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Postdoctoral Psychology Fellowship Program

Training experience 

Postdoctoral fellows have the opportunity to individualize their training experience and will create individualized training plans with the Training Director and Postdoctoral Fellowship Associate Training Director. These plans will define a cohesive training experience to enable the fellow to refine existing skills and develop greater expertise to prepare for a career in his or her area of specialty. Fellows are expected to enter their fellowship year with broad-based, foundational knowledge and gain expert-level skills and knowledge by the end of the training year. Three to four days will be spent in clinical training experiences, while additional time during the week will be spent in didactics, research, or other agreed upon training experiences. The generalized child clinical/pediatric psychology positions offer substantial flexibility in how the four clinical days are dedicated. For example, the fellow could choose three 4-month rotations, two year-long rotations, or a combination of one year-long and three 4-month rotations. These details are finalized with each fellow prior to the beginning of the training year and should be chosen based on the fellow’s future career goals and geared towards gaining expertise, not in an attempt to gain exposure to novel populations. Specialized postdoctoral fellowship positions, such as those specifically dedicated to Special Needs/Autism or Gastroenterology Clinic) will include more specific and clearly identified clinical goals and expectations. 

Although the primary theoretical orientation of our fellowship program is a behavioral or cognitive/behavioral approach, our staff employ techniques from a variety of other orientations. Educational experiences, such as our Didactic Seminars, also provide a vehicle whereby staff psychologists and psychiatrists, and personnel outside our Division can acquaint the fellows with a broad variety of theoretical orientations, assessment techniques, and interventions. 

Opportunities to supervise practicum students 

In addition to clinical opportunities, postdoctoral fellows are given the opportunity to supervise practicum students under the supervision of licensed faculty. Typically, practicum experiences consist of the student working with a fellow one day a week, either providing co-therapy with the fellow or seeing patients independently and discussing cases with the fellow and faculty member. Readings will be assigned to support the development of supervision skills and fellows are expected to attend Supervision Seminar regardless of whether they are actively supervising a practicum student. 

Fellows have the opportunity to work with a mentor to integrate research into their chosen career path in an appropriate way. There are two basic research competencies the fellow is expected to meet: 

  • To be familiar with the ethical conduct of research and basic principles of human subjects protection. (there are a variety of options for meeting this requirement)

  • To be able to critically examine the research literature and apply findings to their work (clinical, teaching, or research), as appropriate. These readings are identified in conjunction with a mentor.

All fellows will meet with the Director of Research for the division to elicit fellows’ perspective on the role of research in their long-term career goals. They are then expected to discuss the individual research experience with their professional faculty mentor within the first month of the fellowship year to discuss their long-term career plans and to determine if an additional research faculty mentor is warranted. A fellow may choose to have their professional mentor oversee that they meet the basic research competencies described above. If appropriate, a fellow can also choose an additional, separate research mentor in order to gain more research experience throughout their fellowship year. A list of possible mentors is available to facilitate the selection of a faculty research mentor. 

If a fellow would like to gain more research experience during their fellowship year (beyond the two basic competencies described above), they may be allowed to allocate up to a half-day per week dedicated to research time to collaborate with a faculty mentor on an existing project. A list of ongoing projects is available from the Director of Research. If a fellow chooses this option (allocating a half-day per week to research), there is an expectation of a mutually beneficial outcome for both the fellow and the research mentor by the end of the fellowship year (such as a conference presentation, or a publication submitted for publication). 

This half-day of protected research time will come from designated office time, and should be discussed with the professional mentor and the Training Director. 

Program aims and goals 

The postdoctoral fellowship program aims to provide an integrated, individually tailored, balanced and coordinated series of learning experiences that will serve the aspiring professional psychologist with opportunities to: a) practice and expand on previously held knowledge and learned skills; b) develop advanced skills and knowledge; c) experience personal and professional growth and development, thus contributing to the emergence of a competent professional child psychologist; and d) gain a working knowledge of the pediatric medical community.  The fellowship program is focused on delivering services to children, adolescents and their families, as well as to others who regularly interact with children (e.g., teachers, social service workers, health professionals).  The training program goals are in line with the hospital mission as trainees directly contribute to providing comprehensive family-centered care with trainees promoting clinical and psychosocial care and contributing to the research, academic and service excellence.

Goal #1: Fellows will engage in practices and behaviors facilitating effective professional relationships at the requisite level for entry level into the field of psychology.

Goal #2:  Fellows will know how to assess and conceptualize psychological functioning in a diverse range of children and presenting problems.

Goal #3: The fellow will gain clinical experience in the provision of effective psychological intervention.

Goal #4:  The fellow will gain clinical experience in the practice of consultation.

Training sequence 

The postdoctoral training sequence is developed on an individual basis with the training directors.  The sequence builds on prior training skills and competencies while allowing the fellow to engaged in more independent practice. 

Expected outcomes

At the end of fellowship, we expect that our fellows will 1) engage in practices and behaviors facilitating effective professional relationships at the requisite level for entry level into the field of psychology; 2) know how to assess and conceptualize psychological functioning in a diverse range of children and presenting problems; 3) gain clinical experience in the provision of effective psychological intervention; and 4) gain clinical experience in the practice of consultation.

We expect that our fellows will go on to demonstrate the minimal level of profession-wide competencies in the areas of Research; Ethical and Legal standards; Individual and Cultural Diversity; Professional Values, Attitudes, and Behaviors; Communication and Interpersonal Skills; Assessment; Intervention; Supervision and Consultation and Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary skills. 

We expect that upon meeting these aims and competencies that our fellows will go on to be successful in obtaining state licensure and/or careers within the broad field of psychology.

Information on this is not yet available for the current training year but will be added once available.

(last updated 7/08/2019)

1. When is the application deadline for the next class?
All information needs to be submitted by November 29, 2019 at 5:00 p.m Central Daylight Time in order to be considered for the 2019-2020 postdoctoral psychology fellowship program.  All applicants must have: 1) attended an APA-accredited doctoral graduate program in clinical or counseling psychology; 2) completed an APA/APPIC accredited internship with a clinical child focus; and 3) completed all requirements for his/her doctoral degree prior to beginning the fellowship. The positions' starting dates are expected to begin in early August of 2020. Salary is competitive with full benefits provided (medical and dental, vacation, and standard holiday/sick leave).

2. What is the mailing address for the program?
Children's Mercy Kansas City
Division of Developmental and Behavioral Health
Section of Psychology
Attn: Cynthia Call, Psy.D.
2401 Gillham Road Kansas City, MO 64108
Phone:  1 (816) 234-3674

3. How many positions are available?
CMKC has four possible Postdoctoral Psychology Fellowships available for the 2020-2021 training year. Each position provides advanced-level training in a specialized area of practice. 

  • Clinical Child and/or Pediatric Psychology (specific to the fellow's interests)

  • Clinical Child Psychology- Emphasis working with Autism and Special Needs

  • Pediatric Psychology- Emphasis working with Gastrointestinal Conditions

  • Children's Mercy/University of Kansas Medical Center joint research/clinical experience (endocrine/diabetes, pain management, or weight management)

4. How much is the fellowship stipend?
The current stipend for the 2019-20 training year is $51,294.74.

5. Are there benefits for fellows?
Postdoctoral Fellows at Children's Mercy receive a generous benefit package including free medical coverage, the opportunity to purchase additional short-term disability leave, and paid vacation. The Graduate Medical Education department provides a stipend of $1,500 for educational purposes and up to $2,250 for travel if presenting at a conference.

6. How long is the fellowship program and what are the start and end dates?
The Postdoctoral Fellowship positions are a full, one year program with a typical start date the first week of August and a completion date towards the end of July the following year.

7. Is it expensive to live in Kansas City?
Overall, living expenses in Kansas City are extremely reasonable. Rent, the cost of owning a home, and the cost of food and fuel, all are generally lower than the national average, and much lower than most other large municipalities.

8. What is the most heavily weighed factor when you consider which fellows to select?
More specialized postdoctoral fellowships may require or give preference to candidates with previous training and/or experience, as the fellowship is expected to be a more advanced extension of internship training. Outside of academic considerations (i.e. type of degree, past academic success, etc.), probably the most important criteria for selection is the demonstration of a strong desire to work with and have positive impact on the lives of children and their families. This desire should be evident in an applicant's choice of academic emphasis. 

Our fellowship site uses the APPIC Psychology Postdoctoral Application Centralized Application System (APPA CAS) for submission of applications. Applicants may access information on the electronic submission process or the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) website.

Full descriptions will be posted here soon of available postdoctoral psychology fellowships offered for the next training year. To apply to any of these postdoctoral fellowships, please submit the following documents via the APPA Centralized Application System by November 29th, 2019

  1. A letter of interest identifying the position of interest, your qualifications, specific clinical and/or research interests, and goals for the postdoctoral training year (maximum two pages).  

  2. Curriculum vitae; 

  3. Clinical writing sample; and 

  4. Three letters of recommendation submitted directly from your recommenders (at least two from supervisors familiar with your clinical work).

Application deadline

The application deadline for all Children's Mercy Postdoctoral Psychology fellowships for the 2019-2020 training year is November 29th, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time. All requested application materials must be submitted by the appointed time for consideration.

Selection criteria

All applicants must have: 1) attended an APA-accredited doctoral graduate program in clinical or counseling psychology; 2) completed an APA/APPIC accredited internship; and 3) completed all requirements for his/her doctoral degree prior to beginning the fellowship. The candidate should have a strong child psychology emphasis in course work, research experiences, and clinical/vocational experiences. Please note that specialized postdoctoral positions may give preference to particular skills or experiences acquired prior to the fellowship training year.

Recruitment guidelines

The postdoctoral psychology fellowship program follows the recommended APPIC Postdoctoral Selection Guidelines.  In addition to the APPIC Postdoctoral Program Directory, descriptions of available positions will be posted on the listserv for APA members of Division 53 and Division 54. All qualified applications will be reviewed with invitation for on-site interviews issued no later than December 27th, 2019.  On-site interviews, although subject to change, are expected to be held between January 15th and 31st, 2020  Offers will be extended on the uniform notification date (TBA) at 10:00am Eastern Time, as recommended by the APPIC Postdoctoral Selection Guidelines. Applicants will be notified as soon as they are no longer under consideration and when all positions are filled.