For the latest COVID-19 campus news and resources, visit

Search Close Search
Page Menu

Fellowship in Early Relational Health

For inquiries regarding the Fellowship
and application information email: 


Join this exceptional and highly acclaimed hybrid training program designed to advance the quality of mental health services for infants and young children in the context of their earliest relationships.  Formerly at UMass Boston, the 2022-2024 UMass Chan Fellowship in Early Relational Health  has been redesigned in a hybrid format, including both in-person and remote-learning sessions, requiring 6 intensive four-day retreats in Worcester, MA, in addition to 10 interspersed remote learning weekends, over the course of 18 months. This part-time learning experience, including approximately 300 learning hours, supports professionals to integrate their learning into their current work settings. 

The mission of the program is to enhance the knowledge base of clinicians supporting society’s most vulnerable children and families, understanding innovative assessments and 2-generation interventions that improve the mental health and well-being of caregivers, and close the gap in young children’s development, providing resilience to overcome adversities from trauma, poverty, and systemic racism. Graduates frequently earn positions of leadership in their communities and systems of practice and have had incredible worldwide impact in community-based programs supporting at-risk children and families from birth, developed as a direct result of their participation in this Fellowship.   

Recognized internationally as the gold standard of training in the early relational health field, Fellows learn directly from Chief Faculty Ed Tronick and other world luminaries, who in the past have included Bruce Perry, Charles Zeanah, Joy Osofsky, Brenda Jones Harden, Beatrice Beebe, Peter Fonagy, Alicia Lieberman, George Downing, Arietta Slade, Alice Carter, Serena Wieder, Stephen Porges, Catherine Lord, Rachel Yehuda, Lynne Murray, Peter Cooper, Colwyn Trevarthen, and many more.  Moreover, Fellows are supported in the integration of their learning to their clinical practice/policy/educational settings by a dynamic interdisciplinary Core Faculty who guide and support Fellows throughout the program.

Open to a full range of interdisciplinary professionals, including physicians, psychologists, nurses, psychotherapists, educators, social workers, SLPs, OTs, PTs, policy advocates, and others working with young children 0-6 and their caregivers, Fellows benefit from the rich exchanges between a diverse group of professionals, all aiming to support early relational health.  The Fellowship attracts both mid-career and senior-level clinicians in each discipline from countries all around the world and across the United States and has consistently positioned participants in leadership positions within their scope of practice.


December 2, 2022.  Dr. Dorothy Richardson (ERH Fellowship Director), and Dr. Ed Tronick (ERH Fellowship Chief Faculty), were awarded the "Diversity Focus in Education and Training" Award at the UMass Chan Psychology Day conference on Friday, for their poster highlighting our efforts to recruit 13 BIPOC and 22 Bicultural/Bilingual clinicians and several new BIPOC guest and core faculty to the Fellowship in Early Relational Health.  As part of this effort, we were awarded American Rescue Plan Funds through the MA Department of Mental Health and funds through the MA Postpartum Depression Fund to recruit 10 BIPOC and bicultural/bilingual perinatal and infant/early childhood mental health clinicians in Massachusetts.

 Edward Tronick Nov 2022 1.jpg

Ed Tronick, PhD

Dr. Tronick is a developmental neuroscientist and clinical psychologist and is recognized internationally for his research on infants, children and parenting.  Dr. Tronick is a Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at UMass Chan Medical School, a past University Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and an Associate Professor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. He is an honorary member of the International Psychoanalytic Association and the Contemporary Freudian Society.  He was a founder of the Brazelton Touchpoints program.  He is a founder and co-developer of the Infant-Parent Mental Health Fellowship in Napa and Boston, which is now the Fellowship in Early Relational Health at UMass Chan Medical School, where he serves as Chief Faculty.  With Dr. TB Brazelton he co-developed Newborn Assessment Scale.  With Dr. Barry Lester, he developed the NICU Network Neurobehavioral Assessment Scale.  Dr. Tronick developed the Still-Face Paradigm and more recently the Caretaker Acute Stress Paradigm. He continues to do research on the Still-face, effects of maternal depression and other affective disorders on infant and child social emotional development. 

His current research focuses on infant memory for stress and the effects of stress on health outcomes.  He has formulated the Mutual Regulation Model and the Dyadic States of Conscious model, both of which are utilized worldwide by researchers on development. He has published more than 300 scientific articles and 7 books, several hundred photographs, and appeared on national radio and television programs.  He is recipient of several awards including the Lifetime Contribution award from Zero to Three and the Scientific Contribution Award from the International Conference on Infant Studies. His research has been funded by NIDA, NICHD, NIMH, NSF and the McArthur Foundation. 

He has also served as a permanent member of a NIMH review panel.  He reviews for the National Science Foundations of Canada, the US and Switzerland.  Dr. Tronick has presented his work to analytic societies including Berlin, Milan, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Rome, Pittsburgh, NYC, St. Louis, Kansas City and to societies and congresses including the N.Y. Academy of Science, the Society for Research in Child Development, the Marce’ Society, the American Psychoanalytic Meetings, and numerous universities in the US and abroad.