Training Opportunities | VA Health Care Charleston

Psychology Fellowship Program

The MIRECC Psychology Fellowship Program at Charleston VAMC supports the professional development of research-oriented psychologists to become clinical investigators in innovative approaches to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and its comorbidities.

During the two-year program, fellows receive intensive mentoring and instruction in clinical research skills such as grant writing, research design, and ethics, while receiving supervised clinical training on treatments and advanced programs. The Charleston VAMC Advanced Fellowship Program is affiliated with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC).

Fellows’ 40-hour work week includes approximately 10-15 hours/week of supervised direct service delivery, 25-30 hours/week of clinical research activities, and 4 hours/week of didactics (including 2 hours of face-to-face face-to-face). face-to-face, individual supervision by a licensed psychologist for clinical and research activities). Additionally, up to 5 hours/week of administrative experiences may be offered to support the scholar’s professional growth and individual goals. In collaboration with research mentors, fellows are expected to develop and implement a research pilot project, publish and present results, and use the latest technologies for educational activities and clinical service delivery. Application for independent federal grant funding by fellows is strongly encouraged (e.g., VA Career Development Award).

Our current scholarship recipients:

Danielle Taylordoctorate


Dr. Taylor’s research focuses on assessing the mechanisms and consequences of anxiety, trauma and related disorders using psychophysiological techniques (EEG, heart rate, skin conductance, etc.). She recently extended this line of work to incorporate neuromodulation and was awarded a pilot grant to evaluate an emerging brain stimulation technique, transcutaneous atrial vagus nerve stimulation (taVNS), using multimodal psychophysiology.

Alyssa Jones, PhD


Dr. Jones’ research program focuses on the role of affective vulnerabilities (eg, difficulties in emotion regulation) and specific emotions (eg, shame, guilt, disgust) in the development and maintenance of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to inform therapeutic innovation. She is currently working on a project investigating disgust as a predictor of treatment outcome in veterans seeking treatment for PTSD. During her postdoctoral studies, she plans to seek grants to test novel interventions for trauma-related shame and loathing in veterans with PTSD.

Andrea Massa, PhD

Clinical Psychology

Dr. Massa is currently working on two projects, examining the roles of PTSD and alcohol abuse in predicting aggressive behavior and the role of emotion dysregulation in intimate partner aggression related to trauma and mental illness. alcohol.

Program directors:

Dan Gros, Ph.D. ([email protected])

Elizabeth Santa Ana, Ph.D. ([email protected])

Registration deadline:

October 1 annually

Brochure: MIRECC Fellowship in Innovative Approaches to PTSD and its Comorbidities – Charleston (DOCX)

National website: MIRECC/CoE VA Advanced Fellowship in Mental Illness Research and Treatment – ​​MIRECC/CoE

HEROIC big rounds

The HEROIC Grand Rounds and Works in Progress is a forum for all researchers interested in HRH&D research. The framework is used to present ongoing research or work in progress to disseminate data and research results or to receive useful feedback from the HEROIC COIN scientific community for a project idea or an ongoing project.​​

The HEROIC Grand Rounds and Works in Progress forum meets on the 3rd Thursday of each month from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., online (in virtual format) and in person. Meetings are open to COIN faculty members, faculty members not affiliated with MUSC or other institutions, and VA/MUSC trainees, including postdoctoral fellows and trainees to present their research.​

If you are interested in presenting at our HEROIC and Works in Progress Grand Rounds or would like to receive invitations and current speaker schedules, please contact Dr. Elizabeth Santa Ana (Associate Director of COIN) at: [email protected]. gov or Ms. Kayla Lamb (COIN Administrator) at: [email protected].

Veterans Research Mobilization Commission (VREB)

The Veterans Research Engagement Board is made up of a team of veterans of various races, genders, and backgrounds who have an interest in research at the Charleston VA Medical Center. The VREB is responsible for meeting with HEROIC researchers to discuss their research questions, provide research feedback, suggest research options and ideas, and report concerns about various aspects of research projects. Information and feedback from VREB members is summarized in abstract form and often used directly in research proposals for consideration for research funding. VREB members meet voluntarily online (for example, using the TEAMS virtual platform) once every two months for up to 120 minutes per meeting and non-veteran VREB members receive a small stipend per meeting. HEROIC COIN is interested in recruiting veteran volunteers to serve in the VREB. An interest in serving in the VREB and an interest in research and its impact on Veterans’ health care is all that is required.

If you are a veteran and are interested in research at the Charleston VAMC and its impact on veteran health care and would like to inquire about serving in the VREB, please contact [email protected]. gov or [email protected].

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