Continuing Education Opportunities | VA Charleston Health Care

Psychology Scholarship Program

The MIRECC Psychology Fellowship Program at Charleston VAMC supports the professional development from research-oriented psychologists to clinical researchers in the innovative approaches to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and its comorbidities.

Over the course of the two-year program, grantees receive intensive mentoring and didactics in clinical research skills such as grant writing, research design, and ethics, while receiving supervised clinical training in cutting-edge treatments and programs. The Charleston VAMC Advanced Fellowship Program is affiliated with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC).

The 40-hour week of the scholarship holders includes approx. 10-15 hours/week of supervised, direct service provision, 25-30 hours/week of clinical research activities and 4 hours/week of didactics (including 2 hours of face-to-face care by a licensed psychologist for clinical and research activities). In addition, up to 5 hours/week of administrative experience may be offered to support the professional growth and individual goals of the grantee. Grantees are expected to collaborate with research mentors to develop and implement a research pilot project, publish and present results, and use the latest technology for educational activities and clinical service delivery. Application for independent federal scholarship funding by scholarship holders is expressly encouraged (e.g. VA Career Development Award).

Our current fellows:

Danielle TaylorPh.D


dr Taylor’s research focuses on evaluating mechanisms and consequences of anxiety, trauma and related disorders using psychophysiological techniques (EEG, heart rate, skin conductance, etc.). She recently expanded this line of work to include neuromodulation and secured a pilot grant to evaluate an emerging brain stimulation technique, transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation (taVNS), using multimodal psychophysiology.

Alyssa Jones, PhD


The research program of Dr. Jones focuses on the role of affective vulnerabilities (eg, difficulty regulating emotion) and specific emotions (eg, shame, guilt, disgust) in the development and maintenance of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to inform treatment innovation. She is currently working on a project studying disgust as a predictor of treatment outcomes in veterans seeking treatment for PTSD. During her postdoctoral research, she plans to receive grants to test novel interventions for trauma-related shame and disgust in veterans with PTSD.

Andrea Massa, PhD

Clinical Psychology

dr Massa is currently working on two projects investigating the role of PTSD and alcohol abuse in predicting aggressive behavior and the role of emotional dysregulation in trauma- and alcohol-related intimate partner aggression.

Program Directors:

Dan Gros, Ph.D. ([email protected])

Elizabeth Santa Ana, Ph.D. ([email protected])

Application deadline:

Annually on October 1st

Brochure: MIRECC Fellowship in Innovative Approaches to PTSD and its Comorbidities – Charleston (DOCX)

National page: MIRECC/CoE VA Advanced Fellowship in the Research and Treatment of Mental Illness – MIRECC/CoE

HEROIC Big Rounds

The HEROIC Grand Rounds and Works in Progress is a forum for all researchers interested in HSR&D research. The environment is used to present ongoing research or work, to either disseminate research data and results, or to receive helpful feedback from the HEROIC COIN scientific community for a project idea or a project currently in progress.​

The HEROIC Grand Rounds and Works in Progress Forum meets every 3rd Thursday of the month from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. both online (in virtual format) and in person. The meetings are open to COIN faculty members, non-affiliated faculty members from MUSC or other institutions, and VA/MUSC interns, including postdoctoral fellows and interns, to present their research.​

If you are interested in presenting at our HEROIC Grand Rounds and Works in Progress, or would like to receive invitations and the current speaker schedules, please contact Dr. Elizabeth Santa Ana (COIN Associate Director) at: [email protected] or Ms. Kayla Lamb (COIN Administrator) at: [email protected].

Veterans Research Engagement Board (VREB)

The Veterans Research Engagement Board is a team of veterans of diverse race, gender and background who are interested in research at Charleston VA Medical Center. The VREB is responsible for meeting with HEROIC investigators to review their research questions, provide research feedback, suggest research options and ideas, and raise concerns about various aspects of research projects. Information and feedback from VREB members is distilled into a summary format and is often used directly in research proposals for review with the goal of research funding. VREB members voluntarily meet online (e.g. via the virtual platform TEAMS) once every two months for up to 120 minutes per meeting, and VREB members who are not long-time employees receive a small fee per meeting. HEROIC COIN is interested in recruiting Veteran Volunteers to serve in VREB. An interest in serving in VREB and an interest in research and its impact on veterans’ healthcare is all that is required.

If you are a veteran interested in research at the Charleston VAMC and its impact on veteran healthcare and to inquire about how you can serve in the VREB, please contact [email protected] or Elizabeth.santaana2

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