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The Madigan Family Clinical Research Fellowship at The Family Institute at Northwestern University

Our two-year full-time (40 hours per week) Postdoctoral Fellowships, available through the Center for Applied Psychological and Family Studies, provide advanced, intensive training for behavioral health professionals who have received their doctorate in clinical/counseling psychology or family therapy. One fellow is accepted to the program every other year; the next application cycle will begin in fall 2022.

The Postdoctoral Clinical Research Fellowship is designed for those interested in conducting research related to:

  • Couples and family dynamics
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Intervention science

The Fellowship emphasizes enhancing your skills to become an intervention scientist and skilled in grant-writing and publications. Your work will include: 

  • Grant writing
  • Data analyses
  • Manuscript publication
  • Conducting RCTs

The Clinical Research Postdoctoral Fellowship is jointly sponsored by the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University and The Family Institute through a generous endowment from Holly and John Madigan.

Holly Madigan (1940-2020) served on The Family Institute’s Board of Directors from 1990 through 2015. The Family Institute is honored that Holly’s legacy lives on through her service as board chair and lifetime trustee, roles which were crucial in allowing the organization to fulfill its mission. She will be remembered by her generosity of spirit and insightful leadership.

Receive Access to World-Class Research Opportunities
Access to The Family Institute Staff & Clinics

As a Research Fellow, you will have access to The Family Institute's staff practice and its Bette D. Harris Family & Child Clinic, which provides more than 90,000 therapy sessions to more than 7,500 individuals, couples and families from all walks of life annually.

Research Opportunities

You will work closely with Dr. Erika Lawrence, Director of Translational Research at the Center for Applied Psychological and Family Studies on two lines of research:

  1. Conducting a Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women-funded RCT to evaluate the effectiveness of and explain the mechanisms of change in a group intervention targeting perpetrators of intimate partner violence, including the indirect benefits for victims still living with perpetrators
  2. Implementing and assessing the effectiveness of a novel couple prevention program in which intervention components are matched to couples' needs based on an assessment of their specific skill deficits (conflict, support, intimacy, sex)

Read detailed description of research projects

Research is conducted at all stages of the NIH-based stage model (theory and manual development, efficacy and effectiveness trials, and nationwide dissemination and implementation of existing interventions). 

We encourage Fellows to incorporate their own research interests and questions into existing and proposed research.

We Provide Benefits to all Fellows

The fellowship position offers teaching opportunities, mentorship and career development as well as the following benefits:

  • Paid holidays
  • 20 days of paid time off
  • Health insurance
  • Paid professional liability insurance
Apply to the Postdoctoral Clinical Research Fellowship
Eligibility Required to Apply

Preferred applicants who have completed a doctorate in clinical or counseling psychology, or marriage and family therapy are invited to apply. We look for applicants who have:

  • a commitment and passion for couple and family therapy as well as the integration of science and practice
  • the capacity to develop research questions, pursue empirical solutions to those questions and produce quality research publications
  • the capacity to work well with diverse colleagues, supervisors and clients

Important Application & Interview Dates for 2023

Application review will begin in December 2022.

Interviews for selected candidates will be held in late December and mid-January over Zoom.

Fellowship positions start on September 1, 2023.

Steps to Apply

An application is considered complete when all required documents have been received. All applicants will be notified by letter of the faculty's decision as quickly as possible.

Required application documents:

1. The Postdoctoral Clinical Research Fellowship Application

2. Statement of Research Interests

3. Cover Letter — Explain why you are applying for this fellowship and how you feel it fits in with your career plans

4. Curriculum Vitae — Include information about your research and clinical training experiences, employment and education history, as well as any publications, presentations and professional affiliations

5. Graduate Transcripts

6. Three Letters of Recommendation: At least two of the letters should be from individuals who have direct, evaluative knowledge of your research abilities and experience. At least one letter must speak to your clinical skills and experience as well. Letters should be e-mailed directly from the recommender.

Application materials should be sent in one email to:

Kristen Catuara
Assistant Director of Administration, Education Programs

The Family Institute at Northwestern University actively seeks applicants from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups so that our body of students, fellows, faculty and staff will more closely reflect the diversity of American society. Furthermore, The Family Institute is committed to broad inclusiveness and affording equal opportunity to all without regard to age, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, socioeconomic background, sexual orientation or physical ability.

If you have questions about the fellowship program in general, please contact Laura Levin, Ph.D., Director of the Fellowship Program, at Questions specifically pertaining to the nature of the research experiences should be directed to Erika Lawrence, Ph.D., Director of Translational Science, at