Didactics

Most postdoctoral fellows participate in two to five hours of didactics per week. A small sample of didactic offerings are as follows:

Didactics Attended by ALL postdoctoral fellows in the Postdoctoral Fellowship Training Program (PFTP)

Academic Grand Rounds. The Department of Psychiatry & Human Behavior (DPHB) presents a monthly Grand Rounds during the academic year. Grand Rounds provide state-of-the-art information from a diversity of experts in the field of health care. The format for Grand Rounds consists of a formal presentation followed by a question and answer session. Academic Grand Rounds are held the first Wednesday of every month and feature nationally known experts in psychiatry.

Monthly Professional Development Seminars. The monthly Postdoctoral Core Seminar is required for postdoctoral fellows with PhD's in clinical psychology regardless of whether they are in a CPP, CNSP,  or RFP fellowship. The topics in this seminar series focus on issues in professional development and clinical practice such as: the licensure process, career paths, supervising and mentoring, and other professional issues.

Clinical Psychology Program (CPP) Didactics:

Clinical Ethics Seminar.  A monthly seminar is offered to all postdoctoral fellows on Clinical Ethics. These seminars are discussion-based workshops designed for clinical psychology trainees.  The focus of these seminars is on clinical ethical issues in accordance with the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists (e.g., Confidentiality, Dual Relationships, Assessment, Public Policy). Faculty presenters briefly summarize ethical issues related 

VA Didactic Series.  A weekly seminar is offered to all APA-accredited postdoctoral fellows on-site at the VA.  This seminar covers specific topics and issues that may be encountered when working with the Veteran population.

Clinical Neuropsychology Specialty Program (CNSP) Didactics:

Neuropsychology Seminars.   The Neuropsychology Program offers Rounds and Seminars weekly.   The seminars are intended to primarily promote development of advanced knowledge of brain-behavior relationships in the context clinical practice (e.g., competency in Assessment and Diagnosis).  Teaching methods include case-based applied learning, clinical case discovery, directed readings, and experiential learning. Emphasis is placed on acquiring knowledge in the context of clinical diagnosis, assessment, and intervention.   Case-based learning is designed to parallel clinical practice by engaging fellows in an iterative process of mapping symptoms onto diagnostic categories though clinical questioning and hypothesis testing based on neurobehavioral principles and knowledge.

Research Fellowship Program (RFP) Didactics:

DPHB Core T32 Seminars.  This weekly seminar series focuses on topics related to research and grantwriting as outlined below: 

  • Grant-Related Information.  Early sessions include an overview of types of NIH grant mechanisms, sources of non-Federal funding, the process of grant submission, the NIH review process, and an introduction to the basics of grant writing.  Early sessions are more didactic, and are then followed by a more detailed presentation of the grant review and submission process.  
  • Research Methods. These sessions cover such topics as specific design issues in treatment research, strategies for sample recruitment and retention, sample size and power determination, data management, basic computer methods for research management, and the uses of qualitative and  quantitative methods.
  • Ethical Issues in Clinical Research. This seminar series was developed for the T32 programs and refined over the last five years so that the most engaging presenters and formats for teaching ethical principles in scientific research are currently used.   Case-based discussions are led by members of the training faculty, and occasionally by outside experts.   A minimum of 12 different sessions are provided and required over the 2 years of training, with topics alternating every two years.  Selected topics include: guidelines for authorship in supervisor projects and other research collaboration, safety monitoring/withdrawal in clinical research projects, and issues relating to diversity populations in clinical research. 
  • Special Topics in Statistics.   This seminar, taught by biostatisticians in the DPHB and the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies (CAAS), offers postdoctoral fellows a chance to work on applied problems in statistics.  One topic is selected for more in-depth focus and applied practice each year.   Prior year topics have included multiple and logistic regression and analyses, and multilevel modeling. 

Grant writing seminars.  Two specific seminars are constructed to facilitate trainee grantwriting and submission of an individual grant proposal to NIH or an appropriate foundation.  One seminar is for trainees working with adult populations, and the other for trainees working with child populations.  In these seminars, each trainee works one-on-one with his or her supervisor, and presents research plans at weekly.   Study aims, significance, preliminary studies, and methods of study are written section-by-section.  Each application  component of is reviewed and critiqued by selected 2nd year postdoctoral fellows, the grant writing seminar leaders, and the postdoctoral fellow's individual faculty supervisors.  At the culmination of this experience, each fellow completes an entire application that is presented to faculty and training fellows, simulating an IRG. 

Postdoctoral fellows are encouraged to become familiar with other ongoing seminars and courses at Brown University and within the DPHB. There are also numerous other educational opportunities at various teaching hospitals and on campus.