Postdoctoral Fellowship Training
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Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Program (LEND)
The Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Program at Children’s National Medical Center operates within the university systems of George Washington University (GWU), Georgetown University (GU), and the Catholic University of America (CUA) and also includes relationships with District of Columbia area healthcare facilities, local government offices, and institutes dedicated to servicing children with disabilities. It is funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, a division of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
General Program Tasks
Goal: Cultivate interdisciplinary approaches and attitudes to dealing with children with disabilities by training future professionals in a variety of disciplinary areas emphasizing leadership in the broader healthcare and service providing system.
Objective: Improving the health status of infants, children and adolescents with or at risk for neurodevelopmental and related disabilities and their families through interdisciplinary care.
The LEND training curriculum includes graduate education at the master’s, doctoral, and postdoctoral levels, with an emphasis on developing a knowledge and experience base that includes:
Areas of focus are presented by more than 45 faculty members in the following disciplines:
- Neurodevelopmental and related disabilities familiarity;
- Family-centered care and access;
- Culturally competence; and
- Leadership skills.
Summary of LEND Experience:
- Health Administration
- Nursing, Nutrition
- Occupational Therapy
- Pediatric Dentistry
- Physical Therapy
- Social Work
- Speech/Language Pathology
- Special Education
- Cultural Studies
The LEND experience is a combination of training opportunities and experiences which are spread over the academic year. These represent 300 hours of LEND involvement, approximately two full days of activity per week, typically Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Applicants actively working or in other training programs will need to provide written proof of their ability to manage the rigor of the LEND training program in combination with other activities.
The LEND Core curriculum consists of:
These activities, required of all long-term LEND trainees, are supplemented by a variety of supportive learning experiences, including:
- An initial orientation phase.
- Development of a competency-based Individualized Training Objectives (ITO) which will serve as the trainee’s yearly plan of education monitored by their mentor.
- Participation in didactic courses (core and elective) over a 9-month period that present the knowledge base fundamental to the accomplishment of the LEND goals and objectives.
- Involvement in an array of LEND approved interdisciplinary practica and special projects that are selected to ensure that trainees are exposed to leadership roles in six areas of interdisciplinary service. These include:
- Community-based and referenced service (clinical, case or program centered consultation and technical assistance),
- Center-based ambulatory care,
- Center-based inpatient (re)habilitation,
- Leadership and consultation in health care and systems change,
Consideration for the LEND Program
- Faculty-mediated mentoring and advising
- Special leadership activities
- Disciplinary and center-based seminar series
- Short courses,
- Rounds, Web-based links
- Wuggested readings,
- Home/clinic/site visits, and
- Special workshops/presentations.
Applicants for the LEND Program are selected from a competitive nationwide pool.
- Each nominated graduate and post-graduate trainee must commit to enter a full-time term of study of at least 300 hours duration (usually lasting a year).
- Applicants who have achieved or are achieving advanced degrees at accredited universities in one of the core disciplines listed above will be eligible to apply for stipends.
- Completed application packets of candidates nominated by a core discipline will be reviewed and rated by members of the LEND Coordinating Staff, and this team will recommend candidates for stipend support to the LEND Executive Committee, which will make final selections.
- Available stipends will be spread among as many core disciplines as is feasible that will provide a diverse LEND trainee group representative of several disicplines.
- Fulltime pre-doctoral stipends are awarded in the area of $20,000 yearly and post-doctoral candidates stipends are awarded at $35,000 yearly (pending on commitment levels and competition).
Required application components will include (see application packet):
The applications will be reviewed and interviews conducted by the core faculty and selected preceptors between February and April.
- A letter (1) of intent that presents a clear statement of the applicant’s current career plans. This letter should focus two major aspects and will be reviewed based on:
- The applicant's experience and future vision in working with children with disabilities.
- The applicant's expectations and goals for the LEND training year
- The appropriate applicant forms
- Official collegiate transcripts
- Two letters (2) of reference from previous faculty supervisors and/or employers accompanied by (2) reference forms
- A writing sample representative of the applicant’s highest achievements
Decisions about admissions will be made in synchrony with the national selection dates for each core discipline, with the training calendar beginning in September. High priority is places on the recruitment and selection of faculty and trainees of under-represented minorities, including individuals with disabilities.
Program Year: September – May
For more information, contact Gaetano Lotrecchiano, PhD, for DC LEND.
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T32 Training Program
Children’s National also has a post-doctoral training program in the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC) at Children’s Research Institute. This program focuses on five areas of inquiry associated with the IDDRC: autism, learning disabilities (developmental dyslexia), traumatic brain injury, epilepsy, and urea cycle disorders.
This program is a multidisciplinary effort that draws on 15 faculty preceptors in the areas of neuroscience, neurobehavioral science, and genetics from seven divisions at Children's and Georgetown University School of Medicine. Children's leads this program based on its strengths in basic, translational, and clinical research, and in mentorship in all the proposed areas of inquiry, as well as its established strong collaborations with Georgetown; and its role as a leader in a number of NIH Center Grants focusing on conditions causing intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Children’s receives two postdoctoral trainees (MDs and/or PhDs) per year in a 3-year training program. A unique aspect of the training is that each area of inquiry has genetic, neuroscience, and neurobehavioral components, and each fellow can choose a mentor laboratory that focuses on one of these areas, but also rotates through each component, in order to acquire interdisciplinary training in the specific disorder being studied. The objectives of the program are to encourage physicians to develop as researchers in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities and to stimulate greater participation of promising PhD researchers in this area. Each trainee is carefully mentored through the program to ensure that he/she fully exploits the range of opportunities of the program.
Interested applicants submit:
For more information about the T23 training program, contact Vittorio Gallo, PhD
- a personal statement of research interests
- a training research plan
- a letter of support from the proposed preceptor
- a letter of reference from a previous advisor/mentor
- a CV (including only peer reviewed publications, book chapters, and abstracts)
- for MDs, a letter of support from the clinical division chief agreeing to full-time enrollment in the program
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