Clinical Neuropsychology Specialty Program (CNSP)


Stephen Correia, PhD, ABPP-CN, (Director) and Jennifer Davis, PhD, ABPP-CN (Associate Director) provide oversight over the CNSP. The CNSP is part of the Postdoctoral Fellowship Training Program (PFTP).  Elizabeth McQuaid, PhD, ABPP provides oversight over all postdoctoral training within the Consortium. 

The Clinical Neuropsychology Specialty Program (CNSP) offers postdoctoral specialty training in both adult and pediatric clinical neuropsychology.  Training experiences vary across settings depending on patient populations.  CNSP fellows devote 70% time to clinical activities, 20% time to research, and 10% to formal required didactic experiences.

The philosophy of the Postdoctoral Fellowship Training Programs (PFTP) is that all postdoctoral fellows in clinical psychology should have clinical and research exposure during their training.  The exact nature of training is decided on an individual basis in collaboration with each of the faculty mentors.

The three aims of the Clinical Neuropsychology Specialty Program (CNSP) are:  

(1) To produce neuropsychologists who exhibit an advanced competency level with regard to professional skills/conduct and ethical standards (consistent with APA principles and local regulations) to function effectively as independent practitioners within health service settings;
(2) To produce neuropsychologists who exhibit an advanced competency level with regard to the basic knowledge and skills of research to function effectively as scientist-practitioners within health service settings; and 
(3) To produce neuropsychologists who exhibit an advanced competency level with regard to the knowledge and skills specific to the specialty of clinical neuropsychology (consistent with the Houston Conference Guidelines) to function effectively as independent scientist-practitioners in health service settings.  

CNSP fellows complete two years of training. As of October 28, 2018, the CNSP is “accredited, on contingency” as a new specialty program in clinical neuropsychology by the American Psychological Association (APA).   In accordance with APA guidelines, the CNSP is eligible for full accreditation status after submitting trainee outcome data on or before September 01, 2022 to APA for review. Two years of CNSP fellowship training is consistent with the Houston Conference Guidelines on Specialty Education and Training in Clinical Neuropsychology and requirements for ABPP Board Certification.

Clinical training supports postdoctoral fellows in establishing clinical proficiency, while integrating a professional role that is well grounded in ethics and mental health practice.  By the end of the fellowship, the postdoctoral fellow should attain advanced competence in the knowledge-base and clinical skills required for their area of emphasis and should be able to function independently in a similar clinical program in a new location. 

Although postdoctoral fellows are paid for a 40 hour week, most find it necessary to work approximately 50 hours a week to best achieve their personal research and clinical career goals during their fellowship training year. 

Definition of 20% Research Component 

All approved postdoctoral fellowships in the PFTP will contain a minimum of 20% effort devoted to research.  It is the supervisor’s responsibility to provide a training experience that will meet this requirement. 

The 20% research experience should be active work that is conducted by the postdoctoral fellow (not completely delegated to others), and it should be geared toward producing a traditional scientific product (e.g. manuscript, presentation at a national professional meeting, grant application, instrument development).  Postdoctoral fellows decide on the appropriate research activity in conjunction with the faculty supervisor.  Ultimately, it is the postdoctoral fellow’s choice to determine the specific project.  Examples of appropriate activities include generating a project from the supervisor’s existing database; designing and implementing a new study; publishing work on projects begun prior to the fellowship including the dissertation.  All individualized training activities for postdoctoral fellows must include explicit goals and activities for this research component.

Primary supervisors are responsible for identifying an independent research supervisor for their postdoctoral fellows.  It is the responsibility of the primary supervisor to monitor that the fellow’s research goals are being met, and that research opportunities reasonably allow for these goals to be achieved.  The primary supervisor should meet with the research supervisor to work out a mechanism to ensure that this is accomplished. 

It is the supervisor’s and home institution’s obligation to provide at least minimal resources for the postdoctoral fellow to achieve their research goals (e.g., computing, access to statistical software, research administration/IRB services, assessment space)

The 20% effort (8 hours per week) may include the research didactic component of the PFTP (DPHB Core Seminars). Clinical seminars are not included in the 20% time. 

Any one of the following would represent an appropriate product from a research activity: 

  • Peer reviewed publications e.g. journal article
  • Book chapter
  • Invited articles in professional journals
  • Academic presentations outside of Brown Medical School
  • Poster presentation, or paper presentation at a regional or national professional meeting, preferably with a publish abstract Grants
  • Grant award from postdoctoral fellow initiated activity