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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 Director of Training and Associate Director of Training for the Postdoctoral Psychology Fellowships. 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 skills and foundational knowledge and gain expert-level skills and independence 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 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. Specialized postdoctoral fellowship positions, such as those specifically dedicated to Autism/Developmental Disabilities 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.

Our fellows have had the opportunity to engage in providing telehealth services as a modality to assess, treat, and consult with patients and other providers. Supervision and didactics might also occurred virtually.

Opportunities to supervise practicum students 

In addition to clinical training, postdoctoral fellows have the opportunity to supervise practicum students under the supervision of a licensed psychologist. 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 and/or supervisor in a one year clinical fellowship.

If a fellow would like to gain more research experience, they may be allowed to allocate up to two half-days 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, there is an expectation of a research product by the end of the fellowship year (e.g., a conference presentation, or a manuscript submitted for publication).

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 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 licensure within the jurisdiction they want to practice and to be successful in a career 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 07/23/2023)

1. When is the application deadline for the next class?
The application deadline for this postdoctoral psychology fellowship program for 2023-2024 training year is 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time on Nov. 26, 2023.

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

3. How many positions are available?
Children's Mercy typically offers four Postdoctoral Psychology Fellowships each training year. Each position provides advanced-level training in a specialized area of practice. Common areas of emphasis include

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

  • Clinical Child Psychology- Emphasis working with eating disorders

  • Pediatric Psychology- Emphasis working with gastrointestinal conditions.

  • A two-year 50% research/50% clinical experience with and emphasis work with youth with autism and developmental differences

  • A two-year 50% research/50%clinical experience (areas of emphasis often include endocrine/diabetes, pain management, or weight management).

4. How much is the fellowship stipend?
The current stipend for the 2023-24 training year is $55,523.08 (first year) and $57,744.00 (second year).

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 either a full, one year or two 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 reasonable. Rent, the cost of owning a home, and the cost of food and fuel, all are at the national average, and 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. 

Full descriptions of the fellowships that will be offered for the next training year will be posted here and on list serves (e.g., Division 53, Division 54). To apply to the postdoctoral fellowship program, please submit the following documents via email to the program administrative coordinator, Katie Diefenbacher ( by Nov. 26, 2023:

  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).


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. Interviews are expected to be held in mid-January and will likely occur virtually Applicants will be notified as soon as they are no longer under consideration and when all positions are filled.