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Postdoctoral Training Opportunity – Neurodevelopmental Mechanisms of Psychopathology at DevSci

The Institute for Innovations in Developmental Sciences at Northwestern (DevSci) is currently accepting applications for their NIMH-funded T32 Mental Health, Earlier (NU-MHE): Transdiagnostic, Transdisciplinary, Translational Postdoctoral Training Program in Neurodevelopmental Mechanisms of Psychopathology (PIs Stewart Shankman, PhD & Laurie Wakschlag, PhD). The NU-MHE T32 fellowship provides a novel transdisciplinary approach designed to launch the next generation of neurodevelopmentally-oriented mental health researchers poised to accelerate the pace of clinical translation.

There are two fellowship spots available. One slot is presently available and can start at any time during this 23-24 academic year. The other slot will begin July 2024.

About NU-MHE

NU-MHE is specifically designed to bring together personally- and disciplinarily- diverse researchers (including both PhD and MD scholars) and mentors as a paradigm for advancing cutting-edge translational mental health research. We have an especially close partnership with Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital.

The core of NU-MHE’s training is the characterization of neurodevelopmental mechanisms of psychopathology within lifespan and environmental contexts. This neurodevelopmental emphasis will be complemented with training across three intersecting spheres:

  1. Applied computational and other advanced data science methods;
  2. intervention and prevention/implementation research and strategies; and
  3. the intersection of mental and pediatric health. Each fellow will select one of these spheres as an area of concentration for more in-depth training, along with their core training in neurodevelopmental mechanisms of psychopathology.

Fellows will develop a mentoring team comprised of (a) a mentor in neurodevelopmental and environmental mechanisms of psychopathology and (b) a mentor in their chosen sphere of concentration.


The successful applicant must have completed the PhD and/or MD plus advanced research training prior to the start of the position and must have US citizenship or permanent resident status. Candidates who have not yet completed their degree but will have done so prior to the start of the fellowship must provide official written documentation of the completion date from their current Department or School.

DevSci is committed to creating a diverse group of fellows and welcomes applicants underrepresented in the biomedical workforce as defined by the National Institutes of Health here.

Advanced research training in fields such as developmental psychopathology, child psychiatry, neurology, pediatrics, developmental cognitive neuroscience, social determinants of health, mental health prevention, treatment, and/or implementation, mental health disparities, or related fields. Special consideration will be given to crafting the fellowship to meet the needs of physician-scientists. Although we prefer fellows to be on-site, exceptional applicants who need to be remote may be considered.

How to Apply

Please use this link to submit the following materials:

  • Graduate transcripts
  • A research statement, 1-2 pages in length, including:
    • Candidates’ scientific background and focus,
    • Research project(s) proposed for the duration of the fellowship,
    • Candidates should explicitly address how their proposed project(s) align with the NIMH Strategic Objectives and the RDoC Framework.
  • 1-2 page training plan, including:
    • Proposed Training Plan and training goals.
    • List of Mentoring Team.
    • A description of long-term career objectives and how experience and training will prepare the candidate for a clinical research career in neurodevelopmental mechanisms of psychopathology, including (as applicable) considerations of collaborative/team science orientation, diversity, and public health implications of their work.
    • Any unique circumstances, qualifications, or experiences may be described in this section.
  • Current CV with a list of publications and any grant support (including in-press or under review)
  • Please email the following to the Institute’s associate director, Jessica Horowitz, PhD:
    • A total of three letters of reference with your “FIRST INITIAL LAST NAME MHE LOR” in the subject line. These letters of reference can be emailed directly from the writer to our associate director.
    • Confirmation from your NU-MHE Primary Mentor. Applicants are expected to reach out to potential mentors before applying. Mentors must submit a brief statement documenting their approval of the proposal. Note that a letter of reference from your primary mentor is not necessary.

Application review will begin on November 16, 2023, and applications will be considered until the positions are filled. 

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging

The MHE-T32 is dedicated to training fellows that will enhance diversity and equal opportunity in higher education and mental health research. As our healthcare and academic institutions serve increasingly diverse constituencies, it is vital to understand the ways in which differences in gender, class, race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, and other identities can both divide us and offer us better ways of thinking and working. 

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.