Postdoctoral Fellowship, Denver FIRST

Apply now Job no: 492676
Work type: Postdoc / Research / Fellow
Location: Denver, CO
Categories: Postdoc / Fellow

The University of Denver (DU) is a top ranked university in a thriving city at the base of the Rocky Mountains. The Graduate School of Professional Psychology (GSPP) at DU was created in 1976 to house one of the first PsyD programs in the country, under the then-new Vail training model (practitioner-scholar). The PsyD program has been continuously accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1979. GSPP provides four specialized masters programs: sport coaching, sport and performance psychology, forensic psychology, and international disaster psychology. The School also has an exclusively affiliated, APA internship consortium and in-house service clinics. All programs provide comprehensive training for applied work within an academic environment of cooperation and collaboration that fosters critical thinking and self-determined functioning; we are committed to providing cultural competence for all our students. We use our knowledge of multiculturalism and individual differences to make our program as welcoming and inclusive as we can to all students, staff, and faculty.

As a professional college, GSPP is focused on high level integration of applied practice, theory, research, and scholarship. For more information about GSPP, please consult the website:

Founded in 2014 to serve as a regional hub for forensic mental health education, practice, and consultation, Denver Forensic Institute of Research, Service and Training (Denver FIRST) fosters community and university partnerships through a host of service learning opportunities for graduate students working with underserved forensic populations in the local community.

Denver FIRST is integrated with the Masters in Forensic Psychology (MAFP) Program and the Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) Program at the University of Denver's Graduate School of Professional Psychology (GSPP), supported by core GSPP faculty under the leadership of Director Neil Gowensmith, PhD, and staffed by GSPP students. Primarily, Denver FIRST serves as a go-to setting for forensic evaluation, outpatient competency restoration, research, grants, and consultation in forensic mental health in the Denver metro area and beyond. Denver FIRST adheres to the practitioner-scholar philosophy and emphasizes real-world learning and applied research endeavors.

Position Summary

We are pleased to announce a second postdoctoral fellowship position at the University of Denver's forensic psychology institute, Denver FIRST. The fellowship provides opportunities for forensic practice, supervision, research, and teaching. While this fellowship position offers a blend of forensic evaluation practice and academic duties, it also has a second primary emphasis on competency-related services. The fellowship program at Denver FIRST has been formally determined to meet the criteria for the American Board of Forensic Psychology (ABFP) five-year experience waiver.

The 12-month (4-quarter), full-time postdoctoral fellowship position will be conducted under the auspices of Denver FIRST. Each fellow will complete a minimum of 2000 hours of training over the course of the year, with at least 500 hours (25%) of that time spent in the direct provision of professional forensic psychological services such as assessment (e.g., competency to proceed, legal sanity, violence risk, and other types of psycholegal evaluations), treatment, and consultation. Training will be supervised by a licensed psychologist, with a minimum of 2 hours of onsite, in-person supervision per week. All reports submitted to the court will be cosigned by the primary supervisor. The fellow will be formally evaluated on a semi-annual basis pursuant to a written evaluation process that outlines progress over the course of the year, including identification of strengths and limitations of each fellows skills as an early career forensic psychologist. The GSPP follows a practitioner/scholar model, and the fellow will be presented with numerous opportunities for both didactic and applied training, clinical work, teaching, and research.

This second fellowship position differs from the first position in that focuses more primarily on competency-related services. This may include a larger proportion of competency to stand trial evaluations, supervision of students and cases at our in-house outpatient competency restoration program, providing competency restoration treatment, and/or specializing in assessment, consultation, and treatment of individuals with traumatic brain injury in the competency restoration program.

Upon completion of the postdoctoral training, the fellow will receive documentation clearly delineating the year the fellow participated in the training program. The requirements of the fellowship are designed to fulfill the requirements for postdoctoral psychology licensure in the state of Colorado and to satisfy Colorado statutory requirements regarding qualifications to conduct sanity and competency to proceed evaluations.

The fellow is considered a trainee and may not be paid on a fee-for-service basis. There is one position available. The postdoctoral fellow will be paid an estimated stipend of $50,000 for the 2019-2020 training year (exact salary to be finalized at a later date in accordance with NIH guidelines). Additional compensation and benefits in the form of health insurance, paid vacation and sick leave, and liability coverage for program-related on- and off-site activities will be provided. Given the requirement that the fellow attend the annual AP-LS Conference, leave will be provided accordingly. Limited funding may be available for professional development activities, and authorized leave time for these activities may be possible (but is not guaranteed).

The fellow will have an office and access to various resources from DU. The fellow will have a computer with word processing software, access to printers, e-mail, and law and psychology databases through the university library.

Essential Functions

The goal of the fellowship is to produce psychologists with knowledge of the interaction between the law and psychology, and who are able to assume positions in a variety of settings. The fellowship emphasizes training in forensic evaluation and academia. The training program is therefore designed as an integrated experience in the practice of forensic psychology, incorporating treatment and assessment experiences, as well as research, teaching, supervision, and didactic trainings. Core didactics are provided through a structured, written curriculum with clearly defined training goals and objectives overseen by the training director. These may take the form of formal courses or a regular series of seminars. Content will include case law, ethics, and sociocultural/ethnic factors in the context of forensic assessment and treatment. Didactics will be offered in collaboration with other local postdoctoral fellowships in forensic psychology and forensic psychiatry.

Forensic psychology encompasses a range of practice areas far broader than any single training program could address. The fellowship program at Denver FIRST emphasizes certain core competencies, while also providing for elective experiences, which are described later. It is our philosophy that a forensic psychologist can expand upon the core competencies in order to maintain a high standard of work in whatever areas are chosen for future forensic practice. For example, the ability to search for and apply case law regarding a clinical issue is broadly applicable across jurisdictions and practice areas.

The fellow will be expected to teach at least two courses during the fellowship year (most likely winter and spring quarters) through the GSPP. Examples of courses taught by the fellow include Scholarly Writing, Practicum, Ethics, and Forensic Assessment. Additionally, the fellow may offer consultation services and external trainings/workshops through Denver FIRST as requested.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

The University of Denver, Graduate School of Professional Psychology and Denver FIRST are committed to building a diverse and inclusive educational environment. We encourage knowledge of, respect for, and development of skills to effectively engage with diverse individuals and communities. Applicants are requested to include in their cover letter information about how their knowledge and/or experience will advance this commitment.

Required Qualifications

  • Prior to beginning the Denver FIRST Postdoctoral Training Program in Forensic Psychology, all doctoral degree requirements must be completed, and candidates should hold a doctorate (PsyD or PhD) in clinical psychology, forensic psychology, or a closely related discipline.

Due to the forensic nature of this fellowship, candidates must be able to pass a background check.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Candidates should be able to document a strong history of interest, training, and experience in the forensic arena.
  • Areas of particular interest include assessment, competency evaluation and restoration, research, teaching, and supervision.
  • Prior teaching experience will be helpful but is not required.

Working Environment

1. Standard office environment.
2. Unexpected interruptions occur often and stress level is moderate to high.
3. Noise level is quiet to moderate.

In a sample work week, the fellow will likely spend three days on clinical services, one day on research and teaching, and one day for didactics and supervision. This will of course vary week to week, depending on pressing duties. We strive to meet the fellows training interests and can carve out time for additional clinical work in various settings, research, or teaching. A typical month will likely see the fellow completing 2 evaluations under supervision, conducting supervision, working on research, and preparing or actively teaching a weekly course in the GSPP.

Physical Activities

1. Ability to sit in front of a computer for an extended period of time.
2. Occasionally required to move about the office/campus with the capability of transporting objects up to 20 lbs.

Application Deadline
For best consideration, please submit your application materials by 4:00 p.m. (MST) on September 19th, 2019.

Special Instructions
Candidates must apply online through to be considered. Only applications submitted online will be accepted.

Salary Range
Salary will be determined by NIH guidelines for postdoctoral fellowships.

Please include the following documents with your application:
1. Resume
2. Cover Letter, preferably that includes information about how your knowledge and/or experience will advance our commitment to building a diverse and inclusive environment.

The University of Denver is committed to enhancing the diversity of its faculty and staff. We are an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment regardless of age, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, military/ veteran status or any other status protected by law.

All offers of employment are based upon satisfactory completion of a criminal history background check.

Applications close:

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