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URMC / Psychiatry / Education / Suicide Prevention Research Fellowship

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Suicide Prevention Research

Suicide Prevention ribbons

We are not currently accepting applications for the 2023-2024 academic year.

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. The Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide conducts suicide prevention research 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 24th year, our fellowship is supported by a National Research Service Award (NRSA) from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).We strive to create a vibrant community of scholars whose diverse 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 about the fellowship and the CSPS more broadly, 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.

Kimberly Van Orden, PhD, Todd Bishop, PhD and
Yeates Conwell, MD 
Directors of the Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Suicide Prevention Research with the Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide at the University of Rochester Medical Center

CSPS Directors

Program Highlights

  • Two years of stipend support and related benefits (with a third year available under some circumstances)
  • Support from a primary mentor in the CSPS 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
  • Read more about the Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide (CSPS)

Faculty Mentors

Learn more about our faculty members who are actively recruiting fellows.


Our Fellows

Learn more about our current fellows and their research.


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 (or sometimes 3) years to complete. 
Our training curriculum has six primary elements:

  • Monthly CSPS Research Seminar with presentations from CSPS faculty on current projects, grants in preparation, and project planning. Discussions include innovative methods in suicide prevention, including diverse populations, and considering a biopsychosocial and lifespan approach.
  • Weekly didactics for fellows on foundational & current suicide prevention science, including epidemiology of suicide, public health approaches to suicide prevention, evidence-based clinical interventions for suicide ideation & behavior, lifespan developmental considerations, assessment methodologies (e.g., ecological momentary assessment, clinical interview, psychological autopsy), and cultural considerations.
  • Attendance at suicide prevention conferences (some financial support provided)
  • The Department of Psychiatry offers weekly Grand Rounds to provide education in all aspects of psychiatry. The Department of Psychiatry has a rich history, including as the home of the biopsychosocial model of health and psychoneuroimmunology, and numerous innovations in clinical care (check out the Department’s timeline).
  • Department of Psychiatry Research Skills Seminar: RSS meets monthly for 90 minutes and includes Department of Psychiatry clinical research fellows and selected academic track junior faculty. The primary objectives are to develop grant writing knowledge and skills and to gain experience in obtaining and providing constructive feedback on grant applications. The secondary objectives are 1) become familiar with federal funding opportunities and review processes (particularly those for early-stage investigators), 2) gain experience in the iterative grant writing process (i.e., the receive feedback and revise application loop), and 3) improve awareness of the role and timing of grant applications as they relate to different career development goals and pathways. Guest faculty may occasionally present on topics related to conducting research and building a research career. Topics include research and grants management; manuscript and grant reviewing; mentorship; time management; data harmonization policy and procedures; and data sharing policy and procedures.
  • Medical Center 'K Club'
  • Mentored grant submissions (typically each year), including Loan Repayment Awards, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Pilot or Young Investigator Awards, UR CTSI Pilot Awards.
  • Each fellow is matched with a primary mentor in the CSPS and sometimes a secondary mentor within the Department of Psychiatry. Meetings are typically held each week and cover grant writing, manuscript writing, development of research projects, and general career development.
  • Most fellows engage in both original data collection, secondary analysis from data by CSPS investigators, and development of grant proposals during both years of the fellowship.
  • Fellows complete an Individual Development Plan in the first quarter that is a working document that guides fellowship activities and career development.
  • Research projects can access clinical settings in the Department of Psychiatry, including emergency services (emergency department, mobile crisis), inpatient psychiatry, partial hospital, and outpatient clinics. Services are available for children and adolescents, adults, older adults, Spanish-speakers, those who are Deaf/hard-of-hearing, as well as addiction services. Additional specialty outpatient clinics are described here.
  • Fellows may take courses to support career development. Common courses include those in the Department of Public Health Sciences on epidemiologic and statistical methods, health services, and design of clinical trials.
  • URMC's Graduate Education & Postdoctoral Affairs Office provides resources for fellows throughout the medical center.
  • We provide connections to our T32 alumni network across the country for career development advice.
  • The Rochester Early-Stage Investigator Network (RESIN) offers workshops and resources to help early-stage researchers develop skills to improve the efficacy and efficiency of translation and to launch their research careers.


We are not currently accepting applications for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Contact Us

For questions or additional information regarding our program, please contact: 

Fellowship Director
Dr. Kim Van Orden

In crisis or need to be connected to clinical care?
Call 9-8-8 or the UR Crisis Call Line (585)275-8686

View additional Department of Psychiatry Resources:
UR Mental Health Emergency Services