University of Denver

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Post-Doctoral Fellow, Denver FIRST - Graduate School of Professional Psychology

at University of Denver

Pay: up to $48000/year
The postdoctoral fellow will be paid an estimated stipend of $48,000 for the 2019-2020 training year (exact salary to be finalized at a later date)
Posted: 11/19/2018
Job Reference #: 3688

Job Description

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Job Description

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 Denver FIRSTs fourth annual postdoctoral fellowship position at the University of Denver. The fellowship provides opportunities for forensic practice, supervision, research, and teaching. Primarily, the fellowship offers a blend of forensic evaluation practice and academic duties. 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 fellow’s 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. 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 $48,000 for the 2019-2020 training year (exact salary to be finalized at a later date). 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.

Anticipated start date is September 1, 2019.

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, and Forensic Assessment.
  • Additionally, the fellow may offer consultation services and external trainings/workshops through Denver FIRST as requested.
  • Duties will include a combination of clinical experiences and academic responsibilities. Current clinical service opportunities include conducting forensic mental health evaluations through Denver FIRST. Additional clinical experiences may be obtained in line with the fellows stated interests (i.e., work in a local correctional facility, community corrections office, treatment agency, etc.). All activities will run concurrently throughout the training year. Academic responsibilities will include teaching multiple graduate-level forensic psychology courses, participating in research, attending and participating in didactics, and providing trainings and workshops as opportunities arise. Toward the goal of achieving the core competencies listed above, the fellowship program provides a series of core experiences including supervised practice in forensic evaluation, didactic seminars, teaching and supervision, and research.

Forensic evaluations are available in the following two areas of the fellowship:

1. Denver FIRST: Denver FIRST will serve as the primary, and required, placement for the fellowship. Denver FIRST serves as a repository for forensic mental health expertise in Colorado. The fellow will conduct a plethora of forensic mental health evaluations through Denver FIRST, under the supervision of licensed psychologists with significant forensic evaluation experience. The fellow will conduct some of these forensic evaluations in the Denver metro area; however, travel will be required to facilities outside of the metro area.

2. Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo (CMHI-P): The CMHI-P is Colorado’s only state-operated inpatient hospital housing a forensic population. The hospital conducts evaluations of competency to proceed and sanity, houses persons found incompetent or legally insane, and employs a large cache of forensic evaluators throughout the state.

Although forensic evaluation will be the primary source of clinical opportunity, the fellow will be exposed to other clinical training opportunities. These experiences will round out the training year and serve to help customize the training year for the fellow.

1. Outpatient Competency Restoration Program (OCRP): A subdivision of Denver FIRST, the OCRP serves as the regions only truly outpatient, community-based competency restoration program. Currently serving approximately 30 participants, restoration services are provided by masters and/or doctoral-level students under the supervision of licensed psychologists with significant competency-related experience. The fellow will provide supervision on some of these cases (and will in turn receive supervision), and may elect to carry a small caseload of these defendants.

2. Supplemental rotations: The fellow may express interest in obtaining additional clinical experiences during the fellowship. These will vary from fellow to fellow, but may include clinical work (therapy and/or assessment) in local correctional facilities, providing services in local community corrections agencies, providing services in local treatment agencies, and the like. These experiences cannot be guaranteed and are not required. However, we will attempt to facilitate such opportunities at the fellow’s request. Submitting a proposal for the annual American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS; APA Division 41) conference is encouraged, and attendance at the conference is required. Participation in research during the fellowship year is required, either by supplementing existing research agendas in the GSPP or continuing with the fellow’s individual research area.

The fellow will also supervise GSPP students at the doctoral and/or masters level in their provision of forensic services; this supervision will, in turn, be supervised by a licensed psychologist.

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.
  • 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, correctional psychology, research, teaching, and supervision.

Required Qualifications

  • Doctorate degree (PsyD or PhD) in clinical psychology, forensic psychology, or a closely related discipline.
  • Completed or currently in the process of completing an APA approved predoctoral internship.

Please note, this position also requires the successful completion of a criminal background check and official transcripts.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Prior teaching experience.

Application Deadline

For best consideration, please submit your application materials by 4:00 p.m. (MST) January 7, 2019.

Special Instructions

Candidates must apply online through to be considered. Only applications submitted online will be accepted. Once within the job description online, please scroll to the bottom of the page to apply.

Please include the following documents with your application:

  1. C.V.
  2. Cover Letter expressing your fit with this position including a statement of professional interest, experience and training. The cover letter should also address commitment to and experience with inclusive excellence (IE). To read more about DU's commitment to IE please visit
  3. Three letters of reference, at least one of which should be from a direct clinical supervisor in a forensic setting and one of which should be from your primary internship supervisor, to: Neil Gowensmith, Ph.D.,

NOTE: The online system is limited to uploading 10 files. Please combine content if necessary to get all content uploaded.

The University of Denver is an affirmative action employer and that age 40 and over, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, military or veteran status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or any other applicable status protected by state or local law are not taken into account in any employment decision.

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

ARC-Grad School of Prof Psych (280760)
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