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Postdoctoral Fellowship in Suicide Prevention Research

Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide (UR/CSPS)
University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY

Position Description

Start Date: Flexible, July 1 - October 1, 2020

The UR/CSPS is pleased to announce the availability of positions for postdoctoral training in suicide prevention research. Now in its 19th year, the UR/CSPS postdoctoral training program is supported by an institutional National Research Service Award training grant from NIMH (Yeates Conwell, M.D., Program Director; Kim Van Orden, Ph.D., Associate Director). It provides up to three years of stipend support and related benefits for early career investigators committed to careers in suicide prevention research. Each fellow works closely with a primary mentor, takes courses and participates in a diverse array of CSPS research and training activities. A strength of the UR/CSPS fellowship is the provision of intensive mentorship in grant writing, study design, and data analysis from UR/CSPS core faculty dedicated to suicide prevention.

Mentors and consultants are available from a wide range of experts both at UR and the VA VISN 2 Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention (VA CoE), as well as through an international network of UR/CSPS collaborators. Based at the University of Rochester Medical Center, one of the largest academic health systems in New York State, the UR/CSPS fellowship is associated with (but not identical to) the VA Advanced Fellowship in Veteran Mental Health and Suicide Prevention; prospective fellows may apply to both fellowships.

The emphasis of UR/CSPS research is on the development and testing of interventions across the full spectrum of approaches to suicide prevention – universal, selective, and indicated – and in a variety of vulnerable groups including adolescents and older adults, victims of violence, Veterans, and individuals with medical, psychiatric, and social comorbidities. Faculty and fellows are currently engaged in projects that target populations across the life course. While ours is a research fellowship, opportunities for clinical work that contribute to a fellow’s program of research (and contribute to licensure) are also possible.

CSPS Faculty Who Serve as Primary Mentors

  • Eric Caine, M.D. - Dr. Caine is a psychiatrist who studies comprehensive public health approaches to suicide prevention. He Co-Directs the CSPS and directed the Injury Control Center for Suicide Prevention.
  • Kate Cerulli, J.D., Ph.D. - Dr. Cerulli is an attorney and holds a doctorate in criminal justice. She directs the Laboratory of Interpersonal Violence and Victimization, which studies intimate partner violence and child abuse and increased risk for suicide.
  • Ken Conner, Psy.D., M.P.H. - Dr. Conner is a psychologist who studies the intersection of substance abuse and suicide risk, including behavioral interventions to reduce risk in this population.
  • Yeates Conwell, M.D. - Dr. Conwell is a geriatric psychiatrist who studies suicide prevention in later life. His work includes psychological autopsy studies of older adults who died by suicide, the role of aging services in the detection and treatment of mental disorders in later life, and behavioral interventions to reduce suicide risk among vulnerable older adults.
  • Wil Pigeon, Ph.D. - Dr. Pigeon is a clinical psychologist and Director of the VA’s Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention. His work focuses on the link between sleep problems and suicide risk and the benefit of sleep interventions such as CBT-I (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia) for reducing suicide risk.
  • Tony Pisani, Ph.D. - Dr. Pisani is a psychologist who specializes in clinical assessment and management of suicide risk as well as behavioral interventions for individuals with suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
  • Marc Swogger, Ph.D. - Dr. Swogger is a clinical psychologist who studies forensic and justice-involved individuals at risk for suicide, including behavioral interventions to promote behavioral health treatment engagement and healthy coping.
  • Kim Van Orden, Ph.D. - Dr. Van Orden is a clinical psychologist who directs the HOPE Lab (Helping Older People Engage). Her lab focuses on developing and testing behavioral interventions to promote social engagement and healthy aging to reduce suicide risk in later life.
  • Peter Wyman, Ph.D. - Dr. Wyman is a clinical psychologist who studies youth social networks in relation to suicide risk and the development and testing of network-based behavioral interventions to promote help seeking and healthy coping among youth and military populations.

Additional CSPS Training Faculty

  • Beau Abar, Ph.D. (Emergency Medicine)
  • Peter Britton, Ph.D. (VA CoE)
  • Orna Intrator, Ph.D. (Public Health Sciences)
  • Sherrie Toth, Ph.D. (Clinical and Social Psychology)
  • Megan Lytle, Ph.D. (Psychiatry)
  • Lisham Ashrafioun, Ph.D. (VA CoE)
  • Ben Chapman, Ph.D. (Psychiatry)
  • Yue Li, Ph.D. (Public Health Sciences)
  • Ann Marie White, Ed.D. (Psychiatry, Children's Institute)
  • Caroline Silva, Ph.D. (Psychiatry)
  • Steve Barnett, M.D. (Family Medicine)
  • Todd Bishop, Ph.D. (VA CoE)
  • Wendi F. Cross, Ph.D. (Psychiatry)
  • Kathi Heffner, Ph.D. (Nursing)

Salary and Benefits

Stipends are as specified by NIH guidelines.

Fellows are eligible for health and life insurance benefits through the University of Rochester and a travel stipend is provided.


Because the training program is supported by a grant from NIMH, to be eligible one must be a US citizen or permanent resident. Trainees with backgrounds relevant to suicide prevention including psychiatry and other medical specialties, nursing, psychology, social work, or public health are best suited to this opportunity.


Application Date: Rolling, but preferred deadline is January, 2020

  1. CV
  2. A statement of career goals and interests
  3. Academic transcripts
  4. Three letters of recommendation by individuals familiar with the candidate’s academic performance

Members of under-represented groups are strongly encouraged to apply. 

Please address inquiries and applications to:

Yeates Conwell, M.D.
Program Director
University of Rochester Medical Center
300 Crittenden Road
Rochester, NY 14642
Phone: (585) 275-6739
Fax: (585) 273-1066