The South Central Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (SC MIRECC) offers a two-year Post-Doctoral Advanced Fellowship Program in Mental Illness Research and Treatment at the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System (CAVHS) in Little Rock, Arkansas. This interdisciplinary program aims to train physicians, psychologists, and doctoral-level allied health professionals to become outstanding clinical or health services researchers in high-priority areas of mental health. In concert with the theme of the SC MIRECC, our fellowship emphasizes rural mental health or telemedicine, mental health in primary care, community engagement, implementation science, PTSD, access to care, and substance abuse. Individualized, mentored research and clinical training are combined with a state-of-the-art curriculum that emphasizes research methods, statistics, epidemiology, mental health systems, quality improvement methods, education, and service delivery. Fellows are offered abundant opportunities to increase their experience and knowledge in the clinical treatment of mental health disorders.

All of the 10 Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) MIRECC sites, which are located across the U.S., are linked electronically for didactic, academic, and research efforts. Outstanding didactic research training is coordinated through a fellowship hub site located at the Palo Alto VA Medical Center, while research mentors are typically located at the training site. In collaboration with their mentors, fellows will develop and implement a research project, publish and present findings, participate in grant writing, and utilize the latest technology for educational activities and clinical service delivery.

Training Site: The Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System (CAVHS) is a large and complex VA medical system that is academically affiliated with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). CAVHS is located in a metropolitan area of approximately 580,000 people and draws from a primary service area of 275,000 Veterans. CAVHS providers also serve some family members of Veterans. The consolidated, tertiary care medical center provides medical, surgical, psychiatric, rehabilitation, and nursing home services, as well as a wide variety of outpatient, specialty and primary care programs at two large medical facilities and several community-based outpatient clinics throughout the state. CAVHS offers a wide range of clinical training opportunities in mental health and serves as a training site for numerous clinical training programs based jointly at CAVHS/UAMS.

CAVHS also offers a very rich environment for research training. In addition to serving as an anchor site for the SC MIRECC, CAVHS is also home to local sites of the VA Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D) and the VA Quality Improvement in Mental Health (MH QUERI) programs. CAVHS also maintains a close relationship with the UAMS Center for Health Services Research. The researchers working in these settings represent one of the largest and most successful groups of mental health services researchers in the U.S. Also, the SC MIRECC collaborates with investigators at its anchor sites in Houston, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, and Jackson. These resources create an ideal environment for trainees interested in becoming independent research investigators.

Arkansas offers a multitude of scenic landscapes and natural and cultural resources and programs. Little Rock, the state capitol, has many excellent restaurants, the William J. Clinton Presidential Library, a thriving cultural community, symphony, repertory theater, museums, public golf courses, the Clinton School of Public Service’s renowned public lecture series, Pinnacle Mountain state park, and the 17-mile Arkansas River Trail for walking, jogging, and cycling. Arkansas has a large state park system with campsites, hiking trails, mountain lodges, interpretive events, fall foliage programs, and activities for all seasons.

Fellowship Training Goals: The CAVHS fellowship training program aims to produce graduates with a strong sense of professional identity, confidence in their research and clinical skills, and the ability to be leaders in mental health locally and nationally. The goals of the fellowship training program are to:

  1. Provide fellows with excellent training in research (75% time). This training will consist of formal didactics in research design and methods and hands-on research mentoring by VA faculty, most of whom have appointments at the UAMS Department of Psychiatry and College of Public Health. Each fellow will initiate and complete at least one individual research project, including publishing results.
  2. Place fellows in clinical settings appropriate to their research interests such that their clinical practice (25% time) will complement and enhance their research training. Opportunities to teach in clinical settings will also be available. Fellows will use an evidence-based approach to clinical care, treatment planning, and service delivery.
  3. Offer fellows other opportunities to optimize their success in academic settings, such as career mentoring, exposure to grant writing and grantsmanship, technical writing, training in research ethics and IRB procedures, and opportunities to provide clinical and/or research supervision in their area of focus.

Fellowship Qualifications: Applicants must have: (1) U.S. citizenship; (2) completed an ACGME accredited residency program (physicians) or earned a doctorate in clinical or counseling psychology from an APA accredited program by fellowship start date and completed an APA accredited internship in clinical or counseling psychology (psychologists); and (3) desire to pursue a professional career with a focus on mental health services and/or research.

How to Apply: For application materials and information on deadlines and requirements, please contact:

Kristin Ward
South Central MIRECC
2200 Fort Roots Drive, 16MIR
North Little Rock, AR 72114-1706



For other information, please contact Ruth O’Hara, PhD, at the fellowship hub site, (650) 493-5000 x63620 or roh@stanford.edu.