To become a successful investigator, postgraduates require protected research time to work with one or more faculty advisors to develop and answer a research question. This is an important step in launching an independent research career or in developing transferable career skills. Protected research time can be accomplished through a fellowship / instructorship position where about 80% of your time is devoted to research training and about 20% time to clinical responsibilities.

Our trainees are involved in a large variety of research projects ranging from studies of basic neurobiologic mechanisms to clinical research to community health services research.


Faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine hold a variety of training grants to support the education of future researchers.

These T32 and R25 training grants from the National Institutes for Health (NIH) have been highly successful in preparing residents and others for a career in research.

Over the past 10 years, 90% of our residents who become T32 trainees remain in academic medicine with 2/3 of them receiving K-level career awards.

Learn more about the department’s research career development »

Training programs

Please email the director of your desired program to inquire about eligibility and position availability.

TranSTAR:  Transdisciplinary training in addictions research

Directors: Dr. Kathleen Bucholz & Jeremy Goldbach

Jointly directed by faculty at the Brown School of Social Work (Goldbach) and the Department of Psychiatry at the School of Medicine (Bucholz), this  NIDA funded T32 is a  two-year post-doctoral traineeship in research relating to prevention, treatment, services, comorbidities and policies among those vulnerable to development of substance use and misuse disorders and co-occurring conditions, with a focus on underserved racial, ethnic, sexual and gender minority groups.  The program links trainees with faculty mentors expert in an array of disciplines in addiction research including Social Work, Psychiatry, Public Health, Biostatistics, Genetics, Economics and Psychology.   The program emphasizes training in research project development and management, preparation of grants and other proposals for funding, manuscript writing, as-needed coursework, and career development activities and networking, tailored by the  trainee.

View NIH program description »

Substance abuse: a biomedical approach

Director: Dr. Arpana Agrawal

Multidisciplinary, interdepartmental post-doctoral training focused on the neurobiology of substance abuse with a strong emphasis on neuroimaging, molecular and familial genetics, pharmacoepidemiology, behavior, neural circuits, and pharmacology

This NIDA training program for PhD and MD researchers is designed to foster scientific training in drug abuse mechanisms, broadly defined. Studies may involve epidemiology, neurotoxicity, neuroimaging, genetics, neuronal excitability, neurotransmission, synaptic plasticity, and/or behavior.

View NIH program description »

Developmental neuroscience and child psychopathology

Directors: Dr. Joan Luby & Dr. Deanna Barch

The focus on this training grant is on the development cognitive and affective neuroscience of childhood psychopathology. Training opportunities encompass a broad variety of child development and psychopathology domains as well as with multi-modal neuro imaging techniques. Expertise in genetics, epigenetics and neurogenomic approaches are also available. Numerous large scale longitudinal study samples are available for training and investigation using these approaches.

View NIH program description »

Genetics and genomics of mental disorders

Director: Dr. John Rice

This T32 fosters the development of independent researchers in Genetic Epidemiology, Molecular Genetics and Neurobiology. Our goal is to graduate researchers who will be leaders in the field of Psychiatric Genetics. Washington University provides an excellent environment for multidisciplinary training in all aspects of Psychiatric Genetics with its ongoing genetic studies of Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Major Depressive Disorder, Alzheimer’s Disease, Personality Traits, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Autism. The fellowship program provides mentored training in research projects and structured educational activities in courses and seminars.

View NIH program description »

Weight management and eating disorders

Director: Dr. Denise Wilfley

Obesity is an area of critical public health concern, as it is associated with significant cardiovascular health risks and the onset of cardiovascular disease. This training program at Washington University School of Medicine proposes to recruit highly-qualified pre- and postdoctoral trainees from diverse backgrounds across disciplines and place them within transdisciplinary mentoring teams with faculty members who are leading researchers in the fields of obesity and cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment.

Learn more about the Training Program in Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease »

Statistical / computational methods for addiction genetics

Director: Dr. Pamela Madden

Illicit drug and tobacco dependence (`addiction’) represent a considerable personal, family and public health burden. The important role of individual genetic vulnerability in contributing to addiction risk is well established, but progress in human addiction genetic research in identifying specific genetic mechanisms, and success in translating findings to develop new therapeutic approaches, has been quite modest. This research education program seeks to develop computational and statistical tools, which can be widely used by addiction genetic and other researchers, in order to both maximize existing investments in genomic and genetic epidemiologic studies of addictive disorders, and help advance human addiction genetics/genomics research in new directions.

Both U.S. and foreign nationals may apply.

View NIH project description »