Postdoctoral Psychology Training
Postdoctoral fellowship applicants have some choices as they pursue further training, and some may choose to continue their education at a formal postdoctoral training site. In exchange for generally a lower salary, postdoctoral fellows have the right to expect a formalized training program that includes at least minimal training standards. If the postdoctoral training site is a member of APPIC, the applicant can expect that the site meets APPIC membership standards. APPIC Membership insures the postdoctoral applicant that the APPIC member site has met a certain level of quality and training standards, such as having due process procedures in place, and providing adequate and qualified supervision.
APPIC Member sites are required to provide an organized sequence of training experiences that meet or exceeds membership criteria for APPIC. Training materials should accurately reflect the training experiences at that site. Members are reviewed by the APPIC Postdoctoral Membership Committee every 3 years to ensure that programs continue to meet APPIC standards. Please see the Joining APPIC webpage for specific postdoctoral membership criteria.
APPIC Postdoc Selection Guidelines Postdoctoral Survey 2014 Summary
Frequently Asked Questions
I am interested in applying to several of the postdoctoral sites listed in the APPIC directory. I am confused about whether I have to enroll as an APPIC member in order to apply to the sites on your directory. I enrolled as a member for my internship search, but have not done so for post-doctoral searches.
Only training programs and university programs are eligible to join APPIC. This allows them to be listed in the match service. Predoctoral students are required to register with the match to be part of the national matching service. The postdoctoral program does not have a match (except for neuropsych at www.appcn.org). You are free to search the Online APPIC Directory for APPIC postdoctoral programs to obtain information, applications and email addresses required in the application process.
Is there a Postdoc Match similar to the Predoctoral Internship Match?
APPIC does not hold a match for the general postdoctoral positions listed in the APPIC Online Directory. APPIC members do not favor a match given the need for flexibility in start dates (completion of dissertation); variable funding notifications (grants received and/or awarded) and the difficulty knowing in advance how many positions will be available for the coming training year. The Association of Postdoctoral Programs in Clinical Neuropsychology (APPCN) does hold a match for the applicants in neuropsychology looking for a 2 year postdoctoral program.
Why are there so few postdoctoral positions?
Postdoctoral members of APPIC are required to have an organized program of training. This can be expensive as licensed psychologists are required to provide the supervision. In contast to the basic sciences, which has a long tradition of postdoctoral fellowships, psychology is just beginning to offer formal postdoctoral training. This will continue to increase as the VA system has declared that VA training programs that have postdoctoral fellows must become APA accredited in order to continue. The number of postdoctoral positions will continue to increase as it becomes more of the standard in psychology training.
Why do most postdoctoral positions pay less than an entry level psychologist?
Training is expensive as revenue by the supervisor is lost when they are supervising and not generating billable hours or writing grants or other faculty duties. Billing is not usually allowed by postdocs unless the provider has a license and most postdoctoral fellows are not licensed until their 2nd or 3rd year. Training is expensive and time consuming and revenue production tends to take time to build a revenue stream. Many programs that have postdocs are not always a clearly defined organization and many individuals taking a postdoc need to clearly understand the extent of training offered for the typically lower salary.
Other Postdoctoral Training Sites of Interest
The Council of Specialties in Professional Psychology