In September, 13 APA/Institute of Education Sciences Postdoctoral Education Research Training (IES-PERT) fellows completed two years of training on the path to becoming the next generation of school-based research psychologists.
"They have done fabulously in terms of grantsmanship, publications and landing good jobs, and met our main goals of bringing new psychologists into educational research," says Center for Psychology in Schools and Education Director Rena Subotnik, PhD, who oversaw the program along with IES/APA PERT Program Assistant Director Jeanine C. Cogan, PhD.
The pilot program, funded by a $2 million grant from IES to APA's Education Directorate, began in the fall of 2004. It matched prominent school-based research mentors with promising young psychologists interested in pursuing teaching and learning research. The fellows worked closely with their mentors to develop research training plans that addressed issues such as the pragmatics of conducting school-based research, reading comprehension, social and moral development and evaluation research on education interventions. Fellows, who each received a stipend of $55,000 per year, also met with each other several times to build relationships-a highlight of the program, they say.
"All of the workshops that APA organized gave us such opportunities to network," says Greta Massetti, PhD, one of the fellows. "We [also] got to speak with deans of education, eminent researchers and people in policy."
These new contacts also helped fellows secure positions after the fellowship, they say. "Every component of program contributed significantly to developing my skills and pushing my career further," notes Massetti who landed an assistant professor position at the University at Buffalo of the State University of New York.
And the jobs fellows accepted aren't just restricted to tenure-track academic positions, says fellow Bridget Hamre, PhD.
"A lot of postdocs feel the only measure of success is getting a tenure-track job," she adds. "Rena and Jeanine were helpful in getting us to think about things we could do with our careers that were more broad."
The IES-PERT fellows and their current positions are listed below.
-E. PackardThe IES-PERT fellows
Amy Bellmore, PhD, assistant professor of education psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Elisa Cappella, PhD, assistant professor in the department of applied psychology at New York University.
Mari Strand Cary, PhD, co-primary investigator on an IES cognition and student learning grant.
Lisa Dinella, PhD, assistant psychology professor at Monmouth University.
Gwen Frishkoff, PhD, IES postdoc at the Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh.
Bridget Hamre, PhD, research scientist at the University of Virginia.
Maria LaRusso, EdD, Fulbright scholar at La Universidad de Los Andes in Bogota, Colombia, and associate research scientist at New York University.
Greta Massetti, PhD, assistant psychology professor at the University at Buffalo of the State University of New York.
Beth Phillips, PhD, assistant professor of educational psychology at Florida State University.
Amy Silverman, PhD, IES associate research scientist.
Heather Warren, PhD, research associate at George Mason University.
Sasha Yampolsky, PhD, clinical/research specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital.