site..

Positions Currently Open



Position: Director, Pacific Islands Division
Location: Honolulu, HI
Description: Pacific Islands Division

Overview

The National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, seeks a dynamic, academically-oriented leader for the position of Director, Pacific Islands Division. We are seeking a senior doctor-level individual with a strong background in clinical psychology, psychiatry, social work, public health, and/or related field with a solid research and publication record in the area of mental health disparities within a multicultural context. A focus on PTSD or trauma is preferred, but applications working on other mental health disorders are encouraged to apply. A demonstrated record of publication, national leadership, and research grant funding are essential. Experience with program or policy development is preferred and recognition within the scientific and academic community is required.

The Director advances innovative programs and national collaborations in research and education, as well as promotes staff development and scientific productivity. Mentorship/teaching/training experience in the academic and/or clinical applied fields is desirable. Strong communication and interpersonal skills are essential, including sensitivity to issues related to the stigma of mental illness and minority mental health.

The Division is located at the VA Medical Center in Hawaii, which is the principal tertiary care referral center for Veterans from throughout the Hawaiian Islands, American Samoa, and Guam. The VA Medical Center provides a full spectrum of inpatient, residential, and outpatient medical-surgical and mental health services.

The Division also has an affiliation with the University of Hawaii. The Director would be expected to take a leading role with regard to both VA and university relationships.

How To apply

Interested applicants are encouraged to submit:

  1. Cover letter outlining interest in the position and personal career goals
  2. Resume or curriculum vita
  3. Current transcript (unofficial copies are acceptable)
  4. Names of two individuals who can serve as professional references.

Contact information

Please send curriculum vita and cover letter to Matthew J. Friedman, MD PhD at Matthew.Friedman@va.gov or Veronica.Thurston@va.gov, Inquiries are also accepted via telephone at (802) 295-9363, ext. 5326.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Position:VA-Sponsored Advanced Fellowships
Location: Menlo Park, CA
Description: PTSD Research and Treatment

The National Center for PTSD Division of Dissemination and Training is accepting applications for a Postdoctoral Fellowship. The Fellowship is a two year program sponsored by the Office of Academic Affiliations, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and provides an academic affiliation with the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Overview

Fellows devote the majority of their time to patient-oriented research and education activities and 25% to direct patient clinical care. The program is a mentorship-based experience where fellows work with a primary and secondary mentor on ongoing and/or independent research projects, publish and present findings, and prepare applications to funding agencies for research support. Potential research areas include PTSD treatment effectiveness trials, innovations in treatment applications, health services research on access and quality of PTSD care, telemental health trials testing video, internet, or smart phone-based interventions, and implementation science studies on mechanisms for expanding adoption of best care practices. Content areas of special focus include sleep, substance abuse, mental health service delivery in primary care, military sexual trauma (MST), and disaster response.

Clinical training includes intensive experience working with both female and male veterans and in individual and group modality. Training options include participation in residential, substance abuse and outpatient environments. Fellows are exposed to a variety of evidence-based therapies including Prolonged Exposure (PE), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Skills Training in Affective and Interpersonal Regulation (STAIR), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). In their second year, fellows will have the opportunity to provide clinical supervision to less advanced trainees.

The overarching goals in the National Center for PTSD D&T program are for fellows to develop the full range of skills required for independent functioning as a psychologist; and the skills required to function effectively as a psychologist in a high priority area of health care for veterans (e.g. PTSD).

Fellows are expected to demonstrate, by the end of their tenure (2 years), competence in the following areas: Clinical assessment, diagnosis, and intervention; Consultation, supervision, and teaching; Scholarly inquiry; Organization, administration, management, and program evaluation; Professional, ethical, and legal issues; and Cultural and individual diversity.

The current annual stipend for first year postdoc fellowship at VA Palo Alto is $64,268. We expect the second year stipend amount to be no less than first year's and may include cost of living increase.

Requirements

Application materials should be submitted via email to Ella.Koosis@va.gov

  1. A personal statement of professional goals and interests that strictly follows the instructions. Please review the National Center for PTSD Fellowship Training Brochure, which describes our programs training goals and opportunities with Training Faculty. In your letter please describe
    • Your previous educational, clinical and research experiences
    • Your areas of clinical and research interest and its alignment with the National Center for PTSD's emphasis area and mission
    • Specific clinical and research goals and objectives for your Fellowship year
    • Your career "next steps"
  2. Statement of interest should be no more than 2 pages and include the names of the three individuals expected to provide references.
  3. Current Curriculum Vitae
  4. Work Sample, such as a published manuscript on which you are first author or other written product that highlights your work relevant to PTSD emphasis area
  5. Three letters of reference from faculty members or clinical supervisors who know your research work well. One of these letters must be from your primary research mentor. Letter writers should email an electronic copy from his/her university or agency email address, and this will be considered an official "signed" copy.
  6. Psychologist applicants must have obtained a doctorate from an APA accredited program in clinical or counseling psychology and completed an APA accredited internship in clinical or counseling psychology. Social Work or Nursing applicants must have a doctorate from an accredited program and have appropriate clinical training. Associated Health Fellows must be U.S. citizens.

    The Fellowship Program is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to enhancing diversity within our staff and trainees.

    Contact information

    If you have any questions about the application process, please contact Ella Koosis, MPH (Administrative Officer) at Ella.Koosis@va.gov and for program content; please contact Marylene Cloitre, PhD (Fellowship Director) at marylene.cloitre@va.gov

    More information: Please visit www.paloalto.va.gov/services/mental/ncptsdfellowship.asp

    The Department of Veteran Affairs is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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    Position: Postdoctoral Fellowships
    Location: Boston, MA
    Description: Clinical Psychology with Emphasis on PTSD

    Overview

    Postdoctoral positions through the VA Boston Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship Program are APA accredited and are located within the VA Boston Healthcare System (VABHS). VABHS has affiliations with both Boston University School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School; it is anticipated that fellows will receive dual appointments with these affiliates during their fellowship year.

    The structure of the VA Boston Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship Program follows a multiple practice format as defined by APA's Policy Statements and Implementing Regulations. The Fellowship Program is organized into two separate areas: (1) the substantive traditional practice area of Clinical Psychology, and (2) the specialty practice area of Clinical Neuropsychology. Within the Clinical Psychology Training Program, we offer training in nine areas of emphasis ("tracks"): Geropsychology, General Mental Health, Behavioral Medicine, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Substance Abuse, Dual Diagnosis, Interprofessional Mental Health, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Healthcare, and Returning Veterans and Substance Abuse.

    Training for Clinical fellows accepted into the PTSD track is for the duration of one year. Salary and benefits are competitive. Training in the PTSD track occurs within the two local VA divisions of the National Center for PTSD (Behavioral Science and Women's Health Sciences). PTSD faculty provide advanced clinical training within specialized outpatient programs for male and female Veterans. Additionally, staff are active in research and offer a range of research opportunities to complement the clinical emphasis of the PTSD training program.

    How to apply

    The Postdoctoral Fellowship Training Brochure and application instructions can be downloaded from the VA Boston Psychology Fellowship website. The online brochure details information about all APA Accredited Fellowship programs available. Minority candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

    Contact information

    Amy K. Silberbogen, PhD,
    Psychology Service (116B),
    VA Boston Healthcare System
    150 South Huntington Avenue
    Boston, MA, 02130.
    Email: amy.silberbogen@va.gov

    Email inquires for the PTSD Fellowship can be directed to:
    Dr. Steve Quinn (Steve.Quinn@va.gov) or Dr. Eve Davison (Eve.Davison@va.gov).

    General inquires about the Postdoctoral Fellowship Program can be directed to the Training Director, Dr. Amy Silberbogen.

    The Department of Veteran Affairs is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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    Position: VA-Sponsored Advanced Fellowships
    Location: West Haven, CT
    Description: PTSD Research and Treatment

    The Clinical Neurosciences division of the National Center for PTSD at VA CT Health Care System and Yale University School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry offer two-year term fellowships designed to advance PTSD research and clinical training among physicians and psychologists who would like to embark on an academic career.

    Overview

    Two incoming Fellows (one physician and one psychologist) are funded each year. Fellows will work closely with research mentors from the National Center for PTSD and Yale University and will conduct their clinical duties at the PTSD Clinic at the West Haven VA. Fellows will carry an appointment at Yale University (MDs as advanced fellows PGY-5/6 and Psychologists as Postdoctoral Associates) and will have full access to all Yale University resources to advance their research and career.

    The primary objective of this training program is to prepare individuals for academically-oriented careers in the following areas: clinical neuroscience research, PTSD treatment, and PTSD mental health services research. Other area of research will be considered based on the availability of appropriate mentors.

    Fellows will devote 75% of their time to research and education activities and 25% to clinical care. Incoming Fellows will be assigned to work with research mentors who best match their research interests. Research mentors are available from a wide range of departments at Yale University such as psychiatry, neurobiology, the neuroscience program at Yale and the department of psychology. In special cases a secondary mentor may be designated outside Yale University to advance the fellows' research career and interest.

    Fellows will work with mentors on ongoing and/or independent research projects, publish and present findings, and prepare applications to funding agencies for research support. Advance clinical training and supervision in Evidence Based Treatment for PTSD is also provided. Fellows will benefit from a rich educational and clinical environment at the Clinical Neuroscience Division of the National Center for PTSD, Yale University, and the PTSD clinic at the West Haven VA Medical Center.

    Anticipated start date will be July 1st. A later start date will be considered based on the applicant's needs.

    How to apply

    Requirements for Physician and Psychologist applicants are detailed above. International medical graduates applying to the Physician Fellowship must also have a current visa and an ECFMG certificate that is valid indefinitely. Applicants on a J-1 visa must have current ECFMG sponsorship as well.

    Priority will be given to individuals applying early, and applications will be accepted until December 31st. Application should include a personal statement of professional goals and interests, a curriculum vita, and three letters of reference. Minority candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

    Applications should be addressed to the program directors:
    Drs. Steven Southwick and Ilan Harpaz-Rotem

    Please mail applications materials to:
    Brenda Martini, M.A., Health Sciences Officer
    National Center for PTSD
    VA CT Healthcare System
    950 Campbell Ave (151E)
    West Haven, CT 06516

    Application may be also submitted via email.

    Contact information

    Ilan Harpaz-Rotem, PhD
    Phone: (203) 937-4760
    Email: Ilan.harpaz-rotem@yale.edu

    Steven Southwick MD
    Phone: (203) 932-5711 ext 4448
    Email: Steven.southwick@va.gov

    The Department of Veteran Affairs is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

    Fellowship Requirements

    Physician fellowship requirements

    • Completed an ACGME, AOA, or equivalent accredited specialty or subspecialty residency training program
    • Have an active, unrestricted U.S. license to practice

    Psychology fellowship requirements

    • U.S. citizenship
    • Earned doctorate in psychology from an APA-approved program by start date
    • Completed APA-approved internship

    The Department of Veteran Affairs is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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    Position:Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Women's Mental Health
    Location: Boston, MA

    The VA Boston Healthcare System is accepting applications for a two-year research fellowship in women's mental health to begin in August/September 2021. The primary objective of this training program is to produce clinical researchers who are qualified to function as independent clinician investigators in women's mental health, with a particular focus on the scientific study of stress, trauma, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The fellowship represents one track within an interdisciplinary Advanced Fellowship in Women's Health, is closely affiliated with the Boston University School of Medicine and is housed within the Women's Health Sciences Division of the National Center for PTSD (WHSD-NCPTSD). These facilities offer outstanding resources that include didactic training, grant writing workshop, well-equipped psychophysiology and cognitive research laboratories, advanced computing facilities and engaged mentors with a broad range of professional expertise. Fellows will have the opportunity to participate in ongoing research projects conducted by program faculty, initiate independent research projects, conduct secondary analyses on existing data sets, prepare applications to federal and other funding agencies for research support, and provide direct clinical services to patients under the guidance of a clinical supervisor. Fellowship graduates should have the potential to be role models in leading, developing, conducting, and evaluating innovative research, educational products, and clinical care in health issues pertaining to women and women veterans.

    First consideration will be given to applications received by December 10, 2020. Graduate training in clinical or counseling psychology is preferred, but applications are welcome from candidates in related fields. Applicants must have completed all requirements for the doctoral degree prior to starting the program. Candidates from underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply. The salary and benefits package is competitive. More information about WHSD-NCPTSD faculty and research interests can be found at https://www.ptsd.va.gov/about/divisions/womens/index.asp.

    How to apply

    Applications should include a cover letter summarizing professional interests and goals, and a curriculum vita. Three letters of reference should be sent directly from letter writers.

    Applications should be submitted via e-mail to:
    Amy Street, Ph.D., Women's Health Fellowship Director,
    National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System

    Email: amy.street@va.gov

    The VA Boston Healthcare System is an equal opportunity employer.

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    Position:Deputy Director - Dissemination & Training Division
    Location: Palo Alto, CA

    The National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (NCPTSD), in partnership with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine, is seeking a full-time Deputy Director of the NCPTSD Dissemination & Training Division at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System.

    The National Center for PTSD (NCPTSD) consortium is the world's leading research and educational center of excellence on PTSD and traumatic stress. The NCPTSD Dissemination and Training Division is based at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System and works with VA facilities nationwide. Focal areas of this Division include improving the quality of PTSD care through implementation science and expanding the reach of PTSD care through mobile apps and other digital technologies.

    The chosen candidate will be an emerging thought leader and a capable administrator with an established program of research in posttraumatic stress or related disorders, implementation science, and/or digital mental health. Possible candidates could include, but are not limited to, psychologists, psychiatrists, neuropsychiatrists, and neuropsychologists. Clinical psychologist applicants must have a doctoral degree in psychology or equivalent degree, have completed an APA-accredited internship, and possess or be fully eligible for licensure as a psychologist in California. Physician applicants must have a medical degree or equivalent degree, completed training in General Psychiatry, be board-certified in General Psychiatry, and possess or be fully eligible for a California medical license. Physicians interested in working with children must hold board certification in child psychiatry.

    The Deputy Director works with the Director to prioritize and oversee Dissemination & Training Division research and education activities, mentor junior faculty and postdoctoral fellows, and represent the Division with professional organizations, VA national leadership, and other stakeholders. The Deputy Director, together with the Director, directly or indirectly supervises 45 staff. The Deputy Director maintains an active program of scholarly research through obtaining grants and publishing peer-reviewed publications on implementation science, digital mental health, or other PTSD-related topics.

    Candidates may be considered with appointment as an Assistant, Associate, or full Professor in either the Medical Central Line or Non-Tenure Line (Research) in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine, or appointment to the appropriate rank within the Clinician Educator (Affiliated) faculty, commensurate with experience and scholarly record.

    The major criteria for appointment for faculty in the Medical Center Line are excellence in the overall mix of clinical care, clinical teaching, scholarly activity that advances clinical medicine, and institutional service appropriate to the programmatic need the individual is expected to fulfill.

    The major criterion for appointment for faculty in the Non-tenure Line (Research) is evidence of high-level performance as a researcher for whose special knowledge a programmatic need exists.

    The major criterion for appointment as Clinician Educator is excellence in the overall mix of clinical care, teaching, administrative and/or scholarship appropriate to the programmatic need the individual is expected to fulfill.

    This position is only open to U.S. citizens and nationals. Stanford and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs are equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employers. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Stanford welcomes applications from all who would bring additional dimensions to the University's research, teaching and clinical missions.

    How to apply

    Interested candidates should send a copy of their curriculum vitae, a brief letter outlining their experiences and interests and the names of three references via e-mail only to:

    Search Chair: Craig Rosen, Ph.D., c/o Ella Koosis
    National Center for PTSD Dissemination & Training Division
    VA Palo Alto Health Care System
    795 Willow Road (334-PTSD)
    Menlo Park, CA 94025

    Email: Ella.Koosis@va.gov
    Alternate contact: Diana Kim | dianakim@stanford.edu | (650) 498-0566

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