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Clinical and Research Postdoctoral Fellowships – UCLA PEERS® Clinic

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Clinical and Research Postdoctoral Fellowships


OVERVIEW: The UCLA PEERS® Clinic is seeking clinical and research postdoctoral fellows to support numerous treatment and research programs. Competitive applicants will have a Ph.D. or Psy.D. in clinical psychology or a related field, completed an APA-accredited predoctoral psychology internship, and have experience conducting group-based interventions. Note: Special consideration will be given to applicants who are PEERS® Certified Providers and/or who have experience facilitating PEERS® groups.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION:  PEERS® is one of the only evidence-based social skills interventions for neurodivergent youth. As an international program, PEERS® is used in over 150 countries and has been translated into over a dozen languages. Developed at UCLA by Dr. Elizabeth Laugeson, this program instructs youth from preschool to young adulthood about important elements of socialization including making and keeping friends, handling peer conflict and rejection, developing and maintaining romantic relationships, and finding and maintaining employment.  Separate sessions for youth and social coaches (i.e., parents, caregivers, peer mentors) are conducted concurrently for a minimum of 90-minutes each week. Sessions are structured to include homework review, didactic presentation, role-playing demonstrations, and behavioral rehearsal exercises. Social coaches are taught how to assist youth in the development and maintenance of targeted social skills by providing performance feedback through coaching during weekly in vivo socialization homework assignments. Youth are taught important social skills through didactic instruction, role-plays, and behavioral rehearsal during socialization activities. All youth have at least average cognitive functioning and present with a variety of diagnoses including autism, ADHD, depression, anxiety, and other socioemotional challenges. Importantly, all teens and young adults are motivated to learn the skills being taught and are willing to receive social coaching outside of the treatment setting.

CLINICAL TRAINING: Several clinical training opportunities are provided for postdoctoral fellows to conduct group-based and/or individual treatment, as well as intake interviews for the various PEERS® treatment programs including:

  • PEERS® for Preschoolers (Parent-assisted friendship training for children 4-6 years of age)
  • PEERS® for Adolescents (Parent-assisted friendship training for middle and high school students)
  • PEERS® for Young Adults (Caregiver-assisted friendship and dating skills training for young adults)
  • PEERS® Online Educational Groups (Parent/caregiver-assisted friendship training for teens and young adults)
  • PEERS® Online Dating Bootcamps (Parent/caregiver-assisted dating skills training for teens and young adults)
  • PEERS® Weekend Bootcamps (Topical bootcamps include: Conversation Bootcamp, Friendship Bootcamp, Bully-Proofing Bootcamp, Dating Bootcamp, Online Dating Bootcamp)

RESEARCH TRAINING: Depending on the interest of the postdoctoral fellow, there are numerous opportunities to be involved in ongoing research studies with original data collection, or manuscript preparation using archival data. Postdoctoral fellows may also be involved with facilitating research groups for the following studies:

  • PEERS® for Careers (College to career employment program for neurodivergent adults)
  • PEERS® for Dating (Peer-mediated dating skills program for autistic adults)
  • PEERS® L-DOPA (Medication trial incorporating parent/caregiver-assisted friendship training for autistic teens and young adults)

PROFESSIONAL TRAINING: Postdoctoral fellows who have received comprehensive certified training in PEERS® (i.e., PEERS® Certified Providers) will be invited to present on behalf of the UCLA PEERS® Clinic at national and international conferences, workshops, webinars, and in some cases, three-day certified training seminars. Additional compensation is provided for these speaking engagements. Business class travel and accommodations are typically included.

SUPERVISION: Postdoctoral fellows are supervised by the Director and Supervising Faculty in the UCLA PEERS® Clinic, all of whom are licensed, clinical psychologists. There are also opportunities for postdoctoral fellows to provide clinical and research supervision to trainees in the clinic, including pre-doctoral psychology interns, practicum students, as well as graduate and/or undergraduate research assistants.


Dr. Elizabeth Laugeson, Founder and Director


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