Read up on Division news

In this issue you’ll find a feature article on divisions and early career psychologists, international affairs convention info and call for APA awards

The Changing Tides

By Oksana Yakushko, Ph.D., CECP Chair, Division Representative

The tide is changing, and Division leaders and members seem to be cognizant that their early career professional (ECP) members are vital to the well-being of the Division. Of course, it is clear that ECPs are the future of the organization, but it seems that only in the past few years concerted efforts have been made to attend to the experiences and needs that are specific to ECPs.

Many of these experiences have not changed from years past… ECPs still have to struggle with starting their careers, starting and balancing families, and discovering their place for involvement in the organization.

However, many things have changed as well, not only in the past decades but in the recent years. For example, in less than ten years, the average debt of a doctoral graduate in psychology grew from approximately $20,000 to nearly $70,000, and a greater number of graduates are completing degrees with debts that near $200,000. The economic downturn of the last few years has resulted in dramatic cut in funding for students, which means that a greater number of them are expecting to graduate with a significant debt. Graduation might not signal the end of financial struggles for many. Academic, federal/state, and private sector jobs are not plentiful.

ECPs consistently indicate that Divisions who are aware of these challenges and create structures that address them for ECPs, gain the attention and appreciation of ECPs. For example, many Divisions have instituted free or reduced fees for newly joining ECPs. But there are other ways as well. The 2010 Division survey showed that Divisions offer such benefits to ECPs as mentorship programs, career starting kits, awards, fellowships, and Convention hours devoted to the needs of ECPs.

But although direct or indirect financial rewards are attractive to ECPs, what has even greater impact is the invitation from the Divisions for ECPs to get involved and become leaders in their Divisions. ECPs, like all other members, wish to feel that the organization represents them, and such representation needs to be visible. One of the best strategies to create such visibility is through ECP-specific leadership positions in the Division. ECP Taskforces or Committees are being created by many Divisions.  These leadership groups can assist the greater Division leadership in addressing the ECP divisional needs. However, many Divisions now also include ECPs throughout their leadership structure. And there are several divisions that are being led by an ECP (or a person who just passed that 7 years mark of being an ECP)!

The Committee on ECPs as well as CODAPAR are invested in supporting divisions in creating new opportunities for ECPs and brainstorming ways to make divisional structure more responsive to ECP needs. I encourage you to reach out to the CECP (my contact information is Dr. Oksana Yakushko). We collect and disseminate information that can support divisions in their efforts to recruit, retain and support ECPs.

The data is striking: ECPs are far less likely to join or stay with a division than other general members. I believe that we can turn this tide and rejuvenate the divisions in such a way that would be attractive to the ECPs. And we at CECP are glad to help you in this effort!

APA Convention Travel Supplement for International Psychologists and Psychology Students

This award covers reimbursement for up to $500 in travel expenses to attend the APA convention in Washington DC.  Eligible applicants are psychologist and psychology students living outside the USA and Canada.
Priority is given to applicants who: 

  • Are from a developing or low income country 

  • Have submitted a conference presentation 

  • Have a funding match (full or partial) from an APA Division 

  • Have not attended an APA convention in the last 2 years 

  • Are an APA international affiliate, international member, or international APAGs member

Please visit the webpage
Deadline April 1, 2011

APA Seeks Nominations for 2012 Awards

Nominate your colleagues now for next year’s annual convention.

APA’s Practice, Science, Education, and Public Interest directorates, and the Office of International Affairs are seeking nominations for the Association’s 2012 Awards.

Winners receive an honorarium of $1,000; the opportunity to present an invited address at APA’s 2012 Annual Convention Orlando, FL, August 2-5, 2012; a waiver of 2012 convention registration fees; and reimbursement of up to $1,500 in expenses related to attendance at the 2012 convention.

The deadline for all award nominations is June 1, 2011.

APA Practice Awards

APA’s Board of Professional Affairs (BPA) seeks nominations for its Distinguished Professional Contributions awards. All nominees must have excellent overall personal and professional reputations. Nominees should not have received disciplinary action from a state board of examiners in psychology and must have no history of ethical violations at the state or national level. Please send nomination materials for all categories to Sheila Kerr at the APA address. You may also reach her by phone at (202) 336-5878 or e-mail. For additional information, please also visit the Practice Directorate page.

For each award, nominators should provide a detailed narrative statement of no more than 300 words on the nature of the contributions and focus of the nomination and an up-to-date resume and bibliography. Endorsements from other individuals or groups are encouraged. Also, nominators of award winners will be responsible for preparing a 100-word award citation. All nominees must have excellent overall personal and professional reputations.

The APA Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Applied Research is given to a psychologist whose research has led to important discoveries or developments in the field of applied psychology. To be eligible, this research should have led to innovative applications in an area of psychological practice, including but not limited to assessment, consultation, instruction, or intervention (either direct or indirect). Research involving the original development of procedures, methodologies, or technical skills that significantly improve the application of psychological knowledge and provide direct and immediate solutions to practical problem areas will be considered, as will research that has informed psychologists on how better to observe, define, predict, or control behavior. Original integration of existing theories or knowledge is also eligible for consideration.

The APA Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Independent Practice. The award is intended to recognize outstanding independent practitioners in psychology. Nominations will be considered for psychologists working in any area of clinical specialization, health services provision, or consulting, and services provided to any patient population or professional clientele in an independent setting. Services provided to diverse client groups or patient populations, including but not limited to children/adolescents/adults/older adults; urban/rural/frontier populations; minority populations; and persons with serious mental illness will be considered. Contributions may be judged distinguished by virtue of peer recognition, advancement of the public’s recognition of psychology as a profession, relevant professional association honors, or other meritorious accomplishments denoting excellence as a practitioner including advancement of the profession.

The APA Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Institutional Practice. The award is intended to recognize outstanding practitioners in psychology. Nominations will be considered for psychologists working in a wide variety of institutional practice settings (e.g. schools, military, state hospital, Department of Veterans Affairs, etc.). Services provided to diverse client groups or patient populations, including but not limited to children/adolescents/adults/older adults; urban/rural/frontier populations; minority populations; and persons with serious mental illness will be considered. Contributions may be judged distinguished by virtue of peer recognition, advancement of the public’s recognition of psychology as a profession, relevant professional association honors, or other meritorious accomplishments denoting excellence as a practitioner including improvement of institutional service delivery systems or development of psychologically informed public policy.

APA/APAGS Award for Distinguished Graduate Student in Professional Psychology is awarded on an annual basis by BPA and the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) to a graduate student who has demonstrated outstanding practice and application of psychology. A qualified candidate must demonstrate exemplary performance in working with an underserved population in an applied setting or have developed an innovative method for delivering health services to an underserved population. Nominees may have received their doctoral degree at the time of nomination provided that accomplishments for the award were achieved while a graduate student. Eligible candidates are encouraged to apply from all psychology sub-specialties (e.g., clinical, counseling, organization, school, health) and can be self-nominated or nominated by an APA member. However, all self-nominations must be endorsed by an APA member who serves the function of a nominator.

Each applicant must submit a summary of no more than 1,000 words regarding their work with an underserved population that must include a description of the student’s work with this population, the status of the underserved population and number served, nature of psychological services/work done and its impact on addressing the needs of the identified population. In addition, nominees are expected to identify why the group they have worked with is considered underserved. Applicants must also submit a curriculum vitae, a letter of support from a member of APA and, in the instance of a self-nomination, verification that the endorser will serve the role and complete the functions of a nominator.

The nominator/endorser will be expected to prepare the text for the award citation, attend the APA Annual Convention (at his or her own expense), serve as chair of the winner’s award address, introduce the award recipient and prepare the written introduction for any APA publications wishing to publicize the award.

APA Science Awards

The Committee on Scientific Awards invites nominations for its awards program. Nominations for all three award categories should be sent to the Science Directorate at the APA address. Questions about the awards program should be directed to Suzanne Wandersman at (202) 336-6000, by e-mail, or by visiting the Awards, Honors and Research Funding page. Members of the committee, former recipients of the awards, and the president and president-elect of APA are ineligible. For a list of previous award winners, see the November 2011 American Psychologist or the website.

The Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award is presented to candidates who have made distinguished theoretical or empirical contributions to basic research in psychology. The Distinguished Scientific Award for the Applications of Psychology is presented to candidates who have made distinguished theoretical or empirical advances in psychology leading to the understanding or amelioration of important practical problems.

For these awards, nominators should include in the letter of nomination a statement addressing the following questions: Describe the important theoretical and empirical contributions that are usually attributed to the nominee, and the impact of these contributions on the field; Compare the nominee with others in her/his field, including others who previously have received a Distinguished Scientific Award; and Describe what influences the nominee has had on students and others in the same field of study (where possible, identify the nominee’s students by name).

Nominations for these awards will not be considered without the following: a letter of nomination, a current vitae, the names and addresses of three or more scientists familiar with the nominee’s work; a list of the nominee’s ten most significant and representative publications; and three reprints representative of the nominee’s contribution.  All material can be submitted electronically.

Distinguished Scientific Award for an Early Career Contribution to Psychology recognizes excellent young psychologists. For the 2012 program, nominations of persons who received doctoral degrees during and since 2002 are being sought in the following areas:  cognition/human learning; psychopathology; health; developmental; and animal learning and behavior, comparative.  These areas should be interpreted broadly.  The Awards Committee is particularly interested in nominees who are female and from underrepresented groups.  Winners of this award will be invited to attend an awards ceremony in 2012 at the convention, but are not expected to present an award address.

Nominations for the Early Career Awards will not be considered without the following: a statement on the contributions and promise of the nominee (maximum of two pages in length), a current vita, and up to five reprints representative of the nominee’s contribution.  All material should be submitted electronically.

APA Education and Training Awards

The Board of Educational Affairs is requesting nominations for the following awards. All nominations must include a letter of nomination citing the award for which the nomination is made and outlining the contributions of the nominee, two letters of support, and curriculum vitae. Send nominations and supporting materials to Sharon Leiss, Education Directorate, at the APA address. Questions about the awards should be directed to Sharon Leiss by e-mail or at 202-336-5970.

Award for Distinguished Contributions to Education and Training recognizes psychologists who have engaged in teaching/training as the primary employment during their career. Psychologists will be selected for this award on the basis of their documented positive influence on the education and training of students; engagement in important research in education and training; development of effective materials for instruction; establishment of workshops, conferences, or networks, of communications for education and training; achievement and leadership in administration that facilitate education and training; and activities in professional organizations that promote excellence.

Award for Distinguished Contributions of Applications of Psychology to Education and Training recognizes psychologists for evidence-based applications of psychology to education. To be considered for this award, the candidate must demonstrate a contribution to new teaching methods or the solution of learning problems through the use of research findings or evidence-based practices. Particular emphasis will be placed on the use of psychological knowledge to improve learning in educational settings (including pre-kindergarten to 12th grade) and/or in communities.

APA Public Interest Awards

The Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest (BAPPI) invites nominations for the 2012 APA Public Interest Awards. The Committee on Psychology in the Public Interest Awards will evaluate each nomination based on the extent to which the nominee has exhibited knowledge and/or experience with the criteria identified in the above description of each award.  Nomination letters for each of these awards must clearly explain in 500 words or less the basis for the nomination, including a description of how and why the candidate is uniquely qualified to receive the award.  The letter must be accompanied by a copy of the nominee’s current vita, and letters of support from at least 3 people familiar with his or her work.  Nominees may also submit 3-5 selected representative reprints, or alternative types of samples of work such as Internet based communications, or legal briefs.  Nominations and supporting material should be sent to: Ms. Donnie Graham at the APA address.

The APA Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest (Senior Career) recognizes an individual that earned his or her doctorate degree more than 15 years prior to the date of the nomination and whose single extraordinary achievement or a lifetime of outstanding contributions have met one or more of the following criteria:  (a) courageous and distinctive contribution(s) in the science or practice of psychology that significantly supports efforts toward a solution to one of the world’s intransigent social problems; (b)  distinctive and innovative contribution(s) that makes the science and/or practice of psychology more accessible to a broad and diverse population; and (c) an integration of the science and practice of psychology that serves the public interest and advances social justice and human welfare.


APA Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest (Early Career) recognizes an individual that earned his or her doctorate degree 15 or fewer years prior to the date of the nomination and whose single extraordinary achievement or a lifetime of outstanding contributions have met one or more of the following criteria:  (a) courageous and distinctive contribution(s) in the science or practice of psychology that significantly supports efforts toward a solution to one of the world’s intransigent social problems; (b)  distinctive and innovative contribution(s) that makes the science and/or practice of psychology more accessible to a broad and diverse population; and (c) an integration of the science and practice of psychology that serves the public interest and advances social justice and human welfare.


APA Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Public Policy honors a psychologist who has made a distinguished empirical and/or theoretical contribution to research in public policy, either through a single extraordinary achievement or a lifetime of work dedicated to informing public policy through psychological understanding.  Examples of relevant achievements would include research leading others to view specific national policies differently; research demonstrating the importance of the application of psychological methods and theory to public policy; or research clarifying the ways scientific knowledge of human behavior informs public policy.

APA International Awards

Nominations and supporting materials for the following international awards should be sent to the Office of International Affairs at the APA address. Questions about the awards should be directed to Sally Leverty at (202) 336-6025 or by e-mail. For more information, please also see the Office of International Affairs website.

Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology.

APA’s Committee on International Relations in Psychology (CIRP) is seeking nominations for the Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology. This award recognizes distinguished and enduring lifetime contributions to the international cooperation and advancement of knowledge in psychology. Nominees for this award can be from any country but do have to be psychologists and must be a member or affiliate member of the Association. Nominations should include a supporting type-written statement of up to 500 words that traces the nominee’s cumulative record of enduring contributions to the international advancement of psychology; a current vitae, a list of relevant publications and letters of support from three to five people familiar with the nominee’s work.

International Humanitarian Award recognizes extraordinary humanitarian service and activism by a psychologist or a team of psychologists, including professional and/or volunteer work conducted primarily in the field with underserved populations. “Extraordinary humanitarian services” is defined as professional activities initiated by psychologists, working alone or in association with others, to help alleviate severe stress and restore psychological well-being to a group of people in a variety of difficult circumstances, including but not limited to survivors and/or victims’ families following a significant event such as a natural or person-induced disaster, a national or international incident, a civil war or a forced migration; or to a community of any size in which long-term political, economic, social and/or other circumstances have caused severe stress and psychological problems for a substantial portion of that community.

Nominees can be from any country and need not be APA members. Recipients are individual psychologists or teams of psychologists working under the aegis of local, national, and international organizations that provide psychosocial and humanitarian services. Nominations should provide ample and clear documentation to substantiate extraordinary service that has improved the lives and contributed to the well being of people in either large or small geographic areas anywhere in the world. Documentation should include, but is not limited to, descriptions of the difficult conditions constituting severe threats to the security, stability, welfare or development of communities; specific actions, including personal risk, taken to improve conditions; demonstrated skills, knowledge, dedication and persistence brought to bear on work within specific communities; and the social and political activism displayed in rebuilding or transforming communities and/or fostering the empowerment of community members to act on their own behalf.

Applications will be screened by APA’s Committee on International Relations in Psychology, which will make recommendations to APA’s Board of Directors for its designation of the awardee. Applications must include a letter of application; a 500-word narrative description of extraordinary humanitarian services and activism within specified time frames; a curriculum vitae; three letters of recommendation; and other supporting documents deemed essential to a full presentation of the applicant’s work.