About Us

The Navy Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Clinical Psychology

Navy Medical Center Portsmouth

Navy Medical Center Portsmouth


The Navy Psychology Postdoctoral Training Program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). Inquiries regarding accreditation may be addressed to the American Psychological Association’s Commission on Accreditation at the following address or phone number:

Commission on Accreditation
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, N.E.
Washington, D.C., 20002-4242
(202) 336-5979


It is the policy of the Navy Postdoctoral Fellowship in Clinical Psychology to follow the APPIC Postdoctoral Selection Guidelines.


The Navy’s Postdoctoral Fellowship in Clinical Psychology is based at the Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth, located in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. The fellowship consists of an intensive 12- month period of clinical, didactic, and leadership training.

The fellowship provides the foundation for practice within the military mental health system, but it is sufficiently broad to prepare the fellow for advanced practice in diverse non-military clinical settings as well. Furthermore, this program prepares the fellow for licensure as a psychologist in the state of his/her choosing, and is conducive to attaining Board Certification in Clinical Psychology.

Prior military experience is not a requirement nor an expectation for applicants. Most applicants have no prior military experience. Applicants do not have to be in the military to apply, and there is no military service obligation unless an applicant is selected for the fellowship.

Applicants who are selected for the fellowship are commissioned as Lieutenants in the Navy Medical Service Corps, and serve a total of 4 years on active duty - 1 year as a postdoctoral fellow and 3 years as a staff psychologist.


All applicants must be U.S. Citizens (dual citizens must agree to relinquish non-US citizenship if selected for the fellowship).

Age Limit: Applicants must be no more than 41 years of age at the time of commissioning (which typically occurs in June or July of the year in which the fellowship starts).

Applicants must have completed all requirements for the doctoral degree (including dissertation and doctoral internship) before attending Officer Development School, which begins on 25 August 2024.

Your doctoral program and doctoral internship must be APA-accredited.

The fellowship program gives careful consideration to all available information about each applicant, and selects fellows on a competitive basis without regard to race, sex, religion, creed, color, sexual orientation, or national origin (in accordance with Article 1164, Navy Regulations).

Competitive applicants should be experienced in providing “generalist” clinical services to a broad range of adult patients. Neuropsychology, health psychology, and child psychology experiences are welcome and valued, but these should not have been the primary focus of graduate school training. Applicants who have minimal experience with adults, or who have adult experience only in narrowly focused specialty areas such as neuropsychological assessment, would be at a significant disadvantage in our program.

Applicants must meet all medical and security qualification requirements for commissioning as a U.S. Navy Medical Service Corps officer. This part of the application is completed with the assistance of a Navy Medical Programs Officer Recruiter. (See below).


Number of Positions: Varies annually, usually 2-5

Full or Part Time: All fellowship positions are full-time.

Salary: Complete information on military pay is available at:

For Fiscal Year 2024:
Base pay: $61,224
Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for Portsmouth: without dependents - $25,452 per year; with dependents - $26,704 per year. These figures are for Fiscal Year 2023, and may increase in 2024.

The BAH is non-taxable.
Totals (Base Pay plus BAH) l: Low Salary: $86,676; High Salary: $87,928 *

*"Low salary" reflects pay and allowances for a postdoctoral fellow without dependents (i.e., spouse and/or children). "High salary" reflects pay and allowances for a postdoctoral fellow with dependents. Again, the BAH is not taxable, nor are other smaller allowances that are not included in the above totals.



Deadline for Application: 16 February 2024 (See below for additional information about the application process).

Officer Development School (Newport, RI). Five-week orientation course attended prior to starting the Fellowship: 25 August – 27 September 2024. Click here for more information about ODS.

Navy Medicine 101 Course (Bethesda, MD): 30 Sep – 4 Oct 2024

Fellowship Start Date: 7 October 2024.


Applicants must work with a Navy Medical Programs Officer Recruiter to submit their fellowship application. The application includes a medical evaluation and a security investigation to determine eligibility for commissioning as a Naval officer. This process can take several months to complete.

*Important: Applicants should initiate contact with a Navy Medical Programs Officer Recruiter as soon as possible, preferably by 1 November 2023, to allow sufficient time to complete the application before the deadline.

Finding a Recruiter: Unfortunately, there is no master list of Navy Medical Programs Officer Recruiters, so finding one can be challenging at times. There are two options for locating the Medical Programs Officer Recruiter nearest you:
1. Go to the following website: U.S. Navy Clinical Psychology Careers | Navy.com, - Click on “Find a Recruiter” located at the bottom of the page, then type in your zip code. You can also call or use the chat feature to find a Medical Programs Officer Recruiter in your area. Not all recruiting stations have Medical Programs Officer Recruiters, but they should be able to easily direct you to the nearest one.

2. Contact the Navy Clinical Psychology National Training Director (Dr. John Ralph), who can connect you with a recruiter in your local area. Dr. Ralph can be reached at john.a.ralph.civ@health.mil.

In addition to the information needed to determine an individual’s suitability for commissioning as a Naval officer, applicants must submit the following documents via their recruiter:
1. Resume/CV
2. Doctoral program transcript
3. Three letters of recommendation from doctoral-level psychologists familiar with the applicant’s clinical competency
4. Letters of Good Standing from the applicable internship Training Director and doctoral program Director of Clinical Training. (Applicants who have completed the doctoral degree should submit proof of graduation in lieu of a Letter of Good Standing.)


The fellowship is designed to provide the “generalist” clinician with advanced skills across a broad array of professional competencies. It is based on an intensive, full-time period of clinical, didactic, and leadership experiences. The program emphasizes the assessment and treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, traumatic brain injury (TBI), chronic pain, family issues, and substance/alcohol abuse. It also provides an orientation to severe mental health conditions requiring inpatient psychiatric treatment within a military medical facility. Evidence-based practice is emphasized throughout the training program.

A unique aspect of the training experience is exposure to the practice of clinical psychology in operational settings. Fellows spend several days aboard a Navy ship working with the ship’s psychologist, and they visit a Marine or Navy SEAL base where other Navy psychologists practice.

The program also prepares the fellow to become a clinical leader. Clinical leadership involves the ability to evaluate existing clinical programs, develop new programs, provide effective supervision of other practitioners, and organize resources so that clinical and administrative objectives can be met.

Navy Psychologists are a diverse group of men and women. At Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, a significant percentage of the core supervisory faculty members are minority psychologists. It is an important part of the fellowship program’s mission to continue to increase minority representation at the training site and in the broader Navy psychology community. The training faculty is committed to providing comprehensive education and training on diversity issues. We view diversity education as a life-long process that does not end when formal training is completed.

Additional information about the fellowship can be found in the training manual here.

Interviews for the Postdoctoral Fellowship will be held on 12 & 13 February 2024. Selected applicants will be contacted by the Training Director via phone or email to schedule an interview. These interviews will be conducted virtually, although depending on the circumstances, optional in-person interviews might also be available. Specific information about interviews will be disseminated to all applicants in January.

The point-of-contact regarding interviews is:
Captain Michael Franks, Psy.D., ABPP
Psychology Training Director
Navy Medical Center
Portsmouth, VA Office: 757-953-6730; Front Desk: (757) 953-7641

Alternate dates for interviews can be arranged if necessary.


Fellows receive all the benefits and allowances commensurate with serving on active duty as an officer in the United States Navy. These benefits include health and dental coverage for oneself and one’s dependents, enrollment in the military’s Thrift Savings Plan, life insurance, access to Commissaries & Navy Exchange department stores, paid moving expenses, and the use of world-class gymnasiums and other recreational facilities.


National Director, Navy Psychology
Training and Recruitment Programs
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
Bethesda, Maryland
(301) 295-2476

Contact Us

Navy Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship:

Captain Michael Franks, Psy.D., ABPP
Fellowship Training Director
Naval Medical Center Portsmouth
Portsmouth, VA
Phone - (757) 953-6730
Email - Michael.j.franks2.mil@health.mil

John A Ralph, Ph.D.
National Training Director
Navy Clinical Psychology
Phone - (301) 295-2476
Email – john.a.ralph.civ@health.mil

American Psychological Association:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, N.E.
Washington, D.C., 20002-4242
(202) 336-5979

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