Overview

Mission

Psychiatric and neurological disorders are dominant contributors to the global burden of disability and mortality, are linked to substantial social and economic costs, and are associated with worse general health and chronic disease outcomes. The current dearth of mental health research in low to middle-income countries, and the limited human capacity to conduct rigorous, culturally-appropriate, clinically relevant studies in these areas with the highest needs, hinders the development of evidence-based policy and practice, and stunts the advancement of effective service delivery.

As communicable diseases are supplanted by non-communicable, chronic, and neurological and psychiatric diseases, the academic medicine workforce must be realigned with the emerging health priorities of the new century. The Global Psychiatric Clinical Research Training Program at Massachusetts General Hospital will prepare a cadre of researchers committed to working collaboratively across disciplines and cultures to address priority global mental health challenges through a well-defined clinical career path, rigorous training in clinical research methods, cross-cultural and public mental health competencies, and significant global mental health research experience in resource-constrained areas, conflict-affected settings and countries ravaged by poverty.

Fellowship Goals

  1. Select outstanding psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, and PhD candidate from an accredited School of Public Health and wide applicant pool, targeting candidates’ motivation and potential for an independent research career in academic medicine.
  2. Provide fellows with the financial support, scientific mentorship, didactic training, supportive institutional environment (domestic and abroad), and challenging research questions to assist productive independent research careers in global mental health.
  3. Create a cadre of health professionals who are committed to long-term global mental health in resource-limited areas, and who are able to work collaboratively across disciplines and borders.
  4. Harness the growing interest in issues in global health to attract high-quality trainees to the field of mental health and position graduates to become the mentors and educators of the future.
  5. Address the national shortage of globally oriented researchers in clinical psychiatry and psychology who can meet the mental health needs in resource limited and post-conflict areas.

Project Sites

  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Mbarara University of Science and Technology (Uganda)
  • Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia)
  • University of Cape Town (South Africa)
  • Stellenbosch University (South Africa)
  • Barbados Nutrition Study (Barbados)

Program Faculty

See program faculty

Program Faculty

Directors

David C. Henderson, MD
Director, The Chester M. Pierce, MD Division of Global Psychiatry
Director, Schizophrenia Clinical and Research Program
Medical Director, Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma
Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Gregory Fricchione, MD
Associate Chief of Psychiatry
Director, Division of Psychiatry and Medicine
Director, Benson Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine
Senior Scientist, The Chester M. Pierce, MD Division of Global Psychiatry
Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Associate Director

Conall O’Cleirigh, PhD
Associate Director, Behavioral Medicine Program
Assistant Professor in Psychology, Harvard Medical School
Research Scientist, Fenway Institute

Core Program Faculty

Anne E. Becker, MD, PhD, ScM
Director, Adult Eating Disorders Clinical and Research Program
Maude and Lillian Presley Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine
Professor of Medical Anthropology
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Director, Social Sciences MD-PhD Program, Harvard Medical School
Vice Chair, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard University

Myron L. Belfer, MD, MPA
Senior Associate in Psychiatry
Co-Director, Global Mental Health Partnership Observership Program
Boston Children’s Hospital
Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Maurizio Fava, MD
Director, Division of Clinical Research of the Mass General Research Institute
Executive Vice Chair, Department of Psychiatry
Executive Director, Clinical Trials Network and Institute (CTNI)
Slater Family Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

John Herman, MD
Associate Chief, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital
Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Richard F. Mollica, MD, MAR
Director, Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma, Massachusetts General Hospital
Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Mass General Program Faculty

David Bangsberg, MD, MPH
Director, Center for Global Health, Massachusetts General Hospital
Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Director of the International Program, Harvard University Center for AIDS Research
Professor of Global Health, Harvard School of Public Health

Eugene Beresin, MD, MA
Executive Director, The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds
Senior Educator in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Theresa Betancourt, ScD, MA
Director of Research Programs on Children and Global Adversity
Associate Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine
Associate Professor of Child Health and Human Rights
Harvard School of Public Health

Robert Birnbaum, MD, PhD
Director of Continuing Professional Development, Partners Healthcare
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Deborah Blacker, MD, ScD
Director, Gerontology Research Unit
Assistant Vice Chair of Research, Department of Psychiatry
Massachusetts General Hospital
Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Co-director of the Clinical Core, Massachusetts Alzheimer Disease Research Center
Co-director for Outreach, Recruitment and Education Core
Professor of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health

Christina P.C. Borba, PhD, MPH
Director of Research, Chester M. Pierce, MD Division of Global Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital
Assistant Professor in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Corinne Cather, PhD
Director of Psychology Services, Schizophrenia Clinical and Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital
Assistant Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School

Trina Chang MD, MPH
Instructor in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Lee Cohen, MD
Director, Center for Women’s Mental Health, Massachusetts General Hospital
Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Felton Earls, MD
Professor Emeritus of Social Medicine
Professor of Child Psychiatry and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Professor Emeritus of Human Behavior and Development, Harvard School of Public Health

Oliver Freudenreich, MD
Medical Director, Schizophrenia Clinical and Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital
Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School

Janina Galler, MD
Professor of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School
Director, Barbados Nutrition Study

Byron Good, PhD
Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine
Professor of Medical Anthropology, Harvard Medical School

Shelly Greenfield, MD, MPH
Chief Academic Officer
Chief of the Division of Women’s Mental Health
Director, Clinical and Health Services Research and Education for the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Program, Mclean Hospital
Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Daphne Holt, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School

Arthur Kleinman, MD, MA
Director, Harvard Asia Center
Professor of Medical Anthropology, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Esther and Sidney Rabb Professor of Anthropology, Harvard University
Professor of Psychiatry, Cambridge Health Alliance

Snezana Milanovic, MD
Director for Metabolomics Research, CTNI
Director, Global Developmental Psychiatry, Global Psychiatry Program
Attending, Depression Clinical and Research Program
Instructor, Harvard Medical School

Andrew Nierenberg, MD
Director, NIMH Bipolar Trials Network
Director of the Bipolar Clinic and Research Program
Associate Director, Depression Clinical and Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital
Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Dennis Norman, EdD, ABPP
Faculty Chair, Harvard University Native American Program
Associate Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School

Giuseppe Raviola, MD
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Director of the Psychiatry Quality Program, Department of Psychiatry, Boston Children’s Hospital
Director of Mental Health, Partners in Health

Joshua Roffman, MD, MSc
Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Derri Shtasel, MD, MPH
Chair and Director, Division of Public and Community Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital
Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Naomi Simon, MD, MSc
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Director of the Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders, Massachusetts General Hospital

Nhi-Ha Trinh, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Director, Department of Psychiatry Center for Diversity
Director of Multicultural Studies and Director of Clinical Services, Depression Clinical and Research Program

Norma Ware, PhD
Associate Professor of Anthropology, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Michelle A. Williams, ScD
Stephen B. Kay Family Professor of Public Health
Chair, Department of Epidemiology, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health
Director, Population Health Research and Health Disparities Research Programs, Harvard Catalyst

Sabine Wilhelm, PhD
Chief of Psychology
Director of the Obsessive-compulsive Disorder and Related Disorders Program, Massachusetts General Hospital
Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School

Albert Yeung, MD, ScD
Director of Primary Care Research, Depression Clinical and Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital
Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Co-Medical Director, South Cove Community Health Center

Global Program Faculty

Laila Asmal, MMed, FCPsych, MBChB
Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa

Cyralene Bryce, DM, MBBS
Instructor in Psychiatry, Children’s Hospital Boston
Psychiatry Department Head, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Barbados

Bonginkosi Chiliza, FCPsych, MBChB
Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Senior Specialist Psychiatrist, Tygerberg Hospital, South Africa

Abebaw Fekadu, MD, PhD, MRCPsych, MSc
Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
Visiting Senior Lecturer, King’s College London Institute of Psychiatry, UK

Hetta Gouse, PhD
Senior Neuropsychologist and Researcher, HIV Mental Health Research Unit, Division of Neuropsychiatry, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Charlotte Hanlon, PhD
Associate Professor and Programme Director for PhD programme in mental health epidemiology, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University
Clinical Senior Lecturer, Centre for Global Mental Health, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London

John A. Joska, MBChB, MMed (psych), PhD, FC Psych (SA)
Associate Professor Director, HIV Mental Health Research Unit Head, Division of Neuropsychiatry, University of Cape Town

Ashraf Kagee, PhD, MPH
Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Sam Maling, MBChB, MMed, MPH
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Dean, Faculty of Medicine
Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda

Godfrey Rukundo, MBChB, MMed, PhD
Senior Lecturer
Head of the Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine
Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda

Dan Stein, PhD, FRCPC, MBChB
Professor of Psychiatry
Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health
University of Cape Town, South Africa

Curriculum

Core Curriculum

The core curriculum, which includes didactical instruction, coursework at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and mentored research projects, will position graduates to become productive leaders in the field of global mental health and create an established collaborative research base to conduct further study. It will provide a rich environment for fellows as they refine their research questions and career paths. Global mental health is a broad, interdisciplinary field that requires diversified methodological training in quantitative and qualitative methods; an understanding of the impact of culture on the expression of and treatment strategies for mental illness; an appreciation of the nature and impact of psychosocial and other environmental factors on individual, community and society well-being; and a general knowledge of the clinical phenomenology of mental disorders in cross-cultural populations.

The program will provide fellows with a basic knowledge base in conducting psychiatric-related studies in global settings; field methods including measurement approaches and application in both clinical and community settings; and analytic methods for investigating prevention, intervention and health promotion strategies in a global, public health and resource-limited context.

The program will include study in seven thematic areas, of which fellows can then focus their research training: child-adolescent psychiatry, complex trauma/disaster psychiatry, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, mental health services research, behavioral medicine, and HIV/AIDS related mental health. These thematic areas leverage the strength of the faculty, the breadth of the NIMH, the interest of potential trainees, the available research and training opportunities at the global sites, the needs of the populations in the training environments, and the general demands of the field.

Through a learn-by-doing approach, fellows will learn how to create a project of realistic scope, map a time-line for conducting a global study, select appropriate methodologies, and understand the country and population. Fellows will be able to develop research questions that are clinically and culturally relevant to identified community and public health needs; develop and manage a global research team; conceptualize mental health policies and plans; develop and evaluate mental health systems; build productive global collaborations; work with government, NGOs and academics abroad.

Core Components

Based on the potential applicant pool, the strengths of the faculty and the research needs of the field, we have structured the program for 3 years with 2 fellows (psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, or a PhD candidate from an accredited school of public health, depending on quality of applicants) per year. Key components of the proposed program include:

  • Fellows will identify a primary mentor and a broad area of focus prior to start of the program.
  • The fellowship will include thematic core areas of focus: child-adolescent psychiatry, complex trauma/disaster psychiatry, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, mental health services research, behavioral medicine, and HIV/AIDS related mental health.
  • Fellows will complete the Harvard Clinical Effectiveness Program at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health at the start of year 1; they can take supplemental courses, as needed, during years 2 and 3, under the advisement of Dr. Blacker.
  • Fellows will have a core global curriculum spanning the duration of the program (via a biweekly seminar)
  • Fellows will have clinical rotations at Mass General sites that serve immigrant communities and global populations for a half day per week; they will focus on their area of interest when possible.
  • Fellows will conduct a global research project at one of three Africa-based training sites or Barbados; they will generate a proposal, obtain IRB approval and collect data at this location.
  • Fellows will have access to data sets and ongoing faculty research in the US and at the global sites. Fellows will generate an NIMH research proposal with their mentor or global preceptor as PI within the first 18 months of arrival.
  • Fellows will be expected to periodically provide in-depth updates on the status of their research projects and to provide critical feedback to their peers during regularly-scheduled working meetings.
  • Fellows will participate in a monthly Research-in-Progress seminar with mentoring faculty.
  • An annual conference will coincide with the advisory board evaluation meeting and will be held on a rotational basis at the global sites. This will expose new fellows to faculty and prior trainee research, develop a training community environment amongst the sites, help identify areas of common interest, and foster cross-country, collaborative research opportunities amongst and between Mass General/Harvard and global groups.
  • Fellows will prepare an NIH K-award application by the end of the program when they have obtained adequate data and publications to be competitive for submission.

Mentored Research Experience

To gain the skill sets and confidence to perform independent research, fellows will conduct an independent, mentored research project tailored to their unique career goals at one of the African sites or Barbados; in addition, they will work on secondary data analysis projects to both develop analytical and research skills, and meet authorship requirements of the program. Each site has an established research infrastructure for protocol development, IRB approval and data collection, and a proven track record for participant recruitment and study completion. Fellows will have broad access to patients, clinical samples, relevant patient databases and laboratory/equipment to support their projects. The global sites, supported by the primary training site (Mass General) will provide a rich research training environment for fellows. The history of scientific and training collaborations amongst the departments, and the available resources of the institutions, will ensure fellows rapidly immerse themselves in a research project and focus within the existing infrastructure.

The faculty’s methodological expertise is expansive, enabling fellows to conduct the following types of research: outcomes and evaluation research, testing multiple outcomes, large-scale clinical studies, drug utilization and effect of pharmaceutical and medical procedures in cross cultural populations, behavioral interventions for chronic diseases, longitudinal studies, epidemiological studies, pharmacoepidemiologic methods, and qualitative research, among others. The research activities of the participating faculty will enable trainees to engage in projects locally and globally at the interface of the thematic topics and methodological areas.

Representative research areas available to fellows:

  • Mood Disorders (Drs. Chang, Cohen, Fava, Nierenberg, Trinh, Fekadu, Yeung): population-based epidemiological studies of depression, its antecedents, characteristics, consequences, and morbidity; strategies; expression of mood disorders; biological and behavioral treatment strategies for mood disorders in resource-limited and cross-cultural settings; indigenous characterizations of mood disorders, etc.
  • Trauma/Complex Emergency (Drs. Belfer, Betancourt, Earls, Good, Henderson, Kagee, Mollica, Raviola): interactions of social environmental factors on the development and course of PTSD; resilience in war-affected youth; indigenous characterizations of trauma and PTSD; impact of trauma on family and community, etc.
  • Psychotic Disorders (Drs. Asmal, Borba, Cather, Chiliza, Freudenreich, Henderson, Holt, Roffman, Fekadu, Hanlon): origins and outcomes of schizophrenia in resource-limited areas; treatment use and effectiveness for schizophrenia in African populations; gender differences in presentation and treatment of schizophrenia; neurological impairments, brain structure and function; genetic studies and phenotype characterization; effectiveness of medication; social impact of schizophrenia on household functioning and economics, etc.
  • Behavioral Medicine (Drs. Bangsberg, Becker, Borba, Fricchione, Gouse, Greenfield, Kagee, Joska, O’Cleirigh): stress and resilience; substance abuse; adherence to ART; effectiveness of CBT in depression, etc.
  • Childhood Disorders (Drs. Beresin, Belfer, Betancourt, Earls, Raviola, Galler): cognitive function outcomes in HIV/AIDS infected children; depression treatment and impact on functioning and school/learning, childhood risk factors for psychiatric disorders, interventions to reduce substance abuse and early sex, etc.
  • HIV Mental Health (Drs. Bangsberg, Earls, Kagee, Joska, O’Cleirigh, Rukundo, Tsai, Ware): social determinants of ART adherence; impact of HIV on social network and economics, comorbidities with psychiatric disorders, interventions for high risk behaviors in adolescents and adults, etc.
  • Health Services Research (Drs. Good, Henderson, Ware): mental health service improvement, cost and systems effectiveness, dissemination strategies, examination of clinical data to understand effective treatment across a number of psychiatric disorders, outcome research, program evaluation, etc.
  • Food Insecurities (Drs. Bryce, Galler): infantile malnutrition and its long-term effects on behavior, health and epigenetics. Effects of malnutrition on psychiatric disorders and epigenetics.

Application Requirements

Please note: Only people who have completed their psychiatry residency, have a PhD in psychology or have a PhD from an accredited School of Public Health are eligible to apply for this fellowship.

Required Documents

  1. Application form
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. Personal statement: This should be a brief statement (2-5 pages) and should include the following:
    • A description of your substantive areas of interest
    • The type of project you wish to undertake
    • The particular methods/approach in which you want additional training
  4. Copy of passport and/or green card
  5. Proof of a full medical license or of completion of PhD in public health or completion of psychology PhD and internship (psychology licensure not required). [Note: if you are applying during your final year of residency, PhD, or psychology internship, you are required to send a letter from your program director stating that you are in good standing and the date you are scheduled to graduate. If you are a fourth year psychiatry resident, you must additionally send proof that you are eligible for a full medical license by submitting notarized copies of your USMLE I, II, and III results.]
  6. Three letters of reference
  7. In addition to your PDF application please submit your medical and/or graduate school transcript(s): Transcripts should be sent in a sealed envelope from the university and bear the official institutional seal. You may have these sent to the Global Psychiatry Clinical Research Training Program directly from the issuing university to:

The Chester M. Pierce, MD Division of Global Psychiatry
151 Merrimac Street, 4th Floor
Boston, MA 02114

 

How to Apply

Instructions

Please submit your fellowship application form and all required documentation as one complete PDF file using this naming convention: "last name_T32 Fellowship". Email all materials to MGHGlobalpsychiatry@partners.org.

You will be notified upon receipt of your application. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Download fellowship application

 

Rolling Admissions: The application period is now closed. Please check back for updates.

For more information, please email MGHGlobalpsychiatry@partners.org.

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