From the Science Directorate

The Science Government Relations staff, working in conjunction with the Addiction, Treatment and Recovery (ATR) Caucus in the House of Representatives, held the first educational briefing sponsored by the Friends of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) coalition.

Announcing the Summer Science Fellowship Program

The APA Science Directorate is pleased to announce a new program for 2008 -- the Summer Science Fellowships (SSF). An offshoot of the successful Summer Science Institute, SSF aims to immerse advanced undergraduate students in the science of psychology by exposing them to the excitement and promise of the best of psychological science. Our principal objective is to inform these students about the science of psychology and its promise for the future, and help prepare them for the rigors of graduate study in psychological science.

An expenses-paid, intensive summer training program, the purpose of SSF is to allow 12 talented students to be placed in the psychology laboratories of some of the most outstanding researchers in the Washington, DC area for up to 6 weeks. The SSF program gives students an opportunity to explore the intellectual, personal, and social processes of scientific inquiry and to experience cutting-edge psychological research through hands-on laboratory activities. SSF offers promising students the opportunity to equip themselves with skills essential to succeed in graduate school, and gives students who plan to pursue advanced degrees in psychological science the opportunity to be mentored by nationally-known faculty.

The program is expected to run from late June to early August. APA will pay students a summer salary, as well as cover all travel and living expenses. This should make the program financially feasible for most college students.

Eligibility is strictly limited to rising college seniors. Applicants should be psychology majors, although students with related preparation may apply if they expect to enter a psychological science graduate program.

Students from underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply.

The application deadline for this program is Monday, March 3rd, 2008.


APA Advanced Training Institutes Set for 2008

by Nicolle Singer

Sponsored by the Science Directorate, the Advanced Training Institutes (ATIs) are designed to expose new and established faculty, researchers, post-docs, and advanced graduate students to state-of-the-art behavioral science research methods. Each year the Board of Scientific Affairs guides the selection of ATIs, which focus on technologies and tools that are increasingly important to psychological research. Through lecture, labs, and discussions, ATIs tackle the big issues confronting researchers who use (or want to use) these innovative methodologies. ATI instructors make a special effort to cover the diverse ways that emerging approaches and technologies are being applied across psychology, as well as the more specific ways that individual attendees can incorporate these methods into their research areas. Check the Advanced Training Institutes for breaking news about these exciting programs and to apply! Application deadlines begin in early winter. If you have any questions, contact the ATI Administrator via e-mail. or (+1/202) 336-6000.

Structural Equation Modeling in Longitudinal Research
June 9-13, 2008
Charlottesville, VA
This ATI highlights recent methodological advances in the analysis of longitudinal data in psychology using structural equation modeling (SEM). A range of topics will be covered, including fundamental measurement problems, dealing with incomplete data, and new techniques for dynamic analyses. John McArdle directs this popular program, which takes place at the University of Virginia.

Nonlinear Methods for Psychological Science
June 9-13, 2008
Cincinnati, OH
This workshop teaches methods of nonlinear analysis, and provides each participant with the first-hand experience of having analyzed data for nonlinear structure. On the first day of the workshop each individual generates data that they will learn to analyze during the ATI. Continuing access to the software that will enable them to perform further nonlinear analyses is provided by instructors after the ATI. Guy Van Orden directs this program, which is held at the University of Cincinnati.

Research Methods with Diverse Racial and Ethnic Groups
June 23-27, 2008
East Lansing, MI
This ATI will introduce participants to a variety of research methods and approaches that have been used effectively with racial and ethnic minority groups to produce usable and important information relevant to these populations. Topics will include treatment outcomes, attitude assessment, genomics, internet-based research, and more. This ATI is directed by Frederick Leong, Director of the Center for Multicultural Psychology Research at Michigan State University, and takes place at Michigan State.

Geographic Information Systems for Behavioral Research
July 16-18, 2008
Santa Barbara, CA
The objective of this ATI is to introduce the science and technologies of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to psychologists. With a focus on GIS usage in health sciences, cognitive science, counseling, and education, presentations will be made by GIS experts based in departments of Psychology and Geography. Computer lab sessions will familiarize participants with selected GIS software and techniques of Spatial Analysis. This ATI is directed by Reginald Golledge, a leading behavioral geographer, and will take place at the University of California - Santa Barbara.

Using Large-Scale Databases: NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development
August 4-8, 2008
Chapel Hill, NC
This workshop focuses on large-scale datasets, using the NICHD-sponsored longitudinal Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (SECCYD) as the exemplar. Topics include the study’s design, how to use the raw data sets, statistical strategies for large-scale datasets, and data mining in large-scale datasets. A group of SECCYD investigators and data managers lead this ATI, which takes place at the University of North Carolina. This will be the final ATI on this topic during the data collection phase of the SECCYD.


Culture of Service Nominations Due

The APA Award for Distinguished Service to Psychological Science recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to psychological science through their commitment to a culture of service.

Nominees will have demonstrated their service to the discipline by aiding in association governance; serving on boards, committees and various psychological associations; editing journals; reviewing grant proposals; mentoring students and colleagues; advocating for psychological science’s best interests with state and federal lawmakers; and promoting the value of psychological science in the public eye. Nominees may be involved in one service area, many of the areas, or all of the service areas noted above. An individual’s service to the discipline and not a person’s scholarly achievements are the focus of this award. The submission deadline for the 2008 award is March 31, 2008.

Past Recipients
2007: Roxanne Cohen Silver
2006: Robert Balster; Nora Newcombe
2005: Robert Bjork; J. Bruce Overmier

The APA Departmental Award for Culture of Service in the Psychological Sciences recognizes departments that demonstrate a commitment to service in the psychological sciences. Departments selected for this award will show a pattern of support for service from faculty at all levels, including a demonstration that service to the discipline is rewarded in faculty tenure and promotion. Successful Departments will also demonstrate that service to the profession is an integral part of training and mentoring.

Service to the discipline includes such activities as departmental release time for serving on boards and committees of psychological associations; editing journals; serving on a review panel; or chairing an IRB. Other culture of service activities that a department would encourage include mentoring students and colleagues; advocating for psychological science’s best interests with state and federal lawmakers; and promoting the value of psychological science in the public eye. The focus of this award is a department’s faculty service to the discipline and not their scholarly achievements. The submission deadline for the 2008 award is March 31, 2008.

Past Recipients
2007: George Mason University, Department of Psychology; University of Florida, Department of Clinical and Health Psychology
2006: Davidson College Department of Psychology; University of Minnesota, Department of Psychology


Psychologists Discuss Underage Drinking Research on Capitol Hill

by Geoff Mumford

On November 15, Science Government Relations staff, working in conjunction with the Addiction, Treatment and Recovery (ATR) Caucus in the House of Representatives, held the first educational briefing sponsored by the Friends of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) coalition. Steve Breckler, APA’s Executive Director for Science, provided introductory remarks and noted the timeliness of the topic of underage drinking.

Breckler said, “We have learned a tremendous amount about alcohol use across the lifespan, and today we’ll hear a summary of research as it pertains to one critical age group—our children. Importantly, we’ll not only hear about the nature and extent of the problem, but also about promising interventions.”

Further, he noted, “The state of that research is mature and compelling enough that the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General recently released “A Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking.” NIAAA provided the scientific information for the Call to Action, which represents an important collaboration between NIAAA and the highest levels of the U.S. Public Health Service. And because this is the first time such a “Call to Action” has been issued on that topic, yesterday we delivered a copy of the report to every Member of the House and Senate. So I hope that those of you who work up here on Capitol Hill and staff substance abuse issues for your Members will take time to read it.”

NIAAA Director Ting-Kai Li then provided an overview of the lifespan approach NIAAA has developed to anchor its strategic planning and inform its Underage Drinking Research Initiative. APA Fellow Mark Goldman, Distinguished Research Professor and Director, Alcohol and Substance Use Research Institute, Department of Psychology, University of South Florida, followed describing the extent and nature of underage drinking and explained how it can be understood within a developmental framework. APA Fellow Sandra Brown, Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, then discussed her research on intervening with underage drinkers in various settings. And finally, Mimi Fleury, founder of Community of Concern, shared her thoughts on how to take action as a parent, in schools, and at the community level.

For more information about the Friends of NIAAA, contact Anne Bettesworth.