That's the idea behind the BEA Awards to Advance Interdisciplinary Education and Training in Psychology. The awards recognize education and training programs that are advancing interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary or interprofessional teaching, research or practice in psychology.
At the graduate or postdoctoral level, three training programs won awards this year:
Geisinger Medical Center. The award recognizes the collaboration between Geisinger and the Reach Institute designed to train behavioral health and medical providers in integrated health care at three community practice sites. The program is studying such outcomes as changes in psychologists' behavior and practice, primary-care practice and patient behavior.
LIFE Course. LIFE is a multidisciplinary graduate training program linking the University of Michigan, University of Virginia, University of Zurich and three institutions in Berlin: Humboldt University, Free University and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development. Focusing on the social, behavioral and neuroscientific aspects of human development across the life course, the program promotes interdisciplinary and international enrichment, collaborative mentorship and professional development and mentoring.
University of Florida at Gainesville. The department of clinical and health psychology has a longstanding emphasis on interprofessional education, team-based science and interdisciplinary clinical service delivery. Students and interns learn about other health professions and work with trainees from other University of Florida colleges. First-year students take an interdisciplinary family health course alongside students from nursing, medicine, pharmacy and other programs, for instance. And all students take two public health classes. Faculty also use a team-based approach in their research and practice.
Two awards recognized undergraduate education and training programs:
The College of Charleston. Launched in 2005, the college's neuroscience program is a collaboration between the departments of psychology and biology. The program's objectives include expanded access to high-quality, meaningful research experiences; the development of interdisciplinary lecture and lab courses; strengthened ties with the nearby Medical University of South Carolina; the development of freshman learning communities emphasizing interdisciplinary neuroscience; and support of pre-kindergarten to 12th grade education in this area.
Davidson College. The college offers several interdisciplinary experiences. For example, the curriculum features 15 interdisciplinary concentrations that expose undergrads to information and scholarly techniques from a wide range of disciplines. The college also offers students the chance to develop their own interdisciplinary majors through the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. In addition, a discussion series features keynote addresses by scholars engaged in interdisciplinary research on memory plus comments from faculty in the arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences on how memory is integral to their scholarship and teaching.
Each award-winning program received a $3,000 stipend.
"These awards highlight the growing importance that interdisciplinary work plays in society," says Catherine L. Grus, PhD, deputy executive director of APA's Education Directorate. "The awards are a way to show folks the great work that is already happening and to raise awareness of opportunities to develop interdisciplinary projects in the future, be they research, teaching or practice."