Research Training

Trainees

The VCBH offers a well-established, multi-faceted training program, supported by a COBRE center grant, a TCORS center grant, a T32 training grant, and research grants from the National Institutes on Health and the Food and Drug Administration. Continuously funded since 1990 by an Institutional Training Grant (PI: Stephen Higgins, PhD) from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the VCBH is home to an excellent predoctoral and postdoctoral training program in substance abuse and health behavior research.

Trainees are typically experimental and clinical psychologists who receive individual mentoring by productive, NIH-supported independent scientists, seminars and courses in substance abuse and related fields of behavioral economics and behavioral pharmacology, along with training in grant writing and related aspects of career development. The vast majority (96%) of graduates of our training program obtain employment in research and scholarship and have been successful in establishing themselves as independent investigators. Indeed, the average age at receipt of the first R01 among our trainees over the 10-year period covering 2000-2010 was 34.6 years (33-37 yrs), which falls well below the 2015 NIH-average of 42.2 years for Ph.D.s.

The VCBH training program currently supports eight predoctoral and eight postdoctoral fellowships:

Predoctoral Fellowships

Predoctoral fellows typically are full-time graduate students in the UVM Department of Psychology. The VCBH is fully integrated with the Departments of Psychology, with faculty holding joint appointments in the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology.  The training period is 4 - 5 years resulting in a Ph.D. in general/experimental or clinical psychology.  Applicants must have completed their undergraduate degree in psychology, behavior analysis, or a related discipline and be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Trainees are selected on the basis of scholastic record and commitment to a career in substance abuse research. Stipend, tuition, health care coverage, and travel funds provided by NIH Institutional Training Awards.

Postdoctoral Fellowships

Postdoctoral fellows conduct independent research under the mentorship of a VCBH faculty member at one or more of the sites that make up the VCBH (see Resources).  The training period is 2 - 3 years. Applicants must have completed doctoral training in psychology, behavior analysis, or a related discipline and be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Trainees are selected on the basis of scholastic record and commitment to a career in substance abuse research. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience (PGY 1-7) and supported by NIH Institutional Training Awards. 

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Publications Committee

A committee composed of senior faculty review and assist junior faculty with presentations for national scientific meetings, manuscripts for submissions to peer-reviewed journals, and preparation of NIH and comparable grant applications.

Lecture Series

A monthly seminar series brings national and international scholars in the area of behavior, neurobiology, and health to UVM.The invited guest gives also spends 1-2 days visiting with the members of the VCBH.

Scientific Retreat

Our annual Scientific Retreat provides an opportunity each summer for students and faculty to meet off-campus where students present and discuss their research in a supportive and educational environment. In addition to the training faculty and trainees, an outside consultant also attends to provide feedback.

Annual Conference

The conference and its related planned publications will provide important opportunities for research dissemination and for the VCBH and junior investigators to gain national exposure.

Related UVM Resources