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Postdoctoral Training in Developmental Psychology

Overview and Background

The Institute of Child Development offers NIMH-funded postdoctoral training via a T32 Institutional Training Grant. The grant supports two 1-year postdoctoral traineeships during 2016-17. Continuation for a second year may be available contingent on competing renewal of the training grant.

Specialized training is available in multi-level (genetic, neurobiological, behavioral and experiential) basic, translational, and clinical research in the development of cognitive and emotional processes that are dysregulated in mental disorders; longitudinal research that charts the emergence and change in emotional and behavioral problems of children who are at high risk of developing mental disorders in order to facilitate identification, intervention and treatment; and developing and testing better preventive interventions for children at high risk for developing affective and conduct disorders. Preference is given to applicants trained in psychopathology who need additional training in psychobiology/neuroscience, or the reverse.


The training program is directed by Dr. Dante Cicchetti, one of the founders of the field of developmental psychopathology, and is led by a group of internationally recognized faculty members with expertise in various sub-disciplines of developmental science, including child clinical psychology, developmental behavioral neuroscience/developmental psychobiology, socioemotional development, cognitive development, pediatrics, and prevention/intervention science. A primary mentor from among these faculty members must be identified by each trainee in his or her application to the program. Trainees are also welcome to work with and/or collaborate with multiple mentors from among the training faculty.

The core of the postdoctoral program is the research training. Trainees plan and execute their research studies with a primary mentor. Between 75% and 80% of the trainee’s time is spent in research. The research experience consists of both collaborative work with the mentor(s) and independent research.

Course work is minimal (no more than 1 per semester) for the postdoctoral trainees and tailored according to which type of cross-training they need. They will attend lab and reading group meetings. Postdoctoral trainees will take our grant writing seminar and will write an R21, R01, or K01 grant during their time in the program.

In addition, each trainee is expected to attend sessions of the biennial “Minnesota Symposia on Child Psychology” and weekly colloquia, without regard to subject matter. Postdoctoral trainees are expected to present their work at the weekly colloquia at least once while on appointment. Attendance at annual meetings of relevant professional societies is encouraged and supported by the training grant.


The Institute of Child development holds a unique position as an internationally known, premier center of research in developmental science and the application of the science to improving the quality of human life. It was founded in 1925 with the goal of fostering the welfare of our nation’s children. Throughout its long history, the Institute has always been a leader in the field. It was a seminal site in the establishment of developmental psychopathology as a subfield and that focus has continued and strengthened in the decades since. The Institute also has led the field in integrating developmental psychobiology/neuroscience research into the study of normative and atypical development. There is growing interest in genetics, gene expression, and epigenetics. In addition, the Institute has led the field in multidisciplinary and translational research.


Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents. Qualifications include training and experience in behavioral sciences, strength in research methods, and promise as research scholars. Preference is given to applicants trained in psychopathology who need additional training in psychobiology/neuroscience, or the reverse. The NIMH stipend is based on number of years since award of the Ph.D. Doctoral degree must be completed by time of appointment.


The Institute has two post-doctoral slots open to begin Fall 2016. To apply, submit curriculum vita, statement of research interests, graduate transcripts, GRE scores, three letters of reference, and a sample of published or unpublished theoretical or empirical work to:

Applications may also be submitted electronically to

Application review begins 3/1/16. Positions open until filled. Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Inquiries may be directed to: