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Berger Fellowship


The Berger Fellowship is a two-year endowed, postdoctoral research fellowship designed to support the career development of professionals who want to become independent investigators in the field of child maltreatment or child welfare. This fellowship was created in 1999 through the generosity of Mr. Wayne Berger who endowed the support through The Kempe Foundation.

Current Kempe Center research opportunities include a randomized-controlled trial of an intervention for preadolescent youth in foster care, policy research studies, and an expanding focus on abuse prevention.  Recent major research activities include developing clinical trials of mental health interventions, conducting developmental risk research, and studying the impact of major child welfare policies on the health, mental health, and development of youth in foster care and kinship care. A focus of the fellowship is to prepare the individual to obtain external funding.  There are also opportunities to collaborate with our multidisciplinary, multi-university developmental psychobiology research consortium and our health outcomes research group.  Supervised clinical experiences are also available if needed to complement the research training.

Past Berger Fellows who have established successful academic careers have included:

Years Fellow Where they are now
​2011-2013 ​John Holmberg, PsyD
Research Associate 
University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine
The Kempe Center
2007-2009 Tali Raviv, PhD

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine

2005-2006 Kimberly Shipman, PhD

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine
The Kempe Center

2002-2004 Patrick Nickoletti, PhD

Associate Professor Human Development and Family Studies
Saint Joseph College,  West Hartford, CT

​2000-2001 ​Anne M Libby, PhD

​Associate Professor Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research
Director Clinical Faculty Scholars Program | Comparative
Effectiveness Research Scholars Program (K12) | Colorado
Mentoring Training Program (CO-Mentor)


For more information on the Berger Fellowship, please contact:

Desmond K. Runyan, MD, DrPH
Professor of Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine
Section Head, Child Abuse and Neglect and
Jack and Viki Thompson Professor of Pediatrics, University of Colorado
Executive Director, Kempe Center
National Program Director, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars®
Children’s Hospital Colorado
13123 E. 16th Avenue, B-390
Aurora, CO 80045
Phone: 303-864-5363   Fax: 303-864-5367
Email: Des.Runyan@ucdenver.edu