Child FIRST – Focus on Innovation and Redesign in Systems and Treatment

Child FIRST is a research laboratory run by Dr. Bruce Chorpita in the Clinical Area of the UCLA Department of Psychology graduate training program. Admission to graduate school in the Department of Psychology leads to course of study terminating with a Ph.D. in Psychology. During the course of graduate training here, graduate students in the Child FIRST lab can expect to develop expertise in design, dissemination, implementation, and management of evidence-based services for children and adolescents. We are looking for bright and motivated applicants who want to develop as scientists to become truly instrumental in changing the quality and performance of mental health service delivery for children and adolescents.

Individuals interested in graduate school and in working with the Child FIRST program specifically are encouraged to do some or all the following ten steps (in roughly this order):

  1. Get involved in psychology research (preferably clinical) as an undergraduate or post-baccalaureate.
  2. Develop professional relationships with individuals who can write strong letters of recommendations for you.
  3. Read some of the research conducted by our team to see if it is interesting to you. Much of it was written or co-written by graduate students in our program. This paper is one of the best overall for communicating the vision of our work and illustrating three example projects that typify what we do here.
  4. Read other parts of our program website to get a working background on the projects we are doing.
  5. Contact one or more of our current graduate students to find out what our program is like and whether it sounds like a good fit for you.
  6. Come meet our research team if you are in Los Angeles, or visit us at a national conference, such as the annual meeting of the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies each November. Even a handshake helps us get to know you a little better.
  7. Check and see if we are taking new students into our research in the upcoming admission cycle–we usually do, but it doesn’t hurt to check.
  8. Apply to UCLA’s Clinical Psychology Area.
  9. Mention your specific research interests in your personal statement, including your interest to work with the Child FIRST Program and Dr. Chorpita.
  10. Try to remain patient through long process of applying to graduate school, which can be stressful but also exciting. We look forward to the possibility of meeting you, before, during, or after the admissions process. Thanks for your interest in our work and our site!