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NIMH/CSPS Postdoctoral Training in Suicide Prevention Research (T32 MH20061)

Welcome to our Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Suicide Prevention Research


Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., with nearly 50,000 people dying by suicide each year. We are dedicated to the scientific study of suicide—discovering its causes and developing approaches for its prevention. Our research tests interventions across universal, selective, and indicated treatment methods and in a variety of vulnerable groups, including adolescents, older adults, victims of violence, and Veterans as well as individuals with medical, psychiatric, and social comorbidities.

Message from the Directors

We strive to educate a research workforce with the knowledge and skills to conduct the full spectrum of suicide studies and prepare early career investigators for successful academic careers. Now in its 19th year, our fellowship is supported by a National Research Service Award (NRSA) from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). It is the only NRSA training program in the U.S. dedicated solely to suicide prevention.  To that end, we strive to create a vibrant community of scholars whose backgrounds and approaches to suicide prevention science contribute to our learning environment and to the Center’s ultimate goal of reducing suicide-related deaths.

We invite you to learn more, and reach out to us with questions related to our postdoctoral training program or the research projects we support. Thank you for your interest in our fellowship program, and your interest in contributing to the study and prevention of suicide.

Yeates Conwell, MD & Kimberly Van Orden, PhD
Co-Directors of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide at University of Rochester Medical Center


As a fellow, you will participate in a combination of mentored research (study design and implementation, data analysis, grant and paper writing), seminars and didactic sessions on suicide research as well as topics related to more general academic career development. Based on your career goals and research objectives, the program will take 2-3 years to complete.

Program Highlights

  • Up to three years of stipend support and related benefits
  • Support from a primary mentor who will recommend courses and training activities based on your needs and research interests
  • Intensive mentorship in grant writing, study design, and implementation as well as data analysis from core faculty
  • Access to advisors from both the University of Rochester and the Veteran’s Affairs VISN 2 Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention
  • Collaborative relationship with the VA Advanced Fellowship in Veteran Mental Health & Suicide Prevention
  • Clinical opportunities based on your program of research

Fellowship Faculty Mentors

Eric Caine, MD

  • Public health and population-based approaches to suicide prevention
  • Policy

Kate Cerulli, JD, PhD

  • Interpersonal violence and suicide
  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Therapeutic justice

Kenneth Conner, PsyD, MPH

  • Substance abuse and suicide
  • High risk approaches
  • Emergency care

Yeates Conwell, MD

  • Suicide in later life
  • Health and aging services and interventions research

Will Pigeon, PhD

  • Sleep problems and suicide
  • Behavioral interventions research
  • Veterans

Yue Li, PhD

  • Health economics
  • Older adult health services research
  • Big data analytics, machine learning

Tony Pisani, PhD

  • Clinical assessment and management of at risk groups
  • Training models
  • Behavioral interventions research

Marc Swogger, PhD

  • Forensic and justice-involved individuals at risk
  • Behavioral health treatment engagement and treatment to reduce risk

Kim Van Orden, PhD

  • Later life suicide prevention research
  • Psychosocial interventions
  • Social Engagement

Sheree Toth, PhD

  • Developmental psychopathology
  • Child maltreatment, maternal depression influences
  • Preventive interventions with at-risk youth

Peter Wyman, PhD

  • Youth and young adults/military populations
  • Social network analysis
  • Community-partnered interventions research

Check out our full list of faculty

Current Fellows

Aileen Aldalur, PhD

Aileen Aldalur is a second-year postdoctoral associate in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Rochester. She conducts clinical intervention research with culturally Deaf individuals, including adapting and developing evidence-based psychosocial interventions. She is currently conducting a multi-component project to adapt Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Treatment-Seeking (CBT-TS) for Deaf individuals with severe alcohol use disorder.

So Young Choe, PhD

So Young Choe, Ph.D. is a first-year fellow in the CSPS at URMC. She studies adolescent suicide with Dr. Peter Wyman and is currently analyzing his Sources of Strength suicide intervention data in adolescence. She has been researching harmful parenting called parental psychological control (intrusive and emotionally manipulative parenting, Choe & Read, 2019), and she hopes to connect parenting research and suicide with a developmental perspective to reduce and prevent adolescent suicide, especially among Asian American and Latinx adolescents.

Morica Hutchison, PhD

Morica Hutchison is a first-year fellow in the CSPS at URMC who studies suicide prevention in adolescents, including the role of emotion regulation strategies in psychosocial interventions to bolster mental health outcomes and adaptive coping.

Alexandra VanBergen, PhD

Alexandra VanBergen is a first-year fellow in the CSPS at URMC who studies the role of social connectedness in the association between minority stress and suicide risk. Alex is particularly interested in the diversity of minority stress experiences, minority stress in the family-of-origin context, and the protective role of families-of-choice in suicide risk.

Application and Contact information

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.

Learn About Living in Rochester

How to Apply

Because our program is supported by federal grant funding, applicants 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.

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

Application Checklist


-Statement of career goals and interests

-Three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the candidate’s academic performance


Please send your application and supporting materials to:

Yeates Conwell, MD
Program Co-Director
University of Rochester Medical Center
300 Crittenden Road
Rochester, NY  14642
Phone:  585-275-6739
Fax:  585-273-1066


For questions or additional information regarding our program, please contact our Fellowship Coordinator,

Holly Murphy at (585) 275-2047, or