Fellowship Program

2023 Postdoctoral Research Fellowship In Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Overview of the Program

Since 1963, the Harvey L. and Maud C. Sorensen Foundation has supported children’s health in California.  In 2020, the Foundation’s Board of Directors established a postdoctoral fellowship program for clinician-scientists who are conducting innovative research in child and adolescent psychiatry.  The Sorensen Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship aims to support translational research that will result in effective preventions and treatments for children with psychiatric disorders and to train fellows to become established investigators.  The long-term goal of the program is to position fellows to be among the most highly respected investigators in child and adolescent psychiatry and to serve as mentors to succeeding generations of child psychiatrists.

The Sorensen Foundation invites early career clinician-scientists to apply to the 2023 Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.  Child psychiatry residents in years 4 and 5 of their training as well as child psychiatrists who have just completed their residency are encouraged to apply.

Fellowships may be awarded at any of the following seven accredited medical schools in California: UC Davis, UC San Francisco, UCLA, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, University of Southern California, and Stanford.  Fellowships will be awarded on a competitive, peer-reviewed basis and will be funded up to a maximum of three years based on scientific review and progress.

The Foundation is governed by a 7-member Board of Directors.  The Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Committee advises the Board of Directors on the quality and competitiveness of fellowship candidates, reviews and evaluates fellowship applications, and selects new Fellows each year.

Eligibility and Qualifications

Applicants must hold or complete an MD or MD/PhD before they activate the fellowship. Postdoctoral researchers are eligible to apply to the 2023 program if they have identified a mentor who holds a full-time faculty or primary appointment at the applicant’s sponsoring medical school. Applicants must obtain a letter of support from their mentor. Applicants with tenure-track research positions or faculty appointments are ineligible.

Fellowship Awards

Fellowship awards range from $50,000 to $100,000 depending on where an applicant is in the arc of his/her training as well as on the scope of the proposed project. Fellowship payments will be sent directly to the sponsoring medical school and can be applied toward salary and benefits or to support a research project.

Depending on the project, fellowship awards may be renewed up to three years based on scientific review and progress. Candidates should indicate on their application whether they seek funding for 1, 2 or 3 years.

Timeline For Application Submission

The Foundation must receive the candidate’s completed application and mentor’s letter of support before 3:00 pm (PST) on January 27, 2023. Application materials should be submitted as PDF attachments to: 

The Foundation will notify candidates of the status of their application by March 17, 2023. Finalists will interview with the Scientific Advisory Committee on April 5, 2023. Award decisions will be made April 7, 2023. Awards may be activated between July 1, 2023, and September 30, 2023.

Application Procedures

Please see the Apply for a 2023 Fellowship section of this website for application instructions.  The application includes multiple components: 2023 Application Form, candidate’s biosketch and bibliography of relevant publications, personal statement, technical statement of proposed research, mentor’s NIH biosketch, and mentor’s letter of support.  Applicants should work with their mentor and grants officer to prepare the application in advance of the deadline to avoid errors and omissions.

The Foundation does not provide candidates with critiques of their applications or their rankings in the review process.

The Scientific Advisory Committee emphasizes the following criteria in selecting candidates to interview:

  • The accomplishments of the candidate and perceived potential of the candidate;
  • The commitment of the candidate to a career in child and adolescent psychiatry;
  • The relevance of the proposed research into the prevention of or treatment for psychiatric disorders among children and/or adolescents;
  • The commitment of the principal investigator to provide significant and personalized leadership to mentor the candidate and support his/her career development; and
  • The accomplishments of the principal investigator in the candidate’s field of inquiry.

Conditions of Fellowship Award

Fellows must comply with the following conditions of the fellowship award:

  • Activate the fellowship between July 1, 2023 and September 30, 2023.
  • Notify the Foundation promptly if plans change and unable to continue the fellowship. The fellowship cannot be transferred to a different institution or mentor.
  • Send the Foundation a brief report at the end of the academic year (June 30, 2024) summarizing the progress of the research project and fellowship experience.
  • Acknowledge the support of the Harvey L. and Maud C. Sorensen Foundation on curriculum vitae and in all published papers resulting from the research project and provide the Foundation with one reprint of each publication.