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Contact Information:

Jeffrey Burl, PhD
Director of the UMass Chan/WRCH Psychology Training Program
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School
Designated Forensic Psychologist, Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital
Email:  jeffrey.burl@mass.gov 

Postdoctoral Fellowships Brochure

UMass Chan Comprehensive Psychology Training Program at WRCH

 Postdoctoral Fellowships in Serious Mental Illness and Forensic Psychology


The UMass Chan Psychology Training Program has a long history of preparing emerging psychologists to assume professional employment within public sector settings that address the needs of people with serious mental illness. The Training Program began in 1922 at the Worcester State Hospital (WSH), and the doctoral psychology internship has been accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1957 and remains one of the oldest continuously funded internships in the country. The Program eventually relocated to the UMass Chan Medical School but maintained its affiliation with WSH (now Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital). In 2023, the Program was awarded funding by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) to develop additional training pathways for psychologists interested in careers in DMH and the public sector system, particularly psychologists of diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds. With this new contract from DMH, the Program has implemented an expanded training model, including the doctoral internship, a predoctoral practicum, and the current postdoctoral fellowship. The new UMass Chan Comprehensive Psychology Training Program at WRCH increases our annual training capacity to 12 trainees (4 predoctoral students, 5 doctoral interns, and 3 postdoctoral fellows) and significantly expands our ability to train future psychologists.  

The Training Program will offer three full-time funded post-doctoral fellowship positions in 2024-2025 that will each carry a stipend of $50,000 per year plus additional benefits. We will have two tracks, and applicants may apply to/will be considered for one track only.

 1)     The General Inpatient / Serious Mental Illness track (2 positions)

The General Inpatient / SMI Track fellowships will include an approximately 70% or greater training experience within DMH Clinical SMI Rotations with optional additional training in five possible emphases:

·       Adult Outpatient Psychology

·       Addictions Psychology

·       Child and Adolescent Psychology

·       Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports

·       Transitional Age Youth

2) Forensic Evaluation track (1 position)

The current grant includes funding for one fellowship position in a Forensic Evaluation Track. However, this Forensic Evaluation Track fellow will apply through and largely be a part of the previously established UMass Chan Forensic Psychology Residency Program. For more information about the residency and for application details, please see:


As explained further on that website, the Forensic Evaluation Track Fellow will primarily be involved in Massachusetts Court Clinic Forensic Evaluations with a rotation in the UMass Chan/WRCH Forensic Evaluation Department. All clinical, didactic, research, and presentation opportunities will be coordinated and supervised through the Forensic Psychology Residency Program, headed by Dr. Ashley Murray.

All fellowship applicants (SMI and Forensic) must be in good standing in an accredited doctoral-level psychology internship at the time of application and must have completed all graduate coursework including their dissertation project by the start of the post-doctoral fellowship. Preference will be given to students from graduate and internship programs accredited by the American Psychological Association.

Questions and requests for information should be addressed to:

Jeffrey Burl, Ph.D.
Training Director
UMass Chan Comprehensive Psychology Training Program at WRCH
361 Plantation Street
Worcester, MA 01605

Deadline:  Applications must be received no later than:

5:00pm EST

Thursday, January 11th, 2024


The University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School (UMass Chan) campus consists of the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School and the UMass Memorial Health Care teaching hospital, community clinics, and outpatient services. About forty doctoral-level psychologists are on the UMass Chan staff, many of whom have a role in the Training Program.

Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital (WRCH) is located on the site of a developing health and research biotechnology park. Formerly named Worcester State Hospital, the current facility provides a state-of-the-art, high quality, safe and respectful environment for patients, promoting active rehabilitation as a key component of therapeutic care. The building's plan reflects the stages of recovery: by using familiar environments, ranging from “house” to “neighborhood” to “downtown.” There about ten psychologists on staff. Between 50 and 70% of this population has a co-occurring substance use disorder and significant medical co-morbidities. In addition to the adult admission and continuing care psychiatric units, the hospital has two adolescent long-term treatment units. A forensic service (composed of evaluators from UMass Chan and the Department of Mental Health) provides forensic evaluation services to the hospital. The UMass Chan and WRCH campuses are located within walking distance of each other.


The University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School and Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital provide services to people living across Massachusetts and nearby states, but also nationally and internationally. The ethnic and cultural populations in central Massachusetts are diverse. As public-sector institutions, the client populations tend to be from lower socioeconomic groups. Census information for Worcester (2020) indicated the community is approximately 54% White, 23% Hispanic or Latinx, 13% Black or African American, and 7% Asian.

Diversity Statement

We are making diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging essential components of the missions of UMass Chan Medical School and UMass Memorial Health to advance the health and wellness of our diverse communities throughout Massachusetts and across the world by leading and innovating in education, research, health care delivery and public service.

An important part of preparing tomorrow’s physicians, nurses, and scientists to provide care, cure diseases and, indeed, change the world is to help them learn and grow as active members of a multicultural society. We do this in part by strengthening the cultural competence and empathy of our faculty, staff, students, and caregivers; by committing to an inclusive and welcoming campus where all may thrive; and by fostering an environment where everything we do is strengthened by the richness of understanding that comes from a truly diverse and inclusive environment.

Discrimination and Bias:


Bias incident – any hurtful, discriminatory or harassing act that targets individuals or groups based on perceived or actual identity. To be considered a bias incident, the act is not required to be a crime under any federal, state or local statutes, nor does it have to violate university policy.

Discrimination – is defined by federal and/or state statutes to include unfavorable or unfair treatment of a person or class of persons with membership in a protected class. 
If you experience discrimination or bias while a learner at UMass Chan Medical School, incidents can be reported to:

Reporting Form


Land Acknowledgment Statement:


To recognize the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those whose territory we reside or build learning communities on, and a way of honoring the Indigenous people who have been living and working on the land from time immemorial. University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School is a community of learners situated within a network of historical and contemporary relationships with Native American tribes, communities, parents, students, and alumni. Worcester Recovery Center and the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School campus sits on the ancestral lands of the Nipmuc people. Recognized in 1976 by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Nipmuc Nation, like all the indigenous tribes of the United States, has dealt with the history and trauma of their lands taken through violence and their personhood denied for generations. The nation was once concentrated on a three-acre plot in Grafton, but the last person to live on that reservation died in 2006. Today, many Nipmuc live and work throughout Central Massachusetts.


The Application Process

Admission Policy

Post-doctoral candidates must complete all graduate coursework, including their dissertation project, by the start of the fellowship.

Specific application directions are determined by the fellowship track. Please follow these directions carefully as applications need to be received by the appropriate office in order to be considered for review.

1)     Applicants for the General Inpatient – SMI Track: 

The Inpatient-SMI Fellowship application includes:

  • Three Letters of Reference: 
    • Letter from your DCT or dissertation chair/advisor indicating your dissertation is either defended or on track to be defended by the start of the fellowship
    • A letter from your internship director indicating your good standing in the program
    • A third letter of reference from a faculty member at either your internship or graduate program.
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Graduate Transcripts (Official)*
  • Cover letter stating your interest in SMI psychology; a summary of your relevant preparation, particularly in assessment and intervention; and your career objectives, including a projection of what you would like to be doing professionally during the years following the fellowship. Additionally, if applicable, please describe the emphasis area in which you would like to pursue additional training (e.g., Addictions, Transitional Age Youth, etc.).
  • Writing sample of a psychodiagnostic evaluation with psychological testing (deidentified) 
  • Please submit all Inpatient-SMI Fellowship Track Application materials electronically to Dr. Jeffrey Burl at jeffrey.burl@mass.gov.

*Additionally, Inpatient- SMI Fellowship Track applicants must submit graduate transcripts. Please request that an official copy of your graduate school transcript be mailed or emailed to Dr. Jeffrey Burl at the following address:

Jeffrey Burl, Ph.D. 
Forensic Mobile Service
361 Plantation Street
Worcester, MA 01605

Applicants for the Forensic Evaluation Track:

Please see https://www.umassmed.edu/forensicpsychology for application instructions. As indicated at that site, all application materials for Forensic Evaluation Track applicants must be sent electronically to: Christine.Rainville@umassmed.edu.

Applicant Interviews

One goal of the Fellowship Selection Committee is to match the training needs of the applicant with what our program has to offer. The Selection Committee will thoroughly review each completed application and identify those applicants where there is a “goodness of fit.” These applicants will then be contacted and invited to interview with members of the training staff on one of several interview dates in January and February. The interview day typically runs from about 9:00am to 3:00pm EST, and will include contact with current post-docs to give the applicant a fellow’s perspective on the program.

SMI-General Track applicants will be interviewed virtually. The dates of interviews are TBD.

Forensic Evaluation Track applicants are directed to the UMass Chan Medical School Post-doctoral Residency Program in Forensic Psychology website:


For information about the interview dates, contact the Forensic Evaluation Fellowship Program Director, Ashley Murray, Ph.D. (Ashley.murray@umassmed.edu).

Additional important information for all applicants: As of August 10, 2021, all faculty and staff employees of UMass Chan Medical School must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment; this applies to psychology fellows, who are considered UMass Chan employees. (Employees of WRCH are also required to be fully vaccinated). UMass Chan allows certain exemptions for individuals with approved medical or religious accommodations. If you have questions or would like to learn more about this policy, please contact the UMass Chan-WRCH Training Director. Further, UMass Chan requires all of their employees to receive the annual flu shot. All vaccines are provided free of charge by UMass. If you have received these vaccinations elsewhere, you will be asked to provide proof of vaccination to the Human Resources Department before The Fellowship Year.

Orientation Period

The training year begins on or around the first Monday in July, with an orientation period lasting approximately three weeks. During this period, the fellow becomes acquainted with the daily routines of UMass Chan and WRCH, is given a formal introduction to the staff and programs of various departments within these facilities and is systematically introduced to the principal emphases and lines of work within the two psychology departments. As part of their orientation, the fellows may be asked to participate in staff conferences, engage in diagnostic interviewing, observe admission procedures, and attend lectures on administrative and legal aspects of hospital procedures. By the end of the orientation period, fellows will have also met with their major supervisors as well as the training directors to develop goals and a schedule for the year.


Fellows in Psychology are employees of UMass Chan Medical School. Interns receive a stipend of $50,000, a choice of employee health insurance plans (cost varies), and paid vacation and holidays. All fellows are provided with 80 hours (10 days) of vacation time as well as sick time. Additionally, all three fellows are provided a professional stipend of $2,500 to use toward EPPP costs, educational materials, conference travel, or other approved professional needs.

Structure of the Fellowship

Each fellow engages in training activities in three areas throughout the year: 

§  Inpatient assessment and/or treatment,

§  Supervision, didactics, research, program evaluation

§  Additional emphases relevant to chosen track

Each of these training activities are discussed further in the next section below.


Adult Inpatient SMI Track

All SMI-Inpatient fellows are expected to put approximately 70% (3.5 days) of their time toward their SMI inpatient rotation throughout the year at WRCH. Most individuals hospitalized at WRCH have been ordered for evaluation and treatment under court order. In addition to the admission evaluation units, there are units for continuing care treatment, deaf/hard of hearing patients, and those with complex medical needs. All units are closely connected to the hospital-wide Skills Training and Rehabilitation program which includes therapeutic, vocational, educational, and recreational elements.

The treatment units at WRCH focus on preparing adults from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds in the transition process from an inpatient stay to community living. The treatment approach is multidisciplinary in nature and aimed at assisting the individual in engaging in treatment, maintaining adequate behavioral and emotional control, and taking the steps necessary to successfully return to the community. The treatment model incorporates a thorough diagnostic work-up, psychosocial rehabilitation, relapse prevention, motivational interviewing, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) / Cognitive Behavior Therapy models. Individuals receiving inpatient care are empowered to understand symptoms associated with mental illness and follow through with strength-based interventions and plans that will maximize adjustment and transition to less restrictive alternatives to hospitalization.

At WRCH, treatment groups are available on all treatment units, with staff having received intensive training in CBT for Psychosis. The psychology SMI fellows participate in all phases of the individual’s hospital course from assessment / psychological testing to providing treatment interventions to helping the individual work through an integrative discharge plan. The staff at WRCH have implemented an Illness Management and Recovery (IMR) treatment program, an evidence-based group and individual treatment protocol to assist individuals in learning more about their psychiatric disorders and effective coping skills. Additionally, WRCH has a robust dual recovery program for people in all stages of change and has developed a relapse prevention model for mental health and substance abuse related issues.

Forensic Evaluation Track

Please see the following for a full description of the Forensic Evaluation Track:


Briefly, the Forensic Evaluation Track provides specialized forensic training through the following types of weekly activities:

·       Applied Forensic Clinical Experience (about 32 hrs./week)

·       Weekly Seminars (about 4-5 hrs./week),

·       Research Experience (about 4 hrs./week), and

·       Supervision and mentorship on career objectives and fellowship progress (1-2 hrs./week).