Fourteen early career psychologists and grad students attended the 2012 International Congress of Psychology in Cape Town, South Africa, thanks to a mentoring program funded by the National Science Foundation and APA, and co-sponsored by the APA Office of International Affairs and the U.S. National Committee for Psychological Science.
Each participant received a stipend for conference registration and travel expenses, plus the opportunity to attend talks and social events paired with a senior researcher mentor — who received funds to offset his or her expenses as well.
The mentoring program took place at the congress, held in July. This congress — a historical first on the African continent — hosted more than 5,000 participants from more than 100 countries. Its program was very broad, stretching from neuroscience to personality to developmental models, to social effects of discrimination and the social psychology of communities.
In addition to the scientific program, the congress served as a venue for policy discussions and meetings of international psychology organizations. Highlights included the election of Saths Cooper, Congress President and South African psychologist, as president of the International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS) and Tor Levin Hofgaard of Norway as vice president. Oscar Barbarin, APA member and chair of the U.S. committee for IUPsyS, was elected to the 10 person IUPsyS Executive Committee.
There was also an historical meeting of leaders of psychology associations from across Africa, and a call to form a new, Pan-African regional organization to support the development of psychology.