Prospective Students

[* MiSCAN Lab is currently recruiting a postdoctoral fellow and a graduate student. See below for more details.]


Undergraduate Research Opportunities


Dr. Tso accepts UROP and independent studies/honors thesis (Psychology/BCN) students.  All students are expected to commit at least 8-10 hours a week for at least 2 semesters.  Multiple UROP positions are offered on a yearly basis; interested students should apply through UROP.  Psychology/BCN students interested in doing independent studies or honors thesis should email Dr. Tso (please include your CV).  Note that Dr. Tso normally would not take honors thesis students unless they have worked in her lab for a year.


Clinical practica for Clinical Psychology doctoral students


Dr. Tso offers two clinical practica to Clinical Psychology doctoral students.   Both clinical practica are supervised by licensed psychologists (Dr. Tso and/or Dr. Cynthia Burton) and a multidisciplinary clinical/research team.  Students are expected to commit at least 8-14 hours per week for at least 3 semesters.  Interested students should email Dr. Tso and include your current CV and a paragraph summarizing your clinical interests and experience.  Both UM and non-UM students are welcome to apply.

  1. Transdiagnostic Social Functioning Assessment: This practicum occurs in the context of an NIMH-funded R01 research project led by Dr. Tso, aiming to investigate the cognitive and neural mechanisms of social dysfunction in adolescents and young adults with a wide range of psychiatric conditions. Students of this practicum will participate in diagnostic, clinical, and functional assessments with research participants aged between 14 and 30. The major focus of this practicum is acquiring skills in assessing social and community functioning. This will be achieved using standard, structured diagnostic instruments (MINI, ADOS-2) and validated functional assessments (Global Functioning). Because this is a trandiagnostic study, students will have exposure to all kinds of psychiatric disorders presenting with prominent social dysfunction, including (but not limited to) those with syndromal and sub-syndromal psychosis, autism-spectrum disorders, and social phobia. Students will have opportunities to administer, score, and interpret results of of intellectual (WASI-II) and other social cognition tests (e.g., the Awareness of Social Inference Test; TASIT). Opportunities to observe and participate in ongoing group therapy (e.g., CBT, DBT, Social Skills Training, Multi-Family) in the Department of Psychiatry are available upon request. Experience in diagnostic clinical interview and autism assessment is highly valued but not required. Applicants must have completed basic graduate coursework in psychopathology and assessment.
  2. PREP (Early Psychosis) Clinic: PREP serves adolescents (aged 14+) and young adults with psychosis risk syndromes (aka “prodromal,” clinical high risk, or ultra high risk for psychosis) and early psychosis.  It provides specialized evaluation/consultation and evidence-based treatment for patients and families.  Occasionally, we also treat more chronic adult patients with psychotic disorders.  Students of this practicum will receive training in both assessment and treatment of psychosis and common comorbid anxiety and mood disorders.  Provided experiences include: psychiatric evaluation, short-term individual psychotherapy (in particular, CBT for psychosis, anxiety, and mood disorders), family psychoeducation, multifamily group therapy, and educational outreach to schools, community mental health agencies, and non-profit organizations. Applicants must: 1) have completed basic graduate coursework in psychopathology and assessment; 2) have completed at least one year of supervised practicum with a focus on evidence-based treatments, such as CBT, IPT, DBT, ACT, and Motivational Interviewing; and 3) have a current TLLP issued by the State of Michigan throughout the practicum period.  Successful candidates will have the readiness and emotional maturity to work with patients with serious mental illnesses.

Research Opportunities for Graduate Students


Dr. Tso is happy to mentor and collaborate with graduate students in research.  Students who are interested in analyzing and publishing fMRI or ERP data are especially welcome.  Current graduate students who are interested in working with Dr. Tso in her research studies or having her as a research mentor, please contact her directly.   If you are a prospective applicant of the UM Psychology PhD programs, please apply directly to the programs. In years when Dr. Tso is not listed as faculty seeking a graduate student, you should apply to a core Psychology faculty as your primary advisor and identify Dr. Tso as a research mentor you are interested in working with. [*Note. Dr. Tso is taking a graduate student in Clinical Psychology for matriculation in Fall 2021]


Postdoctoral training


Dr. Tso offers post-doctoral training through her MiSCAN Lab as well as the UM-VA Consortium Postdoctoral Psychology Residency Program.

  1. MiSCAN Lab: Dr. Tso is is seeking a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. The postdoctoral fellow will be working with the PI, Dr. Ivy Tso, in an R01 project funded by the NIMH. The study investigates eye gaze processing as a transdiagnostic biobehavioral marker of social dysfunction across the dimensions of psychosis, ASD, and social anxiety in adolescents and young adults aged 14-30. The study uses multimethods, including psychophysical experiments, eye tracking, multimodal fMRI, and Bayesian modeling, to investigate the cognitive and neural mechanisms. The postdoctoral fellow’s primary responsibilities include:

    1) Supervise the study coordinators and undergraduate/graduate students working on the project;
    2) Conduct preliminary analyses of ongoing behavioral, eye tracking, and fMRI data collected in the study;
    3) Present research findings at scientific conferences; and
    4) Assist with writing of federal grant applications.

    The postdoc will also be expected to engage in data analysis, scientific presentations, and publications of one or more of the other projects in the lab:

    1) TMS (theta-burst stimulation) and fMRI investigation of the neural mechanisms of social cognition;
    2) Reward processing in bipolar disorder using fMRI and computational modeling; and
    3) Neural oscillatory mechanisms underlying affective response inhibition in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia;
    4) Error-related neural oscillations across psychiatric disorders in children and young adults.

    This is an ideal position for recent PhD graduates seeking a postdoctoral career of high research productivity (publications, grant writing) to successfully transition to an independent academic research career. Mundane tasks such as subject recruitment, data collection, fMRI data preprocessing, and administrative duties are handled by other employees of the MiSCAN Lab. Excellent internal grant funding opportunities and training courses/workshops (e.g., neuroimaging methods, advanced statistical methods, grant writing) are widely available for early-career researchers within the Department of Psychiatry and the University of Michigan. Dr. Tso is committed to (and has a track record of) mentoring postdoctoral fellows and helping them to develop a successful career in clinical neuroscience research.

    A 2-year commitment is required, with the possibility of renewal up to 5 years depending on satisfactory performance.

    MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Doctorate degree in Psychology, Neuroscience, or a related discipline.

    KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, & ABILITIES: Strong programming skills (e.g., MATLAB, Python, R) and experience with fMRI data analysis are required. Clinical assessment skills and experience with eye tracking, TMS, EEG/ERP data analysis are highly desirable. Candidates should have a track record of research productivity (including scientific publications, presentations, and grant applications).

    HOW TO APPLY: Please send CV (including names of 3 referees) and a cover letter describing your research interests, training & experience, and career goals to Dr. Ivy Tso . We especially invite and encourage applications from members of underrepresented groups, including (but not limited to) racial/ethnic minorities, first-generation college students, and students from low-SES background. Review of applications will start immediately and until the position is filled. Start date is flexible. Please email Dr. Tso if you have any questions about this position.

  2. UM-VA Adult Clinical Psychology Consortium: Dr. Tso is one of the training faculty of the University of Michigan-VA Consortium Postdoctoral Psychology Residency Program (Adult Clinical Psychology track).  The program follows the scientist-practitioner model and emphasizes the training and development of psychologists in a rich interdisciplinary environment who will be able to assume leadership roles in research, teaching, and clinical service.  Postdoctoral residents participate in a core curriculum, evidence-based clinical training, and focused mentored research in a range of areas including mood disorders; women’s mental health; sleep disorders and health psychology; anxiety and related disorders (e.g., posttraumatic stress disorder); substance use disorders; psychotic disorders; primary care mental health integrations; and mental health recovery.  We typically accept four fellows into the consortium each year: 1 University of Michigan adult resident, 2 Ann Arbor VA adult residents, and 1 Ann Arbor VA adult women’s mental health resident.  Residencies are for one year, but opportunities for a second year of training are available in the University of Michigan part of the Consortium.  Applicants must have completed a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from an APA-accredited academic institution by August to be considered for a position starting in September of the same year. For more information about the Postdoctoral Psychology Training program, please contact Dr. Todd Arnedt (UM Training Program Director) or Dr. Beau Nelson (VA Ann Arbor Training Program Director).