Research Fellowship Program (RFP)

Elissa Jelalian, PhD, (Director) and Jennifer Freeman, PhD, (Associate Director) provides oversight over the RFP. 

Learn more about the fellowships being offered in our Research Fellowship Program (RFP).

The RFP provides advanced research experiences and promotes the development of independent investigators.  Areas of emphasis include: adult, child, health psychology/behavioral medicine, and neuropsychology.   RFP fellowships are funded through faculty research grants and/or through an existing NIH-Funded T32 fellowship (i.e., Child Mental Health Research, Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine Research, Adolescent/Young Adult Biobehavioral HIV Research, Suicide Research or Childhood Stress, Trauma, and Resilience Research​).

RFP fellowship positions are 1-2 years in duration.  Agreement to continue for a second year of training, when available, is decided upon by the postdoctoral fellow and the primary supervisor midway through the first year. The supervisor informs the postdoctoral fellow that he/she would like him/her to stay a second year by mid-December.  Postdoctoral fellows must make a decision by January 1st in order to allow sufficient time to recruit a replacement. 

All postdoctoral fellowships are full-time, salaried positions. 

All candidates for admission are held to the onboarding requirements of the hospital in which they will be employed

All candidates for admission who are clinical/counseling/school psychologists are also strongly encouraged to purchase their own liability insurance (Professional Liability (Malpractice) Insurance for Pre-Licensed Psychologist) while on fellowship.  Future employers may request that you supply proof of insurance while you were in training. 

At this time, the State of Rhode Island mandates that all healthcare providers and healthcare workers have received a complete series of COVID-19 vaccine (one dose of Johnson & Johnson, two doses of Pfizer or Moderna).  The sole exemption in the regulation is a medical exemption. For more information, please visit the Rhode Island Department of Health, COVID-19 Information website.

Postdoctoral fellows decide on the appropriate research activities in conjunction with the faculty supervisor.  All individualized training activities for postdoctoral fellows must include explicit goals and activities for their fellowship.  It is the responsibility of the primary supervisor to monitor that the fellow’s goals are being met.

Postdoctoral fellows in a research-focused fellowships spend at least 60% and up to 100% of their time on research. The primary goal of the RFP is to develop both the knowledge base and the skills to begin an independent research career within the chosen area of emphasis. This will include:

  1. a critical understanding of the literature and the current issues in the field; and
  2. the ability to independently develop a specific research project.

Postdoctoral fellows whose positions have a primary research focus are most often provided with experience working on grant-funded projects. Close supervision is provided for experimental design, research techniques, and grant writing. Grant writing is a focus of the training in some, but not all, of the fellowships.

The primary activities on a research fellowship may include:

  • developing a grant proposal which is submitted for funding;
  • propose, design, and implement a small research project; and/or
  • conduct secondary data analyses on existing data sets.

Projects are typically conducted in collaboration with the faculty supervisor and can take advantage of ongoing programmatic research at Brown University.