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What do scientists gain at APA's Advanced Training Institutes?

Past participants point to new research skills, career guidance and expanded professional networks.

Each summer since the year 2000, the American Psychological Association (APA) Science Directorate has sponsored Advanced Training Institutes (ATIs), which provide psychological scientists, including graduate students, with in-depth experience in state-of-the-art research methods. Each year, approximately 120 scientists enroll in these intensive five-day institutes, which are held at research institutions across the country.

In 2014, APA will again sponsor four institutes that have proven to be very popular:

Rosalyn RokerParticipants in the 2013 ATIs were asked to describe their experiences at the institutes and the impacts on their research, training and career. Rosalyn Roker, a doctoral student in the School of Aging Studies at the University of South Florida, said that “the ATI on Research Methods for Diverse Racial and Ethnic Groups was one of the BEST training programs that I ever attended! The overall training and networking experiences garnered from this program were great and I will definitely be able to utilize some of the information as I progress in my own research. Specifically, the information presented by Dr. Jeannette Johnson related to the NIH grant process has been extremely helpful being that I am in the process of preparing a proposal for a pre-doctoral fellowship. Her information related to being very specific, using current literature for references, and having experienced mentors was helpful, as [was] the sample of feedback from the review of a grant proposal. Additionally, the introduction to secondary data sources through the University of Michigan's Resource Center for Minority Data, presented by David Thomas, will be extremely beneficial as I progress in my research.”

Eric Vatikiotis-BatesonWriting about the ATI on Nonlinear Methods for Psychological Science, Eric Vatikiotis-Bateson, professor of Linguistics and Cognitive Systems at the University of British Columbia, said, “My sincere thanks to everyone involved with this ATI for making it one of the most useful 5 days I've experienced in a long time. The level of professionalism and dedication as teachers, but also as researchers, was phenomenal. The organization, both global and local, was excellent. Everyone was moved along at a good pace without feeling pushed or herded, which is a neat trick.”

Jenalee DoomSimilarly, Jenalee Doom, a doctoral student in developmental psychology at the University of Minnesota, provided positive feedback about her participation in the ATI on Structural Equation Modeling in Longitudinal Research, saying “before the ATI I found that there were many questions that I wanted to investigate but I knew I did not have the statistical tools to do so. During the ATI, the presentations on different forms of SEM (e.g., growth mixture models, latent change score models) were so clear that I could see how I could use them applied to my own research questions and data. The instructors were very attentive to our individual needs and spent time with us modeling our data and helping us to interpret our findings… I am currently using the training I received on a number of longitudinal projects that I had previously not had the statistical tools to complete. These longitudinal modeling skills will allow me to create models that more closely approximate patterns of change over time.”

Shantel L. PowellSpeaking of her experience at the institute on Research Methods for Diverse Racial and Ethnic Groups, Shantel L. Powell, a doctoral student in counseling psychology at the University at Albany, said that “each presentation and activity throughout the institute provided a different perspective. I believe that being exposed to these various ideas, theories, and methods have helped me to become a more well-rounded and relevant professional. Furthermore, the networks and friendships developed throughout my stay have been invaluable and have the potential to last a lifetime.”

Applications for the 2014 ATIs are available at the Advanced Training Institute website and must be submitted electronically through each institute's webpage. If you have any questions, email the institute or call (202) 336-6000.

See also:

APA offers Advanced Training Institutes for summer 2014