Clinical Science

Clinical Science

Our Clinical Science program has the principal goal of training students who can function as clinical psychological scientists. They learn to advance basic knowledge, apply this knowledge to address clinical problems, and disseminate this knowledge to others, becoming successful by excelling in at least one of these domains.

We consider these three characteristics of the program to be integrative (rather than separate) activities, recognizing that clinical scientists frequently integrate activities across research, application, and dissemination within the scope of the same endeavor. The philosophy underlying our training is that rigorous training in clinical science influences how our current students and alumni will perform their work in these areas.

Area spokesperson: Brian D’Onofrio

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A proven model for practicum experiences 

The effectiveness of this approach to practicum training is reflected in the impressive track record of our students who are regularly selected to intern at top research-focused internship sites. We consistently receive feedback from training directors at these sites that our students excel as interns.

History of Clinical Science at IU

The clinical training program at Indiana University has been in continuous operation since 1922. It was one of the first clinical programs to receive training funds from the National Institute of Mental Health. Currently, it is one of only a handful of programs receiving grant support from NIMH for Research Training in Clinical Psychology. It also was one of the first to be fully accredited as a clinical training program by the American Psychological Association. It has received such accreditation without interruption, and continues to enjoy a fully-accredited status.

The clinical program has always been an integral part of a strong Department of Psychology. The department was founded in 1888 as a psychological laboratory by Dr. William L. Bryan, making it the oldest continuing laboratory for psychological research and teaching in the U.S. In addition to the clinical training program, the department offers graduate training in such areas as Cognitive Neuroscience, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Mechanisms of Behavior, Molecular and Systems Neuroscience, and Social Psychology. Many faculty are also part of the programs in Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, and Animal Behavior. There are approximately 42 full-time faculty members and nearly 95 full-time students in the department. Approximately one-third of the students are specializing in the clinical area.


The Clinical Science Program in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University is accredited by two organizations.

We havebeen accredited continuously since 1948 by the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation. For further information on the program’s status you may contact:

Commission on Accreditation
c/o Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation Education Directorate
American Psychological Association
750 First Street NE
Washington, D.C. 2002-4242

In 2015, the program was awarded accreditation from the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS), valid for a period of up to ten years.

For further information on the program's status you may contact:

Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System
1101 East Tenth Street
IU Psychology Building
Bloomington, IN 47405-7007


The faculty members in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences as a whole and the Clinical Science Area in particular encourage and support underrepresented groups in science.

As a Program, we are committed to attracting and retaining students from diverse racial, ethnic, and personal backgrounds. Members of underrepresented groups are particularly encouraged to apply.

We strive to foster a climate that is attractive to a diverse group of students. Faculty and the department have developed mentoring partnerships with several different organizations to increase the number of underrepresented minority students in science. These include:

  • The McNair program, which supports undergraduate students working in research labs in the summer.
  • Collaborating with IU’s Northwest regional campus in Gary, Indiana, for IUNW students to come to the Bloomington campus to spend 8 weeks in faculty labs.
  • NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program in Animal Behavior, a summer research program targeting underrepresented minority students.
  • Funding from the department and the Indiana Clinical Translational Science Institute (CTSI) for a full-time summer minority enhancement research program for high school students, housed in the Department and directed by Dr. Sharlene Newman.
  • University Graduate School’s “Getting You Into IU (GU2IU)” each October (, providing students from diverse background the opportunity to visit the department and meet faculty before submitting their applications.
  • Supporting NIH’s “Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity” (IMSD) program to increase the number of underrepresented minority scientists entering careers in biomedical research.

Two of our current graduate students in the Department applied to IU because of the McNair and IMSD programs.

Student retention

Once students are here, we offer them various avenues of support. For example, our department’s Diversity Advancement & Minority Affairs Committee (with current chair Dr. Mary Murphy) has lunches several times a semester. The Department also has a standing committee (Minority Students) whose charge is to increase recruitment and retention, as well as to develop mentoring and career development opportunities for minority students.

We have developed specific mechanisms to provide academic and career support for diverse students. The university has several graduate fellowships for students with diverse backgrounds, and several students in our department have been awarded these highly competitive fellowships. Furthermore, several of the NIH training grants in the department have funding lines specifically for underrepresented minority students.

Faculty also contribute to the Heller Fund, which provides underrepresented first – fourth year graduate students summer research fellowships, releasing them from summer teaching duties.

Faculty members also encourage and support underrepresented students to apply for F31 NRSA (NIH predoctoral fellowships to promote diversity) and Ford Fellowships. Two clinical graduate students received these prestigious awards in 2014.

In sum, the Department and Clinical Area are actively engaged in activities to attract and support students from diverse backgrounds.

Students also have the opportunity during their training experiences to work with a diverse client population. Clients in the in-house practicums include both student and community members, which results in a client population of diverse socio-economic status and sexual orientation.

For the external practicums students see clients at the IU School of Medicine in Indianapolis, which is city that is diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, country of origin, language, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity. Based on 2010 census data the population of Indianapolis is 61.8% white, 27.5% black, 9.4% Hispanic/Latino and 2.1% Asian. Adult and child patients are typically drawn from all over the state of Indiana, including urban and rural settings.

Facilities and resources

The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences is generously supported with excellent facilities, strong fiscal support from the College of Arts and Sciences, and outstanding resources for the training of psychological scientists.

An administrative assistant oversees excellent technical support, with three support staff for computer software, maintenance, and trouble-shooting. One assistant is responsible for human resources, while another assists with admissions, student records, and graduate advising. The department has its own finance office, in charge of managing requisitions and grant funds. The department maintains fully staffed electronics, woodworking, and metal shops. Faculty have access to these shops simply at the cost of the materials, with labor is covered by the department.

Laboratory buildings

The research facilities available to training grant faculty and trainees are located throughout two adjoining buildings connected by an underground walkway: the 130,000 square foot Psychology Building and two floors totaling 26,300 square feet in the Multi-Disciplinary Science Building II (MSB-II). MSB-II, was built in 2009, and is specifically designed to house at least 10 neuroscience labs, and state-of-the-art animal quarters, including a transgenic facility. All core faculty members have their own research laboratories in these buildings. These labs are supplied and staffed appropriately for their particular research programs. All stretch mentors have laboratory space and resources in their home departments or institutions. 

Trainees generally do their research in mentors’ labs. Since many of the mentors currently collaborate, graduate students commonly work fluidly across labs and in shared space. In addition, the Clinical Science Program in which this training program is nested has shared research space available for trainees who are doing new work that does not match the facilities of their mentor. For example, we presently have a human eye-tracking and eyeblink conditioning system set up in this space for a student who is working across two labs that did not have this equipment. Such equipment is paid for by funds available to the Clinical Science Program, the Department, and faculty.

Imaging Research Facility (IRF) 

The IRF is located of the first floor of the Psychology Building and in the same hallway as the Psychology Clinic. It is home to a 3-Tesla full body MRI, 3 high density EEG systems, an MRI-safe EEG system, MRI-compatible eye-tracking and pupillometry, and a TMS system for MRI-guided stimulation. The lab has the capability for multisensory stimulus delivery & behavioral response. The IRF includes a neuroimaging analysis lab that has 8 workstations for EEG/ERP/neural source modeling, TMS, and fMRI data analysis. The IRF is administratively overseen by the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. The IRF director is Prof. Sharlene Newman, a core faculty mentor on the present project.

Centerstone Research Institute (CRI)

CRI is a not-for-profit research organization/laboratory dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of care for those with mental health and addiction disorders. CRI is headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, just minutes away from the Psychology department. CRI provides research, analytics and evaluation services that help bridge the gap between the scientific discovery of effective treatments and the implementation of these treatments into standard clinical practice. CRI is funded through contracts, grants, foundations and individual donors who share the organization’s commitment to bridging the gap between science and service.  Learn more about CRI at

Stretch mentor, David Ayer, is the Director of Clinical Research at CRI. CRI employs nearly 100 research and IT professionals across seven divisions, including research and evaluation. Since 2004, CRI has helped to implement, and is managing the evaluation for, newly established evidence-based prevention, outreach, education, and treatment services at Centerstone companies that have been accessed by over 75,000 individuals with mental illness.

CRI has assisted clinicians and other staff at Centerstone and partner agencies with project design, identifying evidence-based models for implementation, and staffing needs. Additionally, CRI is conducting evaluation activities that will—through dissemination efforts—inform evidence-based service delivery in other urban and rural settings across the nation.

Neuroscience laboratories

Neuroscience research at IU is carried out in state-of-the-art laboratories that include virtually every modern method used in brain research today. These resources were made available by IU and by support from the Eli Lilly Foundation Inc., which provided over $50 million to IU for life sciences research. 

This support, which has an initial focus on metabolomics and cytomics (METACyt), targets neuroscience as well as genomics, bioinformatics, biochemical analysis, chemical imaging, and computational cytomics. The neuroscience core lab houses equipment for cellular and molecular analyses including: fluorescent plate readers, imaging devices, confocal microscopes, morphology and stereology systems, and mass spectrometry for protein and small molecule analysis by FTMS, Ion Trap, MADLDI-TOF, TOF-TOF, and triple quad mass spectrometers. 

Access to the METACyt core lab in neuroscience is provided without charge to all investigators on campus. Technical staffers are available to help develop assays, operate equipment, and perform experiments. METACyt funds also were used to establish a mouse behavioral testing core to complement our rat testing core. These behavioral cores are fully equipped to permit simultaneous testing in eight adjacent procedure rooms with operant chambers for drug self-administration (16 for rats, 6 for mice), conditioned place preference chambers for rats and mice with video tracking, equipment for automated rodent pain assays, rota-rod for motor testing, and Morris water maze for memory assessment. Both the neuroscience and behavioral cores are located in MSB-II.

IU Psychology Clinic

The Clinical Science Program is centered in a first-floor wing of the Psychology Building and is a prominent feature in the building. It contains special facilities for practicum training, including one staff office, a student workroom with computers, a supply room, six individual and family therapy rooms with observation and video capabilities, and a client waiting room. This space is ample to serve the needs of our Psychology Clinic, which serves students and community members, and is currently undergoing renovations.

Centerstone Community Mental Health Center

Centerstone is the nation’s largest not-for-profit provider of community-based behavioral healthcare, offering a full range of mental health services, substance abuse treatment and educational services in Indiana and Tennessee. In central Indiana alone, Centerstone serves more than 24,000 individuals and families.  In Indiana, the organization’s history spans more than five decades, with annual revenues of $51,600,000.

The Centerstone network includes more than 60 facilities across 17 Indiana counties throughout south and central Indiana. Most of the clients are low income–many with disabilities. Behavioral health services include peer support, telepsychiatry services, substance abuse treatment, health navigation, and case management. 

Centerstone’s services go beyond diagnosis and treatment, and include helping individuals rebound from adversity, build on their strengths and achieve their life goals. The organization seeks to identify new treatments and even eliminate mental illness by participating in groundbreaking research studies with leading universities across the nation. The CARF International Accreditation underscores Centerstone’s commitment to providing unmatched quality of care and a diverse continuum of services.

The largest Centerstone clinic in Indiana is located in Bloomington, about one mile from the Indiana University campus. Several mentors have active collaborations with Centerstone’s clinic in Bloomington, including Cara Lewis, William Hetrick, Peter Finn, Joshua Brown, Brian O’Donnell, and Kay Connelly.

Animal resources

Animal research is conducted in specially equipped and secured areas of the Psychology and MSB-II Buildings, with all of the required health and safety features of a modern animal research facility (e.g., ventilators, cage washers, etc.). A full-time animal caretaker on the staff manages the facility.


The Laboratory Animal Resources unit maintains a secured, 6300 square foot animal facility in the basement of MSB-II. Animal housing occupies 3800 sq ft, and 2500 sq ft is for support resources (such as cage cleaning, surgery, procedure rooms, food/bedding storage, and office space).

The facility is maintained by a staff of full-time animal caretakers and is supervised by Dr. Peper, DVM. Veterinary staff is available seven days per week. Our Department of Comparative Medicine, in coordination with our Animal Care Committee, is responsible for the health and care of all animals used in University teaching and research. They are licensed by the USDA, accredited by AAALAC, and adhere strictly to the animal welfare guidelines established by the NIH.

Computer resources

The IU faculty and students have access to extensive computing resources to meet the training needs for research, education, and clinical care. At the departmental level, all investigators’ offices and laboratories are equipped with personal computers which are kept current using a life-cycle replacement policy. Numerous software applications are made available at no charge to IU faculty through enterprise licensing agreements between the University and its vendors, including Microsoft and Adobe.