Postdoctoral, Predoctoral and Undergraduate Training
Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute predoctoral and postdoctoral training develops professionals from multiple disciplines in behavioral, social, neurobehavioral and public health research and/or interventions that seek to have a substantial life-long impact on child and family development, health, and well-being. The undergraduate program provides MPSI student researchers with a variety of research experiences and assistance in preparing for graduate school. The complexities of neural, psychosocial, and cognitive development require research skills rooted firmly in core disciplines and that also transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries. The goal of research training at MPSI is to prepare scientists to effectively study complex and important issues in development, engage the community as partners, and implement change for the benefit of children and families in Detroit and beyond.
Postdoctoral opportunities: Steven J. Ondersma, PhD, MPSI, Postdoctoral Program Director
Graduate Predoctoral/Graduate Training: Hilary Ratner, PhD, MPSI, Graduate Training Program Director
Infant Mental Health Dual-Title program: Ann M. Stacks, PhD, IMH Program Director
Undergraduate research: Sarah Raz, PhD, Undergraduate Program Director
General information about specific postdoral research, please contact individual faculty members.
Postdoctoral Fellows and Research Associates
Predoctoral Research Training
The MPSI predoctoral/graduate training program prepares emerging scientists in interdisciplinary, translational, implementation, and/or community engaged research affecting children and families. The MPSI program complements training in the students' home disciplines. Doctoral degrees are granted through the graduate program in which students matriculate – typically the Department of Psychology, School of Social Work, College of Education, College of Nursing, the Translational Neuroscience Program, or others, including the MPSI Dual-Title Infant Mental Health program.
Intensive Interdisciplinary Research Experience. The mentored MPSI graduate training capitalizes on MPSI's active interdisciplinary research and community engagement in Detroit. Faculty research involves infants, children, and adolescents, and their parents/caregivers and families, addressing developmental, behavioral, social, biomedical, and environmental challenges. Following an apprenticeship model, graduate students work closely with one or more MPSI faculty members whose research reflects these wide-ranging interest in lifespan development and a committed urban mission.
- Research Colloquia typically meet twice each month. National and local scientists present their most current research in child and family development.
- Professional Development sessions meet twice each semester and focus on aspects of professional and research practice and skills (e.g., grant writing, public communication, etc.).
- In the Training Forum, trainees meet each month with the program director and other faculty for wide-ranging discussions of current research, career choices and opportunities, trends in research policy, and relevant to child development, professional ethics and responsible conduct in research, translational and trans-disciplinary research, community outreach and engagement, and many other issues outside traditional disciplines.
- At the Annual Lifespan Alliance Research Day, in collaboration with the Institute of Gerontology, MPSI graduate trainees present research papers or posters to the University commiunity.
- Community Outreach opportunities are available through the MPSI Healthier Urban Families (HUF) or Infant Mental Health programs.
The Dual-Title Infant Mental Health training is a particularly unique MPSI graduate program operating in collaboration with the School of Social Work, the College of Education, and the College of Nursing. The MPSI graduate program prepares trainees for productive research, academic, and other careers in child and family development through intensive research experience and mentoring in interdisciplinary, implementation, and/or translational sciences.
A select group of advanced, post-master's graduate students are chosen each year to be MPSI Fellows. Fellows commit to participate fully in all the training activities above, and to be actively engaged in productive relevant research. MPSI Fellows also agree to:
- Produce one publication per year
- Attend an approved national or regional science meeting annually
- Participate actively in the MPSI Graduate Student Organization (GSO)
- Participate in MPSI governance as a periodic representative to faculty meetings
- Make at least one community presentation for Healthier Urban Families during the training
- Submitt a competitive NRSA or similar grant application
- A supplemental stipend of $1,500 per semester
- Access to additional funds to help defray expenses to present research at an approved scientific meeting
Undergraduate Research Training
- Monthly participation in a MPSI Research Colloquium
- Planning for graduate school (including preparing a CV and writing a Statement of Goals)
- Presentation of research findings with the supervising faculty (mentor)
Sarah Raz, PhD, Program Director, 313 872 1790, firstname.lastname@example.org