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VISN 17 Center of Excellence

Advanced Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

Program Overview

The purpose of the Program is to prepare postdoctoral clinical and counseling psychology fellows for advanced practice and research with Veterans who suffer with PTSD, TBI, depression, substance use, chronic pain and other co-occurring disorders. This program aims to train psychologists to become outstanding clinical research leaders in high priority areas of mental health. Individualized, mentored research and clinical training is combined with a state-of-the-art curriculum that emphasizes research methods, statistics, epidemiology, mental health systems, quality improvement methods, education, and service delivery. The VISN17 Waco Center of Excellence is one of 25 fellowship sites nationally. Sites are linked electronically with the hub site in Palo Alto, CA for didactic, academic, and research efforts. Our training model is that fellows devote 75% of their time to clinical research, education activities, and the business administration of research, and 25% to clinical training and service delivery. In collaboration with their mentors, fellows develop and implement a research project, publish and present findings, participate in grant writing and submit a grant, and utilize advanced technology for educational activities and clinical service delivery. Fellows also obtain training in research-related administration activities via involvement in one or more designated projects.

Clinical Rotations

In addition to the training and supervision Fellows will receive in conducting research, applying for grants, and reporting research findings, clinical fellows will assume clinical responsibilities through at least one of the mental health clinics of the Waco VA Medical Center. Past fellows have worked in both outpatient and residential treatment settings, dedicated to the treatment of PTSD, SUD, cognitive disorders, and mood disorders.

Fellowship Calendar

The Fellowship in Professional Psychology is full-time for two years (with possible renewal for a third year), beginning between July 1 and October (negotiable). Fellows are given credit for 2080 hours of training for a full year, thereby fulfilling the licensing requirements of most states. It is the responsibility of the Fellow to determine the licensing requirements of any state(s) or jurisdiction(s) where they intend to seek licensure or registration, and to take steps to ensure that they meet these requirements.

Salary & Benefits

The annual stipend for Psychology Fellows for FY2021 is $46,222 in the first year, $48,720 in the second year. Fellows are eligible to participate in the optional health and life insurance plans that are available to other employees of the Veterans Health Care Administration. There are a variety of plans and premiums available. If you are interested in gathering more information about these plans, please contact Human Resources Management Service at (254) 743-0048.


Applicants must be U.S. citizens. Applicants must complete all requirements of an APA-accredited doctoral program in clinical or counseling psychology and an APA-accredited internship in clinical or counseling psychology prior to entering the program. Applicants can be in the process of completing these requirements.

How to Apply

Please contact Dr. Laura Zambrano-Vazquez at  to introduce yourself or ask any questions about our program. When ready to apply, the following items are required:

  • Cover Letter describing your research interests, career goals, and how you envision the Fellowship advancing these goals
  • Curriculum Vitae detailing your educational background, your clinical, teaching, and research experiences, and your publications and presentations
  • Three Letters of Recommendation from current or previous supervisors who can speak to your research and clinical abilities
  • Transcripts - unofficial transcripts may be submitted with your initial application, but official transcripts will be required prior to acceptance to the program