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Pre-Doctoral Training

The University and the Brown School offer multi-disciplinary doctoral and post-doctoral training in mental health services research, financed through grant monies from the NIMH's Institutional National Research Service Award: Mental Health Services Pre-doctoral and Post-doctoral Training Program (NIMH - T32 MH019960) Funded 08/95-06/10. 

Pre-doctoral students receive an annual stipend and full tuition.  The fellowship provides three years’ support, contingent on satisfactory performance. The purpose of this program is to prepare researchers to investigate such issues as the access, organizations, and effectiveness of mental health services, particularly for clients in social service sectors of care.

Program Structure
The PhD program is administered by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in cooperation with the George Warren Brown School of Social Work. Faculty members of our School of Medicine are also involved in the administration of the Mental Health Services Research Training Program.

Curriculum
Each student will work with the director to formulate an individualized course of research and study. Training will incorporate six elements.

  1. PhD courses in the fundamentals of social welfare theory; research methodology; and quantitative methods of data analysis.
  2. Specialized courses in health and mental health services.  A minimum of 15 credits must be taken outside social work, in the fields of psychiatry, economics, health administration psychology or other disciplines.
  3. A core research seminar in mental health services research.
  4. Three semesters of supervised research practicums dealing with a specific mental health services issue.
  5. Preparation of research papers suitable for publication in a professional peer review journal.
  6. Preparation of a research proposal to address a mental health services topic.

Additional Training Opportunities
Students will benefit from the rich educational opportunities offered through the University's PhD Program and its Center for Mental Health Services Research. Trainees may take advantage of:

  • A weekly doctoral and faculty research seminar.
  • Research methodology seminars of the CMHSR.
  • Seminars offered at the Center by nationally renowned mental health services researchers.
  • Mental health research work groups and project team meetings.
  • Support to attend national conferences and research meetings on mental health services.
  • Consultation from nationally renowned experts.

Research
Students will work closely with the program's director and advisory committees to formulate and implement their educational plans while working alongside program faculty in research areas such as:

  • Access to mental health services through social service systems such as health, education, child welfare, or the justice systems of care.
  • Routes to mental health care.
  • Enhancing the ability of providers to detect and respond effectively to mental health problems.
  • Relationships among multiple providers of care.
  • Effectiveness of services in specialized mental health settings.
  • Costs and reimbursement of services for persons with severe mental illness.
  • The service needs of special populations of mentally ill patients
  • The impact of capitation and changes in health insurance on the delivery of mental health services.  

Application Process
Applicants must complete both an application to the Ph.D. Program in Social Work and to the Training Program in Mental Health Services Research.  Selection Criteria include demonstrated specialized interest in mental health services research; strong aptitude for research; and U.S. citizenship or permanent residence.

Questions? Contact:
Renee Cunningham-Williams, Ph.D.
Associate Dean, Ph.D. Program in Social Work
(314) 935-4563
E-mail:
williamsr@wustl.edu