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After reading through many threads in this subforum, I'm beginning to understand the job market for Clinical Psych PhD graduates. It seems that the vast majority go either full-time into clinical practice or they become professors. Both clinical practice and research appeal to me, but it seems that few jobs offer the ability to perform both. What type of positions would allow a person to do both, and how available are such jobs?
 

erg923

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After reading through many threads in this subforum, I'm beginning to understand the job market for Clinical Psych PhD graduates. It seems that the vast majority go either full-time into clinical practice or they become professors. Both clinical practice and research appeal to me, but it seems that few jobs offer the ability to perform both. What type of positions would allow a person to do both, and how available are such jobs?
VA staff psych positions or VA MIRREC positions, faculty appointment in a psychiatry department; faculty position in psychology department if they have a clinical training program.
 
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Most of my professors ran private practice as well. But they did minimal research and probably sacrificed tenure track security for it
 
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VA staff psych positions or VA MIRREC positions, faculty appointment in a psychiatry department; faculty position in psychology department if they have a clinical training program.
For faculty in a psych department with clinical training, do you know how much time would be spent doing clinical work v. teaching v. research? It seems that some teach in clinical programs without doing actual clinical work for years. Assuming professor positions at top universities are very competitive, how competitive are professor positions at low-end R1 universities or non-R1 universities? Thanks for your help.
 
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Most of my professors ran private practice as well. But they did minimal research and probably sacrificed tenure track security for it
What university did you go to? Or, if you're not comfortable sharing that, could you give some comparable universities?
 

psycscientist

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For faculty in a psych department with clinical training, do you know how much time would be spent doing clinical work v. teaching v. research? It seems that some teach in clinical programs without doing actual clinical work for years. Assuming professor positions at top universities are very competitive, how competitive are professor positions at low-end R1 universities or non-R1 universities? Thanks for your help.
All tenure-track positions are highly competitive, regardless of type of university. Different types of universities just look for different things (e.g., research funding and lots of pubs at an R1 versus high quality teaching record at a liberal arts school).
 
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For faculty in a psych department with clinical training, do you know how much time would be spent doing clinical work v. teaching v. research? It seems that some teach in clinical programs without doing actual clinical work for years. Assuming professor positions at top universities are very competitive, how competitive are professor positions at low-end R1 universities or non-R1 universities? Thanks for your help.
I was just told my a faculty member that as a rule of thumb R1s expect 2 publications a year and a grant every year, R2s expect 1 pub a year and don't expect grants. That's the bare minimum to not get fired anyway
 

WisNeuro

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After reading through many threads in this subforum, I'm beginning to understand the job market for Clinical Psych PhD graduates. It seems that the vast majority go either full-time into clinical practice or they become professors. Both clinical practice and research appeal to me, but it seems that few jobs offer the ability to perform both. What type of positions would allow a person to do both, and how available are such jobs?
Even non-MIRECC positions in the VA allow this, although to a lesser extent I do about 10-15% research I'd say. Which suits my desire at the moment.
 

futureapppsy2

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I was just told my a faculty member that as a rule of thumb R1s expect 2 publications a year and a grant every year, R2s expect 1 pub a year and don't expect grants. That's the bare minimum to not get fired anyway
A new grant every year or some grant funding every year? I've known a good number of R1 faculty, and I can't think of any who hit a large (I.e., federal grant) every year.
 
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A new grant every year or some grant funding every year? I've known a good number of R1 faculty, and I can't think of any who hit a large (I.e., federal grant) every year.
Not to say either large or new. Just some funding from out of the school coming in. His exact words "at an R1 you need two publications and a grant every year"

One faculty I interviewed with had a history of tiny special-group grants. But my understanding was it was money coming in
 

Pragma

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I work at an R2 and do hospital consulting on the side. If you aren't at an R1 some places make it easier to have a side job- that's how I satisfy my clinical interests and boost my income. Can do more of it in the summer when I'm off.
 

Therapist4Chnge

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It really varies on type of position and R1 v. R2, etc. I'd guesstimate an 80/20 (clinical / research) is at least 2 pubs per yr and full funding of the 20% by year 2-3, with a "larger" PI grant happening at some point.
 
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Why are we talking about pub expectations when that wasn't the OPs question?
Because his SECOND question was how competitive they are and how much research they do, and then he asked follow up questions. I swear it seems like you always read the absolute bare minimum to make a misinformed opion. You're like Donnie on the Big Lebowski
 

Pragma

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Because his SECOND question was how competitive they are and how much research they do, and then he asked follow up questions. I swear it seems like you always read the absolute bare minimum to make a misinformed opion. You're like Donnie on the Big Lebowski
They asked about % of effort and how hard the jobs are to get. Not how hard they are to keep. I swear, you're highly reactive.
 

Pragma

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Interesting, I don't remember him using either of those terms
Are you kidding? Lol.

For faculty in a psych department with clinical training, do you know how much time would be spent doing clinical work v. teaching v. research? ... Assuming professor positions at top universities are very competitive, how competitive are professor positions at low-end R1 universities or non-R1 universities? Thanks for your help.
Your incompetent posts looking to antagonize aren't going to be read anymore on my end. Eta- not directed at Ben7
 
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OP here: I am interested in what it takes to maintain such a faculty position, so I'm fine with the posts--regardless of whether my ambiguous wording seemed to ask for it. Thanks for all of the responses, everyone.
 

Pragma

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Cool, well in a less intense environment you may have more flexibility as far as what you do outside of the institution, but it varies a lot. I think the VA is probably the best bet for getting the best of both worlds, but otherwise the rest of us negotiate % of effort and ability to do side work. At some R1s you sign non-compete agreements that limit what you can do, but if the salary is high enough then whatever % clinical effort they allow you may make it a good fit. Just varies.
 

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I was just told my a faculty member that as a rule of thumb R1s expect 2 publications a year and a grant every year, R2s expect 1 pub a year and don't expect grants. That's the bare minimum to not get fired anyway
That doesn't sound right to me. I think the person you talked to meant one grant APPLICATION per year. I think the expectation for productivity at an R2 is higher than that, and many or most still expect grant apps.
 
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Going more than a year without outside grant funding is a death sentence for tenure in the corners of R1 academic psych/ cog neurosci I am personally familiar with. So....make sure to get funded yearly. Agree though that expecting a successful new grant every year is probably not what was meant.
 

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AMCs and VAs are likely your best bet if you want a split, but it all depends on what your goals are. True 50/50 splits are very rare - its typically more like 80/20 (going in either direction). That said, anything is possible in the right setting and with a little effort, particularly if you are (somewhat) willing to sacrifice on income/advancement for the sake of doing what you want to do. Even an R1 psych department professor should be able to manage a boutique practice on the side - but probably just a few patients a week. For most, the relatively minimal extra income generated is probably not worth the time away from family and the hassle, which is probably why you don't see it very often. In general (there are certainly exceptions - its just tough to bank on landing a job at one of those fields), psych departments are not as connected to clinics/hospitals as medical settings generally provide. They may have clinics, but faculty are generally supervising rather than seeing patients themselves.

As for faculty expectations...those are very light. My experience is that R1's are usually expecting a MINIMUM of 3-5 publications per year to be competitive for tenure. I doubt any place expects obtaining a full-scale grant per year these days. As MCParent indicated, they could have meant they expect one application per year, which is entirely reasonable (and far less than most people in soft-money AMC settings will submit in these desperate times...). Alternatively, they could have meant they are expected to have continuous funding. So an R01 that is 5 years in duration generally splits the funds across those years and would just count for five years.

I think the only way one could get a grant a year would be applying for grants that are forsuch piddly small sums of money they don't count for much at the faculty level anyways.
 

Pragma

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I think the only way one could get a grant a year would be applying for grants that are forsuch piddly small sums of money they don't count for much at the faculty level anyways.
The most prolific faculty I know might submit multiple grants per year but don't obtain a grant each year. However, having an R01 gives you the resources to keep writing continuously, which is necessary at any soft money institution.
 

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Depending on your specialty area, you may find primarily clinical positions with a research component. As others have mentioned, VAs and AMCs may offer such opportunities. My employer (a large private agency) requires doctoral level staff to engage in research, with a minimum of requirement of submission of a research presentation to a national conference at least every other year. Regular (~2 a year) presentations (research, workshop, symposium) at regional professional conferences also strongly encouraged and supported. Conference costs, including airfare and hotel, are covered if you are presenting. There's also significant financial bonus for peer reviewed publications. There is a Sr. VP dedicated to research support and supervision. This does not seem to be that uncommon in large "behaviorally oriented" human service agencies- previous employees have had similar research requirements and supports. Also- many of us doctoral level staff adjunct in affiliated graduate training programs, providing additional opportunities fro research related activities. I think it's a good model- keeps the clinicians up to speed on research trends and new developments, breed intra- and inter-agency collaboration, makes the job more varied and interesting, and potential results in more cash in the wallet.
 
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I'm at a "low" R1 and we don't have expectations of applying for a grant every year. Of course, I don't have tenure yet either, so perhaps I'm already missing the boat...yikes! :)

Psychology department faculty positions will vary in competitiveness, but one thing I have noticed is that the number of applicants for clinical faculty jobs at my institution (which is not in a large city, or a super desirable part of the country) is that the competition is SO MUCH LESS than for other subdiscipline (social, cognitive, developmental, etc.) positions. I suspect that would not necessarily be the case for larger cities or "famous" departments, but the modal career path is clinical, not academia, so the competition just isn't as fierce. Not to mention that many excellent hard-core researchers go into psychiatry departments, which thus trims the applicant pool even more.
 

AcronymAllergy

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I'm at a "low" R1 and we don't have expectations of applying for a grant every year. Of course, I don't have tenure yet either, so perhaps I'm already missing the boat...yikes! :)

Psychology department faculty positions will vary in competitiveness, but one thing I have noticed is that the number of applicants for clinical faculty jobs at my institution (which is not in a large city, or a super desirable part of the country) is that the competition is SO MUCH LESS than for other subdiscipline (social, cognitive, developmental, etc.) positions. I suspect that would not necessarily be the case for larger cities or "famous" departments, but the modal career path is clinical, not academia, so the competition just isn't as fierce. Not to mention that many excellent hard-core researchers go into psychiatry departments, which thus trims the applicant pool even more.
The advantage to this, I would imagine, is that it allows you to get a foot in the door. I have zero experience with the academic job market, but I'd think that if you're able to find a spot in a less-popular area of the country/at a smaller institution and crank out some quality work, that could go a long way toward making you competitive at some of the spots in larger cities/schools. Similar to how some folks will take a job at some VA, even if it's not where they'd like to be or what they'd like to do long-term, so that they're more competitive to transfer when something opens up elsewhere.
 

Pragma

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I agree that you will have an easier time finding a clinical position in general just based on the competitiveness of tenure track jobs. But, most psychology departments aren't going to have clinical duties associated with them unless they are directly affiliated with a medical center or clinic. Outside of finding one of those positions, you'd probably be looking at doing a private practice or other clinical consultation on the side.

On the AMC side, I think getting the job can be a little easier if you are predominantly clinical, because you can justify your existence through billing. What colleagues have told me though is it can be tough at times to get solid research done because of clinical productivity requirements. But again, that's all relative. If you don't mind just consulting with other researchers, or using your own patients as a convenience sample, you might strike a happy balance.

I rarely hear of anything other than an 80/20 split - usually you've got to either do more research (and bring in soft money) or do more clinical. In those settings, teaching is most likely going to be to medical residents.

On the SLAC and to some extent the R2s, you do more teaching instead as a core part of your career. What I like about my role at an R2 is that I don't have to get grants to keep my job. But when I do have funding, it gives me more control over what I do via buying out of teaching classes. In that way I have about a true 33.3% even split between teaching, research and administrative duties, and clinical work (via hospital side job).

In other words, there are a lot of ways to skin a cat. You just have to decide what you want your bread and butter to be. With my job, failure to get funding means more teaching, but I still always have some dedicated research time.
 

futureapppsy2

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I think the only way one could get a grant a year would be applying for grants that are forsuch piddly small sums of money they don't count for much at the faculty level anyways.
Eh, I'm not *entirely* sure about this. It's n=1 but a friend of mine recently got tenure at a"high" R1, and some of the feedback that they got was that their consistent record of smaller ($5k-35k) state- and university-funded grants looked good, because they were consistently seeking and getting funding. They were also co-PI on a large ($1.5m) federal grant, which is important, but they said that their record of small but consistent grant funding was specifically noted as a plus.

On the flip side, I know someone at an R2 who was so fixated on getting an R01 that they refused to look elsewhere for funding, never got the R01, and ended up getting denied tenure.
 

Ollie123

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Eh, I'm not *entirely* sure about this. It's n=1 but a friend of mine recently got tenure at a"high" R1, and some of the feedback that they got was that their consistent record of smaller ($5k-35k) state- and university-funded grants looked good, because they were consistently seeking and getting funding.
Psych department or AMC? My post was admittedly biased towards the latter - even at plenty of R1 psych departments it is not necessarily an expectation to have significant external funding, so anything you do pull in can help depending on the department. At an AMC, I'm not sure its possible to survive on those kind of grants (folks I've worked with seem to reserve them for when they need pilot data to support larger applications). You'd need quite a few just to cover your own effort, let alone other staff and any research costs. Not every place necessarily requires an R01, but I can't imagine someone getting tenured with exclusively smaller grants (that in most cases don't pay indirects) at an AMC.
 

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Just had my 3rd year tenure review not too long ago. At an academic medical center. Review went well. I think these are all rules of thumb. I think Ollie is correct, it's not a grant every year, it's having continuous grant funding. But, those are most often, multi-year projects. The valley of death, if you will, in this kind of institution is generally the transition from K award to R01 level. At my institution, the failure rate after having attained a K is 50%. Successful tenure here is two r01s, good publication productivity as defined by numbers and quality of journals/impact as well as senior author papers/lab buildup, international reputation, and teaching evaluations. I am currently on a K. And, I am shotgunning grants. I've applied for 7 in the past year of varying sizes. I have likely my first r01 level funding secured. But, this is a tough game that does have many elements of chance and also political savvy involved. I am not at all confident that I will make it to the next screen on this path. I've always considered my trajectory in the context of acquired skills and not necessarily in titles. Thus, I took what might be considered a somewhat windy path. Neuropsych. 2 year clinical postdoc. 2 year f32. 3 year research assistant professor. Now 3 year tenure track assistant professor. I've been mindful of income. So, as I've gone along the way, I've negotiated well (I think). For example, on the f32, I was paid at a starting faculty level. In considering trajectory, you can kind of play it by ear as far as targeting the big or little pool and clinical and research distributions. As you go a long, it will become more clear where you fit in best. I've published quite a bit and I've had a solid amount of grant funding. I've also tried to take advantage of opportunities to learn about other things. For example, business options. I've considered building a biotech company (I have a few patents submitted) and universities often have resources for learning about stuff like SBIR and STTR mechanisms and also resources to spinoff intellectual property. I have picked some research areas that are hot beds forensically and I have maintained a life support level of clinical activity in order to still be able to spin tales in that realm if I need to pivot at some point. My approach has a cost. I have emphasized flexibility, learning, and trajectory in the context of spinning stories. You have to be able to tell a good story. The cost is focus, time, balance. And, ultimately, say I fail at the tenure track game, maybe I would have been better off dropping clinical activities and keeping to a more narrow path or. . . not taking the big grant, academic medical path and slid into a psychology department that wasn't so aggressive on the grant front in terms of responsibilities. I'm not sure there is a right answer.
 

Ollie123

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Just had my 3rd year tenure review not too long ago. At an academic medical center. Review went well. I think these are all rules of thumb. I think Ollie is correct, it's not a grant every year, it's having continuous grant funding. But, those are most often, multi-year projects. The valley of death, if you will, in this kind of institution is generally the transition from K award to R01 level. At my institution, the failure rate after having attained a K is 50%. Successful tenure here is two r01s, good publication productivity as defined by numbers and quality of journals/impact as well as senior author papers/lab buildup, international reputation, and teaching evaluations. I am currently on a K. And, I am shotgunning grants. I've applied for 7 in the past year of varying sizes. I have likely my first r01 level funding secured. But, this is a tough game that does have many elements of chance and also political savvy involved. I am not at all confident that I will make it to the next screen on this path. I've always considered my trajectory in the context of acquired skills and not necessarily in titles. Thus, I took what might be considered a somewhat windy path. Neuropsych. 2 year clinical postdoc. 2 year f32. 3 year research assistant professor. Now 3 year tenure track assistant professor. I've been mindful of income. So, as I've gone along the way, I've negotiated well (I think). For example, on the f32, I was paid at a starting faculty level. In considering trajectory, you can kind of play it by ear as far as targeting the big or little pool and clinical and research distributions. As you go a long, it will become more clear where you fit in best. I've published quite a bit and I've had a solid amount of grant funding. I've also tried to take advantage of opportunities to learn about other things. For example, business options. I've considered building a biotech company (I have a few patents submitted) and universities often have resources for learning about stuff like SBIR and STTR mechanisms and also resources to spinoff intellectual property. I have picked some research areas that are hot beds forensically and I have maintained a life support level of clinical activity in order to still be able to spin tales in that realm if I need to pivot at some point. My approach has a cost. I have emphasized flexibility, learning, and trajectory in the context of spinning stories. You have to be able to tell a good story. The cost is focus, time, balance. And, ultimately, say I fail at the tenure track game, maybe I would have been better off dropping clinical activities and keeping to a more narrow path or. . . not taking the big grant, academic medical path and slid into a psychology department that wasn't so aggressive on the grant front in terms of responsibilities. I'm not sure there is a right answer.
That fits with mine and the proverbial "K Cliff" frightens me to no end (and I'm just preparing a K now so there is no guarantee of even getting that!). Though I suppose the upside is that unlike most psych departments I'm familiar with, where tenure denial is essentially a dismissal, not receiving tenure at an AMC doesn't seem to have the same implications. As long as you continue to cover salary (through research, clinical or whatever else) it seems like most places are content to let you continue - tenure or no tenure. Heck, clinical faculty have virtually zero hope of receiving tenure at most places I've worked but are often around for decades.
Advancement almost certainly suffers so it may or may not be wise to stay, but the closer I get the more it seems like AMCs DO hang on to people even if they don't get tenure, whereas that would be unheard of in a psychology department. So I guess...small comforts?

Jon - would be curious to talk a little more about your approach over PM at some point since I think I'm on a similar path. Don't think I could ever stomach going to 100% clinical setting (even with a more administrative role), but industry options sound more appealing and I wouldn't necessarily mind transitioning to a CRO, pharmaceutical company or private research institute if the need arose. Or could try and shift back to the hard-money, arts & sciences world. Not sure how hard it is to make that switch once in the AMC world though.
 

futureapppsy2

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Psych department or AMC? My post was admittedly biased towards the latter - even at plenty of R1 psych departments it is not necessarily an expectation to have significant external funding, so anything you do pull in can help depending on the department. At an AMC, I'm not sure its possible to survive on those kind of grants (folks I've worked with seem to reserve them for when they need pilot data to support larger applications). You'd need quite a few just to cover your own effort, let alone other staff and any research costs. Not every place necessarily requires an R01, but I can't imagine someone getting tenured with exclusively smaller grants (that in most cases don't pay indirects) at an AMC.
University, non-AMC. Like I said, they were Co-PI on an R01-equivalent grant, too, so there's definitely that, and are genuinely really impressive all-around (had a TT position prior to getting their PhD, etc). I can PM you more specifics if you're curious. :)