Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology Fellowship

The Vanderbilt Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology Fellowship is a one- or two-year intensive clinical and research training program, accredited by the UCNS (United Council for Neurologic Specialties), that prepares its graduates to enter a wide variety of careers in behavioral and cognitive neurology. We seek motivated candidates who wish to build on both clinical and research interests in a collaborative environment. 

The program provides the opportunity for clinical exposure to a variety of cognitive subspecialties. It can be tailored to focus on the clinical and research interests of the fellow, such as Huntington's disease and normal pressure hydrocephalus. Attendings in the Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology Division are involved in a multitude of diverse research projects, which are open to active fellow participation, ranging from frontotemporal lobar degeneration, Alzheimer's disease, and progressive supranuclear palsy. Faculty and fellows work closely with colleagues across related divisions and departments, including neuropsychology, neurosurgery, psychiatry, and geriatrics. While the division only hosts one fellow per academic year, opportunities for collaboration, crossover didactics, and networking are available with fellows in other subspecialties. 

Fellows train primarily at Vanderbilt University Hospital with a focus on the outpatient clinics and research experiences. They gain exposure in specialized clinics including the Huntington’s Disease Center of Excellence and the Vanderbilt Memory & Alzheimer’s Center. They participate in varied educational experiences, including weekly didactics, such as behavioral and cognitive neurology case discussions. Fellows are encouraged to participate in national and international conferences (where faculty often present abstracts), such as the Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Conference, the American Academy of Neurology, and the International Neuropsychological Society. The fellowship program has a 100% boards pass rate. 

The attending faculty includes nationally recognized clinicians and researchers who specialize in studying and treating various dementias. Recent awards that faculty members have received include the prestigious Norman Geschwind prize from the American Academy of Neurology, and the Vanderbilt Faculty Research Scholars program (which includes a former division fellow). The faculty is deeply invested in the education and training of fellows and foster a collegial, collaborative, and productive learning environment.

Research OpportunitiesResearch Opportunities

Flexible research opportunities are available based on the interests of the fellow. Read more about the research interests of Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology faculty.


For questions about the fellowship application, please contact Francesca Rutherford Smith.

Dr. Lealani Mae Acosta, MD
Program Director