Postdoctoral Clinical Scholar Fellowship


Fellowship applicants must possess a Doctoral degree in a relevant mental health profession. Applicants must have completed at least one graduate course in Couple and Family Therapies or Family Systems-Based Interventions, or has trained in a practicum site where the majority of cases were couples and families. Ideally, the applicant has had supervision by a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) or a licensed mental health professional specifically trained in the practice and supervision of systemic couple and family therapy.

We are also interested in training the next generation of leaders in couple/family therapy and couple/family psychology. Thus, we especially desire individuals with one or more of the following aspirations: learning how to do scholarly writing pertaining to clinical issues, participating in national organizations, and/or learning the nuances of institutional leadership. Outside the standard training requirements required for professional licensure and advancement, this fellowship can be customized to your interests to ensure that you are taking full advantage of the resources The Family Institute at Northwestern University has to offer. This includes providing Fellows with tailored mentorship in professional development and identity.

Time Commitment

Fellowship positions are full time and require a commitment of two years. The position requires a total commitment of at least 40 hours per week.

Clinical Experience

  • Caseload

Each fellow maintains a clinical practice of 18 unit hours per week. The caseload includes individual, couple and family modalities of therapy with clients from diverse cultural backgrounds. There may be opportunities to earn unit hours in alternate ways through participating in activities such as the assessment program, Project Strengthen, and teaching. All the supervised clinical hours accumulated during the fellowship can be used toward licensure.

  • Group Supervision

The Fellows will meet with senior staff clinicians for two (2) hours per week for clinical supervision. This small group format allows for case presentation and review, systemic conceptualization and clinical kill development. Fellows are encouraged to record (audio or video) their clinical work. There will be opportunity to participate in live consultations and be part of an observing live team to learn the clinical applications of The Family Institute model of Integrative Systemic Therapy (IST).

  • Individual Supervision

Fellows meet one (1) hour per week for individual supervision with a senior staff or affiliate clinician.


  • Learning and Teaching in the Marriage and Family Therapy (MSMFT) Program and Beyond

Fellows are invited to attend the weekly Core Curriculum courses in in the MSMFT program and to learn more about The Family Institute Model of Integrative Systemic Therapy (IST). Fellows are often presented with various opportunities to teach, co-teach, or present guest lectures in a number of Northwestern University courses within The Family Institute and in other departments on campus.

  • Family-Couple Therapy Seminar

Fellows meet on a bi-weekly basis with a senior member of the faculty for a seminar on treating families and couples.

  • Grand Rounds

Fellows participate in monthly Grand Rounds where a special clinical research topic is presented and discussed from a specific theoretical context. All clinical staff and students are invited to attend Grand Rounds. Each Fellow is required to present twice at Grand Rounds, once for each year of the program.

  • Professional Development Seminar

Fellows will meet with the Postdoc Fellowship Program Director on a bi-weekly basis to discuss professional development and identity. This seminar will include discussion of clinical and professional development across a variety of practice contexts and professional locations.

  • Empirically informed treatment with the Systemic Therapy Inventory of Change (STIC) Consultation

Fellows have the opportunity to consult with members of the Dan J. Epstein Family Foundation Center for Psychotherapy Change project. Monthly consultations focus on the practice implications of empirically informed treatment and the integration of the STIC in clinical practice.

  • Additional Opportunities

Clinical training is often supplemented by a variety of workshops, seminars, colloquia and professional conferences offered throughout the year. Fellows may also participate in one or more of The Family Institute's specialized service line or focus areas. Fellows can choose from a variety of foci including children and adolescents, mindfulness and behaviour therapies, transitions to parenting, adoptive families, family business, midlife and aging, psychological assessment, anxiety and panic, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues.

Professional Development

  • Marketing

Fellows are expected to work with the Family Institute marketing team. You will learn ways to develop and market your own special areas of clinical practice as well as other clinical services offered at The Family Institute. Opportunities and Initiatives may include speaking to community groups, meeting with representatives from local schools, social service agencies, hospitals or corporations and also representing The Family Institute at Northwestern University at professional conferences and or public education and healthcare events.

  • Administration

Professional skills are developed through practical experience with the internal operations of The Family Institute. These activities include maintenance of schedules, ongoing communication with your director, supervisor, peers, staff, clients and community, financial and clinical record-keeping, attendance at monthly clinical staff meetings, as well as other related administrative functions.

Career Paths

  • Those who have completed The Family Institute at Northwestern University postdoctoral fellowship have accepted positions in hospitals, universities, government and social agencies for administration and policy positions, or private practice settings. Many former Fellows have also become highly valued members of The Family Institute's education and research programs, and highly regarded clinical staff.


  • Benefits include a $42,000 annual salary, access to Northwestern University Libraries and Northwestern University Wildcard benefits, paid holidays, 4 weeks of paid time off, health insurance and paid professional liability insurance. The fellowship position offers teaching opportunities, mentorship and career development.
    If you have questions about the Clinical Research Postdoctoral Fellowship program: 
Please contact Timothy Dwyer, PhD, Director of the Fellowship Program at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
    Interested applicants should apply on the Applying for a Fellowship page of our website.

How to Apply

  • The application deadline is January 6, 2017 and interviews for selected candidates are held in early February.
  • You may submit materials electronically or by postal mail.

Download the Postdoctoral Clinical Scholar Fellowship Application for more information.

The Fellowship Program at The Family Institute is supported, in part, by gifts and grants from individuals, families and foundations. Your contribution will help us train the thought leaders of tomorrow and advance the science and practice of mental health care. To make a donation, or to learn more about naming a Fellowship through an endowment gift, please contact the Development office at 312-609-5300 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .