Program Description

Over the years we have developed an approach to training that prepares fellows to identify and tackle important research problems using theory, strategic study designs, and innovative measurement approaches. Through course work, field placements, and the faculty-fellows Seminar, trainees are exposed to research that applies this model to both their specific area of interest and to the field at-large. The key elements of the program are listed below with links to a longer document that provides details on each.

Component I: Course Work in Epidemiology

The goal of this component is to introduce fellows to key issues and concepts in psychiatric epidemiology. Knowledge in these areas is imparted through coursework in epidemiologic methods and substantive issues in psychiatric epidemiology.

Component II: Course Work in the Neurobiology, Genetics, and Clinical Features of Psychiatric Disorders

Knowledge in this domain is imparted through a course sequence designed for fellows without clinical experience and knowledge of the neurobiology and genetics of psychiatric disorder.

Component III: Course Work in Statistics

The goal of this component is to ensure that fellows have sufficient background in measurement and statistics to conduct quantitative research and to work productively with biostatisticians.

Component IV: Field Placements

This component provides fellows with hands-on, supervised research experience with an established researcher. Fellows participate in field placements for 12 to 20+ hours per week, depending on their stage in the program and whether the fellow is pre- or postdoctoral.

Component V: Faculty-Fellow Seminar

The Faculty-Fellow Seminar serves many functions. It provides 1) a forum for collegial interactions and the development of professional networks; 2) an arena for fellows to present results of their research and receive feedback; 3) an opportunity to keep abreast of recent developments in the field, and 4) a testing ground for proposed changes in the PET curriculum. Perhaps most importantly the seminar integrates the program by providing a time and place for program participants to meet on a regular basis. The common experience of hearing and discussing the same material facilitates the development of intellectual ties between faculty and fellows and among the fellows themselves.

Additional Training Activities

The program is augmented by numerous opportunities for additional training in career development skills, such as grant writing.