We currently have 12 fellowship tracks (11 clinical, 1 research). Clinical emphasis tracks include the following:
- Clinical Neuropsychology Track (Adult or Lifespan)
- Clinical Neuropsychology Track (Child) *currently not available*
- Clinical Neuropsychology Track (Pediatric)
- Geropsychology-Neuropsychology Track
- Geriatric Neuropsychology Longevity Track
- Clinical Neuropsychology of Polytrauma/TBI & Recovery Track,
- Clinical Neuropsychology of Sports Concussions and Head Injury Track
- MPAC – Neurodegeneration Track,
- HNCE CNP Track,
- HNCE Social Justice in the Criminal Neuropsychology at the HNCE Track
- HNCE BASIC-T Track.
Our research emphasis track:
12. Clinical Neuropsychology Research Track. Please note that the Research Track operates to provide supervised professional experience in clinical neuropsychology to trainees who have separate funding sources (see more complete description of this track below). Fellows in the research track participate in the overall training program and are generally expected to satisfy the same competency-based exit criteria proposed for our clinical tracks, even though they will usually spend less than 50% of total effort in direct clinical service activities.
This track is the broadest of the tracks with a primary clinical emphasis and is designed to prepare its graduates for the independent clinical practice of neuropsychology as a specialty. It is particularly designed for those committed to providing such services in academic settings, and who seek to pursue advanced levels of competency to play roles in the supervision and training of future clinical neuropsychologists. Training opportunities, typically expected to be of two years’ duration, are offered both within the Geffen School of Medicine and at closely affiliated sites. Clinical fellows conduct both outpatient and inpatient diagnostic evaluations with a broad range of patients referred from Neurology, Psychiatry, Neurosurgery, Geriatrics, Infectious Diseases/Immunology, Surgery/Organ Transplant, Orthopedics, Pediatrics, Genetics, Radiology and Medicine. Experience with forensic neuropsychology cases may also be provided. While the majority of work focuses on adult cases, experience with child and geriatric cases may be included, and for well-prepared candidates (i.e., those who possess solid background and experience in both adult and pediatric neuropsychology), a Lifespan focus can be arranged. Fellows can gain exposure to brain mapping methods for presurgical planning using functional MRI and other neurodiagnostic tools and obtain significant expertise on consultation to neurology and neurosurgery services. Fellows are active participants in evaluations conducted within the epilepsy surgery center and while this experience is available to all trainees, often one of our fellows elects to specialize in epilepsy to gain further experience in presurgical neuropsychological evaluations, intracarotid sodium amobarbital procedures (Wada tests), intra- and extra-operative cortical mapping, and participation in multidisciplinary team conferences. The general track fellows see a broad range of additional cases with neuropsychological consequences of cerebrovascular, neoplastic, and traumatic etiologies. Fellows in this track also receive special training and experience conducting advanced psychodiagnostic assessment in complex neuropsychiatric syndromes, both for outpatients and on the inpatient services of the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital. Graduates of this track are thus prepared to serve diverse assessment needs in consultation to the broadest possible range of health care providers.
For applicants interested in specialty training in Child Neuropsychology, placements are offered in collaboration with The Help Group, a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to serving young people with special needs related to autism spectrum disorder, learning disabilities, ADHD, developmental delays, abuse and emotional difficulties (for further details, please see our Program Brochure, Collaborating Centers of Excellence). Fellows in this track typically spend three days per week at The Help Group’s nearby Sherman Oaks Campus, providing neuropsychological assessments under the supervision of UCLA faculty who specialize in child clinical neuropsychology. Two days per week are spent at the UCLA campus in Westwood, seeing patients under the aegis of the Medical Psychology Assessment Center, and participating in the extensive didactic offerings with other trainees. Fellows gain experience in assessment of children with a wide range of clinical conditions including ADHD, learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, traumatic brain injury, and epilepsy; there are opportunities at UCLA for fellows to participate in presurgical assessments, including Wada testing, intraoperative mapping, and presurgical fMRI. Opportunities to participate in research are also available.
This track has a primary clinical emphasis on children and adolescents and is designed to prepare its graduates for the independent clinical practice of neuropsychology as a specialty. It is particularly designed for those committed to providing such services in academic settings, and who seek to pursue advanced levels of competency to play roles in the supervision and training of future clinical neuropsychologists. Training opportunities, typically expected to be of two years’ duration, are offered both within the David Geffen School of Medicine and at closely affiliated sites. Clinical fellows conduct outpatient and inpatient evaluations with a broad range of patients referred from Neurology, Psychiatry, Neurosurgery, Surgery/Organ Transplant, Pediatrics, Genetics, Radiology and Medicine. Fellows can gain exposure to brain mapping methods for presurgical planning using functional MRI and other neurodiagnostic tools and obtain significant expertise on consultation to neurology and neurosurgery services. Fellows are active participants in evaluations conducted within the epilepsy surgery center and while this experience is available to all trainees, often one of our fellows elects to specialize in epilepsy to gain further experience in presurgical neuropsychological evaluations, intracarotid sodium amobarbital procedures (Wada tests), intra- and extra- operative cortical mapping, and participation in multidisciplinary team conferences. The pediatric track fellows see a broad range of additional cases with developmental etiologies – ADHD, learning disorders, in utero exposure, and neurodevelopmental disorders. Graduates of this track are thus prepared to serve diverse assessment needs of children and adolescents in consultation to the broadest possible range of health care providers. We anticipate having one opening for 2021-2022. For further details about this track contact Sandra Loo, Ph.D. (email@example.com) or Patricia Walshaw, Ph.D (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The goal of the geriatric psychology/neuropsychology track is to provide an in-depth training experience for individuals wishing to specialize in academic geriatric psychology and geriatric neuropsychology, and specifically to develop psychologists to be expert geriatric clinicians as well as clinical researchers. To meet these goals, this program is designed to provide well-rounded clinical training in a broad range of skills applicable to the geriatric patient, including geriatric neuropsychology, consultation/liaison service for inpatients, individual psychotherapy, group therapy for patients with depression and anxiety, cognitive enhancement intervention and caregiver support. The patients seen include a broad cross-section of diagnoses. The fellowship includes a bi-weekly reading/discussion group on anti-racism with a focus on clinical care, research practices and professional development.. The majority of patients seen for neuropsychological evaluations have mild cognitive impairment or dementia (e.g. vascular, neurodegenerative, encephalopathy), many have psychiatric disorders either as a primary diagnosis or a comorbid diagnosis with cognitive impairment (depression, anxiety, bipolar and delusional disorders), and most have comorbid medical conditions common in aging that complicate the clinical presentation. Fellows who complete the program will develop expertise in the differential diagnosis of dementia. Fellows will also have the opportunity to provide behavior modification for patients and conduct cognitive rehabilitation/compensatory training in elders with mild cognitive impairment and age- related cognitive challenges. This track includes specific assignments of Fellows to research projects in collaboration with and under the supervision of a diverse faculty. Several specialized didactic offerings are mandatory for Fellows in this track, in addition to their participation in the core curriculum (see below: Didactic Curriculum). There is currently one fellow in this track.
This track is designed to prepare its graduates for the independent clinical practice of neuropsychology as a specialty, with additional expertise working in the field of geriatric neuropsychology, aging, dementia, and neurodegenerative disorders. This track is based in the Medical Psychology Assessment Center (MPAC). The fellow in this track will conduct outpatient neuropsychological evaluations (≈60%). The patient population primarily includes older adults with a wide variety of neurological disorders, including early Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Parkinson’s plus disorders, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and normal pressure hydrocephalus; in addition, many of the cases present with underlying mood disorders (depression, anxiety, bipolar). Fellows will have the opportunity to supervise practicum trainees and have a leadership role in group supervision for all practicum students at MPAC. The fellow will also see one neuropsychology clinical case per month (≈10%) in MPAC, which will provide the fellow exposure to greater clinical breadth and a more well-rounded training that includes younger adults and those for whom degenerative disorders are not the primary clinical concern. Fellows will also participate in the UCLA Brain Boot Camp & Memory Care program, which is a cognitive rehabilitation program that provides memory training and caregiver support for patients and families with mild dementia (≈10%). Fellows in this track will also participate in the didactic curriculum (≈20%) and may additionally have the opportunity to participate in brain cuttings, grand rounds in Neurology and Psychiatry, and the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Forum. Graduates of this track will be prepared to meet the pressing need for timely, evidence informed, comprehensive assessment and treatment of this growing population. We anticipate having one opening, starting in 2022, for a two-year fellowship. For further details about this track, please contact Karen Miller, PhD (KMiller@mednet.ucla.edu).
The intersection between traumatic brain injury (TBI), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other physical injuries have become a significant focus of attention in recent years because these conditions, both independently and additively, are responsible for much impairment following military deployments. Recent evidence suggests that mild TBI can increase the risk for PTSD and both evaluation and treatment of these injury profiles requires the highest level of care coordination. Physical/orthopedic injury, stress, trauma, and TBI have been the focus of attention outside military contexts, including sport concussion and other causes of head injury.
Fellows in this track are part of UCLA Health Operation Mend, a multidisciplinary program committed to providing innovative, comprehensive, world-class care for the physical and psychological wounds of war. (https://www.uclahealth.org/operationmend/about)https://www.uclahealth.org/operationmend/about). The multidisciplinary team consists of psychiatrists, neurologists, neuropsychologists, mental health clinicians, physical and occupational therapists, and family care managers. The track has a primary clinical focus, and fellows provide direct clinical service, including neuropsychological assessment (≈60%) and cognitive training/rehabilitation (≈10%), as well as participate in rich weekly didactics (≈20%), program evaluation, and research activities (≈10%).
Neuropsychological assessment and training (≈60% time) occur through an ongoing collaboration between the Medical Psychology Assessment Center (MPAC) and Operation Mend (see Collaborating Centers of Excellence). Fellows will provide neuropsychological and psychological assessment to military service members applying for care at Operation Mend, with a history of mTBI and PTSD-related symptoms as well as other common medical and psychiatric comorbidities. Additionally, fellows see civilians in MPAC referred from Neurology, Psychiatry, Neurosurgery, Geriatrics, Infectious Diseases/Immunology, Surgery/Organ Transplant, Genetics, and radiology (1-2 cases per month). Forensic and lifespan evaluations, inpatient consultation, exposure to WADA testing, intra- and extra-operative cortical mapping are also available.
Fellows will also provide manualized cognitive training/rehabilitation (≈10%) to active duty service members, veterans, and their families who participate in UCLA Operation Mend’s individualized, three-week, intensive treatment programs (ITPs). UCLA Health Operation Mend is part of the Warrior Care Network (https://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/Warrior-Care-Network-Helps-Restore-Light-in-Life). We currently have two ITP tracks in which fellows will provide cognitive training: PTSD/mTBI & our new BRAIN ITP. The Balanced Recovery And Integrated Neuroscience (BRAIN) Intensive Treatment Program, is our newest 3-week intensive program for individuals with a history of TBI. The BRAIN ITP is a cohort-based treatment model that provides TBI-specific education, cognitive training, occupational therapy, physical therapy, exercise training, nutrition and diet education, sleep management, life tools strategies, peer support groups, and individual provider consults. Fellows are active participants in the bi-weekly multidisciplinary team meetings. Time-limited telehealth follow-up is a unique aspect of the program, facilitating the transfer of the cognitive training skills once participants go home.
Additionally, Fellows will participate in a rich, weekly didactic curriculum (≈20%). There is a broad spectrum of program evaluation and research opportunities available (≈10%).
Graduates of the track are prepared for the independent clinical practice of neuropsychology as a specialty. It also meets APA’s Society for Clinical Neuropsychology (Division 40), guidelines preparing fellows for a path towards Board Certification in Clinical Neuropsychology. With additional expertise assessing and treating individuals experiencing symptoms related to traumatic brain injury, stress and trauma, graduates of this track will be prepared to meet the pressing need for timely, evidence-informed, comprehensive assessment and treatment of this growing population. Graduates may be particularly well-suited for careers in a VA or other military-related settings.
There are currently three fellows in this track, and we anticipate having two openings for the 2022-2023 academic year. For further details about this track, contact Delany Thrasher, Ph.D., ABPP (email@example.com).
Head injuries, especially sports related concussions, have become a major focus of attention in recent years in the media, largely due to research (human, neuroimaging, and laboratory) suggesting that alterations in brain functioning may have clinically relevant neurobehavioral consequences, even if transient. In both concussion and more severe head injuries, various factors predict the course of recovery, including nature of the injury itself, as well as premorbid functioning, family functioning, and comorbidities, including psychiatric and psychological factors. Ultimately, graduates of this track will be prepared to meet the pressing need for timely, evidence-informed, comprehensive assessment and treatment of this growing population. The current collaboration between the Medical Psychology Assessment Center and the UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program is designed to exponentially expand clinical, research, and community outreach work that has been ongoing within the UCLA Department of Neurosurgery’s Brain Injury Center, as well as the division of Pediatric Neurology at UCLA. It connects the best of UCLA’s multidisciplinary faculty with both clinical and research skills as a comprehensive approach to assessing and treating head injuries in youth.
The fellow in this track will be part of the UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program, a multidisciplinary and comprehensive center which allows fellows to take on leadership roles in providing clinical care, research opportunities (laboratory and clinical), community outreach, and education.
The program has a primary clinical emphasis and is designed to prepare its graduates for the independent clinical practice of neuropsychology as a specialty, with additional expertise working with sports related concussions and more severe head injuries. The track also meets the guidelines for APA’s Society for Clinical Neuropsychology (Division 40), preparing fellows for a path towards Board Certification in Clinical Neuropsychology. This fellowship provides exposure to a multidisciplinary team (including neurology, occupational therapy, sports medicine, and clinical dietician specialties), and provides trainees a significant amount of protected time (~30%) to participate in clinical research in concussion/head injury. Many clinical and translational research projects within our program allow for multiple opportunities to develop independent investigations, collaborate, or contribute to ongoing work. This protected time allows active participation in one or more of a wide spectrum of ongoing clinical and/or laboratory research opportunities through the UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program, including multi-center studies on youth concussion as well as advanced neuroimaging.
Current research projects include:
- A brief cognitive-behavioral therapy with biofeedback remote intervention for individuals with persistent post-concussion symptoms.
- Several multi-site clinical research programs found on our website
- Basic science research programs developed thought the UCLA Brain Injury Research Center.
Approximately 50% of the fellow’s time will be spent providing direct clinical services. Specifically, clinical training will encompass ~30% time working in a multidisciplinary team, providing clinical services, including neuropsychological assessment and brief psychotherapy treatment primarily to youth concussion patients, as well as exposure to patients with more severe head injuries, retired professional athletes, and military service members. A fellow’s neuropsychology experience within the concussion program will consist of multiple abbreviated batteries and same day feedback to patients per week, including opportunities to work with various populations (e.g., TBI, sports concussion, cardiology) across the lifespan. Psychotherapy experience is also part of the fellow’s clinical training, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and a brief exercise-CBT combination treatment. Tiered supervision of trainees (e.g., neuropsychology interns and externs) is also often a part of fellows’ training plan.
The remainder of the clinical hours (~20%) will include taking a general neuropsychology clinical case (roughly 1 complex/pediatric or 2 brief evaluations a month) through UCLA Semel Institute’s Medical Psychology Assessment Center (MPAC), providing the fellow exposure to greater clinical breadth and a more well-rounded training. Patients seen at MPAC are referred for a wide range of complex medical, neurological, genetic, neurodevelopmental, and other disorders and difficulties. Pre-surgical, language mapping, and inpatient assessment is also available for those with interest.
This track is designed to prepare its graduates for the independent clinical practice of neuropsychology as a specialty, with additional expertise working in the field of geriatric neuropsychology, aging, dementia, and neurodegenerative disorders. This track is based in the Medical Psychology Assessment Center (MPAC). The fellow in this track will conduct outpatient neuropsychological evaluations (≈70%). The patient population primarily includes older adults with a wide variety of neurological disorders, including early Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Parkinson’s plus disorders, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and normal pressure hydrocephalus. Fellows will gain experience in “supervised supervision” of practicum trainees. The fellow will also see one neuropsychology clinical case per month (≈10%) in MPAC, which will provide the fellow exposure to greater clinical breadth and a more well-rounded training that includes younger adults and those for whom degenerative disorders are not the primary clinical concern. Fellows in this track will also participate in the didactic curriculum (≈20%) and may additionally have the opportunity to participate in brain cuttings (Thursdays at 9am in room CHS #13-165), grand rounds in Neurology and Psychiatry, and the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Forum. Graduates of this track will be prepared to meet the pressing need for timely, evidence informed, comprehensive assessment and treatment of this growing population.
HNCE CNP fellows conduct both inpatient and outpatient neuropsychological and psychodiagnostic evaluations across multiple settings within the UCLA Health System for monolingual and bilingual Spanish-speaking and Hispanic/Latino patients. Typical bilingual referrals include: pre-surgical epilepsy, tumor, vascular, and DBS cases; pre-surgical organ transplant evaluations; differential diagnosis of dementia; diagnostic clarification of neuropsychiatric disorders; and a range of diverse potential etiologies typically referred by Neurology, Psychiatry, and other medical specialties. CNP track fellows also gain exposure to neurosurgical activities including Wada exams, functional MRI assessments, and intra/extra-operative electrocorticography. Opportunities for training across the lifespan are available with monolingual and bilingual Spanish-speaking children, transitional youth, adults, and older adults.
The HNCE BASIC-T Track aims to extend the training offered in the CNP to reach safety net providers in the community. The BASIC-T program provides fellows the opportunity to provide much needed assessment services to LA County’s most vulnerable patients, who would otherwise not receive them. Fellows are thus exposed to the diverse variety of neuropsychological syndromes typically associated with a tertiary academic medical center, and also serve patients of highly diverse socioeconomic status and levels of access to healthcare, who also require complex neuropsychological assessments. The program aims for graduates of the BASIC-T track to subsequently be deployed within the LACDMH workforce to build capacity in neuropsychological assessment and mitigate current disparities in access to care.
This track empowers emerging clinicians to learn to better serve the growing needs of the incarcerated monolingual and bilingual Hispanic/Latino population, as well as to improve the cultural competence of the overall justice system. This track is one of a kind: it trains fellows to provide linguistically- and culturally-competent triage and consultation/liaison services, psychodiagnostic assessments, comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations, and targeted treatment recommendations to a variety of stakeholders in the medicolegal system including local public defenders, district attorneys, probation departments, and state correctional facilities.
The SJCN track’s emphasis is to prepare graduates for the independent clinical practice of criminal forensic psychology and neuropsychology. Training in this track is comprised of a major and a minor rotation in order to ensure both specialization and breadth. The major (criminal forensic) rotation is designed for those committed to serve individuals who are currently detained, on parole or probation, and/or in immigration or asylum proceedings. The minor rotation (in the Cultural Neuropsychology Program or CNP) allows the fellow to work with bilingual patients from the community for additional exposure to general neuropsychology practice. Opportunities for neurosurgery-related assessments may also be available in the minor rotation, including Wada exams, functional MRI assessments, and intra/extraoperative electrocorticography. Training opportunities across the lifespan are available, as the major and minor rotations both serve juvenile and adult populations. In addition to programmatic didactic opportunities required for all UCLA neuropsychology fellow, the SJCN fellow will also participate in a forensic fellowship seminar series.
As an integral part of training, the fellow in this track is encouraged to take on advocacy roles beyond clinical care. This may involve participating in community outreach as well as research centered on legal sentencing, recidivism, program outcomes, and policy interventions.
Current projects include: 1) Ongoing consultation and training for various community stakeholders within the legal system on how to interact with individuals who have an intellectual, developmental, acquired, or psychiatric disability, and 2) Development of an evidence-informed curriculum targeting at-risk youth referred by police agencies for services including prevention, assessment, and early intervention to reduce the risk of reoffending.
Furthermore, opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration with professionals across the UCLA system (e.g., Law School, Department of Social Work, and the Department of Psychiatry’s Office of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) may be available. We anticipate having one opening in the new SJCN Track for 2022-2023. For further details, please contact: Diomaris E. Safi, Psy.D. (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This track is designed for Fellows who wish to pursue a career in academic settings where the applications of clinical neuropsychology to research are the primary focus. Specific foci of research activities for Fellows pursuing this track are designated via a matching process between our current faculty interests and funding streams, and the interests and background stated by candidates. Applications for this track are reviewed by both the overall selection committee and potential preceptors, and the final selection is determined by consensus of the selection committee to maximize the likelihood of success in achieving the training goals, including the likelihood of success in obtaining future extramural research support. While there are multiple postdoctoral training opportunities at UCLA for psychologists wishing to pursue specific research objectives, this track of the Fellowship program is designed for those applicants who see clinical neuropsychology as an important emphasis, and wish to obtain training compatible with the guidelines promulgated by APA’s Society for Clinical Neuropsychology (Division 40), and who are interested in obtaining Board Certification in Clinical Neuropsychology. To achieve these goals, this track requires that a minimum of 25% effort be dedicated to direct human service delivery in each of two years of training, complementing the specific research training objectives of the Fellow (anticipated to occupy at least 50% effort), the core didactic curriculum, and such other didactic requirements as may be set out for the specific objectives of that Fellow’s program. The unique and individualized nature of this track dictates that applicants become familiar with the research activities of our faculty (potentially including other faculty at UCLA who may not be listed specifically as program faculty in this brochure), and the applicant’s statement of interest in the application materials should specifically suggest possible goals and the most appropriate preceptors from our Clinical Neuropsychology faculty. Applicants should contact relevant faculty in advance of their application to determine the feasibility of their plan. It is particularly important to note that the Division of Psychology does not provide separate funding for this track; instead the funding for trainees in this track must be provided from other sources. Most trainees in this track have obtained support from other institutional training grants, other individual training grants, or individual research grants.
Faculty research interests currently supported by grants from governmental and private agencies span the developmental spectrum from infancy through senescence. Among the areas of programmatic research and/or expertise which are open to Fellow research participation are: (1) Neuroimaging – especially fMRI studies of dementia, epilepsy, language disorders, schizophrenia, and autism, or structural neuroimaging projects that emphasize current methods using high-dimensional warping of surfaces to examine group differences and structure-function relations; (2) Major Psychopathology – especially cognitive neuropsychological and neuroimaging studies of schizophrenia and related disorders; (3) Normal and Pathological Aging – including Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia; (4) Pediatric Neuropsychology – including epilepsy, neurosurgery, HIV infection, and genetic disorders and (5) Traumatic Brain Injury – both pediatric and adult. The Medical Psychology Assessment Center also offers assessment services to funded research projects, enabling high quality neurocognitive assessments to be conducted, capitalizing on the section’s infrastructure, and Fellows may participate in these projects. To complement their primary research experiences, Fellows in this track are exposed to intensive clinical practice experiences involving a wide range of neurobehavioral disorders. The number of positions to be offered in this track for the 2020-2021 academic year depends on the number of appropriate matches between candidate and faculty interests. Please note that most faculty contact information is available on the web (http://directory.ucla.edu). For further information about this track, for assistance in determining what may be appropriate areas for inquiry, and to obtain additional contact information for participating faculty, please contact Robert M. Bilder, Ph.D., ABPP-CN (email@example.com).