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Glen & Wendy Miller Social Work Fellowship in Neurocognitive Disorders

The Mesulam Center for Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease is offering a one-year postgraduate social work fellowship dedicated to the education and training of social work professionals interested in deepening their knowledge of neurocognitive disorders, developing clinical skills working with persons living with dementia and their families and advancing the ability to conduct academic research.  

We are seeking an exceptional social worker who demonstrates a pronounced interest in working with persons living with neurocognitive disorders and their families and who is able to work in a fast-paced environment. The goal of this fellowship is to produce social workers who will become leaders in this field. 

The fellowship is open to social workers with master’s or doctoral degrees. The fellow will work closely with members of the social work team within the Mesulam Center. We will provide the fellow with ongoing clinical supervision by licensed clinical social workers with extensive expertise working with persons living with dementia and their families.

Learn more below.


 Clinical Experience

The training site is the Mesulam Center and its clinical arm, the Neurobehavior and Memory Clinic. The Neurobehavior and Memory Clinic is located on the Northwestern Medicine campus in downtown Chicago, approximately three blocks away from the Mesulam Center office.

The fellow will participate in the interdisciplinary healthcare team, which consists of neurologists, neuropsychologists, neuropsychiatrists and clinical social workers. The fellow will formulate psychosocial assessments and provide education, counseling and linkage to appropriate community services for persons living with a range of dementias, including Alzheimer’s, Lewy body dementia, frontotemporal dementia and primary progressive aphasia.

The fellow will assist in the facilitation of education and support programs such as:

1) Care Partner Support Groups

2) The Buddy Program

 Academic Component

The fellow has ample opportunities within Northwestern for exposure to formal learning.

1) Social Work in Neurocognitive Disorders Seminar Series.

This seminar series will provide the fellow with a basic understanding of the brain and neurocognitive disorders, the diagnostic clinical evaluation for cognitive disorders, the role of the multidisciplinary team, in addition to biopsychosocial issues and person and family centered care practices across the continuum.  Special attention is paid to health disparities and its impact on families and communities.  The fellow will also become well-versed in helpful community services and therapeutic interventions.

2) Social Work Multidisciplinary Team Rounds

Social work rounds are held weekly, in addition to multidisciplinary rounds where clinical cases are discussed for training purposes.

3) The Scholarly Paper and Alzheimer Day Poster Presentation

This component of the fellowship requires the development of research skills resulting in a polished paper representing a blend of the academic and clinical components of the program, integrating the fields of social work, dementia disorders and healthcare. The paper will also be presented as a poster at the annual Alzheimer Day in May. 

4) Interdisciplinary Opportunities 

There are many continuing education offerings within Northwestern Medicine and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine; e.g., Ethics seminars, Social Work Grand Rounds, Mesulam Center Seminar Series, Schwartz Rounds, Institute for Public Health and Medicine Seminar Series, and more.

 Fellowship Program Objectives

The primary objective of the postgraduate fellowship is to provide one year of intensive specialized training for exceptional social workers who wish to gain knowledge and skill in the field of neurocognitive disorders. At the completion of the training, the fellow’s progress toward this objective will be evaluated through his or her ability to:

  • Demonstrate expertise in the clinical assessment of persons living with dementia and their families.  This goal is evaluated through weekly clinical supervision, review of documentation for quality, accuracy and consistency and quality of case presentation at multidisciplinary and social work team meetings. 
  • Demonstrate the integration of the Fellowship’s Neurocognitive Disorders Seminar Series in clinical work, presentations, community engagement opportunities and research.  This goal is evaluated by clinical supervisor feedback. 
  • Demonstrate the synthesis of academic and clinical work through the writing of a scholarly paper and the presentation of their work in the form of a scientific poster at the annual Alzheimer Day

 Application Process

Qualified candidates submit the following:

  • Personal essay (two pages or less) describing the development of your interest in academic and clinical work with persons living with neurocognitive disorders and their families.
  • Two letters of recommendation from a faculty member and/or supervisor with direct knowledge of your academic background and clinical skills.
  • Your current curriculum vitae or resume.  

Application materials should be sent to fellowship director Darby Morhardt, PhD, LCSW.

2024 Application Timeline:

  • Applications accepted beginning April 1, 2024
  • The fellowship position will be offered with a flexible start date in Fall 2024
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.

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