Forensic Psychology

Fellowship In Forensic Psychology

forensic1The fellowship in forensic psychology provides a broad variety of experience and advanced training, primarily in forensic psychological assessment.  Time is divided approximately equally between two sites.  The Western State Hospital (WSH) forensic service provides opportunities for inpatient forensic assessments, particularly competency to stand trial and mental state at the time of the alleged offense.  The fellow works within a multidisciplinary treatment team with other hospital staff.  The University of Virginia’s Institute for Law, Psychiatry, & Public Policy (ILPPP) provides a unique opportunity for both education and practical forensic training.  The ILPPP provides formal training programs in a variety of topics, including: law, basic forensic evaluation skills, juvenile forensic evaluation, civil commitment; competency to stand trial, mental state at the time of the alleged offense, sex offender evaluations, violence risk assessment, capital sentencing, expert testimony and others.  Fellows may also attend law school classes by ILPPP faculty and affiliates.  Within the UVA Forensic Clinic at ILPPP, the forensic fellow collaborates with faculty to conduct intensive forensic evaluations addressing criminal forensic issues (e.g., competence, sanity, risk assessment, capital sentencing, sex offender sentencing, and other less common evaluations).  Fellows typically have some opportunity to assist in civil forensic evaluations (e.g., psychological injury) and other forms of consultation  (e.g., threat assessment) as well.

Overall, fellows who train at both WSH and ILPPP are exposed to a variety of referral questions, criminal defendants, and approaches to forensic evaluation. Depending on their background and expertise, fellows  may assist with training other mental health professionals or psychology trainees.  Fellows may participate in research projects with ILPPP faculty, or initiate their own.  Dr. Daniel Murrie directs the fellowship and the work at ILPPP, while Dr. Brian Kiernan directs the work at WSH. Both sites feature several other psychologists and psychiatrists involved with the fellowship.

The fellowship may span two years, with the possibility of a second year as a senior fellow, for fellows who have completed licensure and performed well.

Clinical Focus (80%)

  1. Inpatient forensic assessment of patients hospitalized on the Forensic Service of WSH
  2. Clinical consultation at WSH
  3. Outpatient forensic assessment through the Forensic Clinic at ILPPP
  4. Testimony and consultation

Educational & Professional Development (10%)

  1. Participate in weekly UVA-ILPPP seminars and case conferences
  2. Participate in ILPPP training curriculum, including:
    • Basic Forensic Evaluation Training
    • Juvenile Forensic Evaluation
    • Violence Risk Assessment Training
    • Juvenile Risk Assessment
    • Sex Offender Evaluation Training
    • Capital Case Evaluation Training
    • Insanity Acquittee Evaluation
  3. Meetings with the Program Director and postdoctoral fellows across sub-specialty areas during the academic year to discuss administrative issues and professional development.

Research Focus (10%)

  1. Develop original research in an area of Forensic Psychology
  2. Participate in an ongoing research project through either WSH or UVA

Core Faculty

  • Daniel Murrie, Ph.D. (ILPPP)
  • Brian Kiernan, Ph.D. (WSH)
  • Elisha Agee, Psy.D. (ILPPP)
  • Scott Bender, Ph.D., ABPP-CN (ILPPP)
  • Sharon Kelley, JD, Ph.D. (ILPPP)
  • Lucy Guarnera, Ph.D. (ILPPP)
  • Brett Gardner, Ph.D. (ILPPP)

Current Fellow

  • Sarah Fishel, JD, PhD
  • Gabrielle Trupp, Ph.D.

Application Deadline for Forensice Psychology

 Applications are due by January 3, 2024


Daniel Murrie, Ph.D.
Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy
P. O. Box 800660
Charlottesville, VA 22908-0660
(434) 924-8308