November 14, 2014

McMorris Postdoctoral Fellowship

Postdoctoral Fellowship Opportunity with the McMorris Autism Training Program

The McMorris Autism Training Program represents a collaboration between the Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and the Center for Autism Research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  The purpose of the program is to train the next generation of researchers who will identify factors that affect treatment response among individuals with autism.  This type of research will require at least two parallel efforts. First, given the heterogeneity of autism, more research is needed to understand how to best match individuals with autism to the best treatments.  This matching will require better measurement of autism symptoms and their variation across individuals, developing predictive biomarkers, and applying these metrics to develop more personalized treatments.  Second, more research is needed to understand the active mechanisms of existing interventions, and the most effective and precise ways to apply these active components on a large scale to improve outcome for individuals with autism. 

The Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research has an active research program in testing the effectiveness of autism interventions in community settings, and in determining the best ways to implement evidence-based practices for individuals with autism in these settings so that they are effective and sustain over time.

The Center for Autism Research (CAR) conducts and supports state-of-the-art research into understanding the causes and treatment of autism. Active studies focus on biomarkers, early detection, genetics, genetic syndromes associated with autism, co-occurring conditions, and focused interventions.  Methodologies include neuroimaging, genetics, animal models, brief interventions, and complex clinical characterization.  CAR also supports a large training program across multiple disciplines in basic and clinical sciences that includes both research and clinical mentorship.

The McMorris Autism Training Program is designed for scholars who will engage in translational research and study moderators of response to autism treatment. Successful fellowship candidates will have a terminal doctoral degree (PhD, MD, ScD, etc.), and a strong foundation in autism or other relevant research.  Fellows will receive mentored research training to enhance their research skills and prepare them for a faculty position in a major university or medical setting.  Applicants pursuing a clinical license will also accrue clinical hours and supervision. The McMorris Autism Training Program has ~20 mentors spanning many disciplines, from basic to applied research, who actively collaborate with each other, forming an excellent system for supporting the needs of fellows whose interests cross disciplines.  Core mentors include Ted Abel, John Herrington, David Mandell, Robert T. SchuItz, Judith Miller, and Ben Yerys.  Information about all mentors can be found on the CAR website (search “Our Team – Researchers”).  In addition, we encourage applicants to identify potential mentors from other relevant disciplines.

Scholars will work closely with a mentor to generate cross-disciplinary research questions from existing data sets and ongoing studies, and conduct independent research projects.  The fellowship experience will serve to extend, refine and enhance skills necessary for professional and career development, and will enable the individual to broaden his/her scientific background by acquiring new research capabilities. Fellows will benefit from a biweekly seminar that will create a regular discussion around moderators and mediators of treatment response from across multiple disciplines.  Fellows will be expected to develop skills in project planning, recording and interpretation/evaluation of data, and communication of results. Fellows will also be expected to further develop their technical, lab management, and manuscript/grant writing skills; and will present their ideas, plans and results in seminars, lectures, poster sessions and national meetings.  Fellows will also supervise research assistants and provide mentorship to undergraduate and graduate students.

1)      Current CV
2)      Statement of research interests/project proposal and training goals (2-3 pages)
3)      Three letters of recommendation
All materials should be sent by email directly to Erica Reisinger, MSed (  
Applications are strongly encouraged before January 15, but will be accepted until the position is filled.

No comments:

Post a Comment