SPP working for you : Convention programming, internship imbalance, and student involvement

Matters of concern to students, such as resources available at APA Convention and the internship match imbalance

By Christopher Cushing

APA Convention

There is an excellent slate of SPP programming at the upcoming APA convention, and the SAB has been working hard to make sure that you have a great student-oriented experience as well. Plan to attend several student-focused events in the SPP hospitality suite. On August 3, join the early-career discussion that focuses on issues important to graduate students late in their training or postdoctoral fellows who are looking to gain a leg up on their career. With our roundtable on “Writing a Winning Grant Application for Graduate Students and Early-career Psychologists,” the SAB’s aim is to go beyond descriptions of the NIH roadmap. We hope that you will come away from the session with a sense of the wide range of funding opportunities available as well as when and why to apply for each of them. We also hope that you will learn about the process of actually writing a grant as a PI. This discussion is designed to be informative to graduate students hoping to fund a dissertation or fellowship and current fellows or early-career psychologists interested in obtaining their first grant. Also on Friday, plan to attend the popular joint student social hour with Divisions 37 (Child and Family) and 53 (Clinical Child).

Internship Match Imbalance

The internship match imbalance is an APA-wide issue that continues to worsen despite assurances from APA and APAGS that the professional community is working to address the problem. At times it seems as though the larger professional organizations are simply not nimble enough to respond to the troubles that face the profession. One of the difficulties of major student issues such as this is that students have a relatively short shelf life in bureaucracy years. By the time a generation of students is professionally developed enough to gain their footing and respond to a policy issue, we tend to graduate and move on to more pressing issues that affect us directly when we become early-career professionals. I am so thankful for the tremendous attention to student issues the SPP Board of Directors devotes on an ongoing basis, but related to the match imbalance in particular. I feel a sense of indebtedness to SPP and leaders like David Janicke and Christina Duncan who took note of the problem nationally and set themselves to doing what pediatric psychologists do best—gathering data to formulate an evidence-based response. Please see the results of their work on p. 12 and join the SAB in a dialogue on our Facebook page to share your stories and gain advice about the final phase of your doctoral training from a few of us who are finishing.

Increase your Involvement in SPP

Recently, I worked with Tonya Palermo and Michael Rapoff to select new SAB members. This application cycle showed a dramatic increase in the number of SAB applications. Truly, the talent pool in the SPP student membership is deep. However, I often correspond with people who are surprised by the wide variety of opportunities that are available for service to SPP outside of the SAB. While I do not have room to discuss them in detail, I would encourage you to be familiar with: The Network of Campus Representatives, Mentored Reviews for JPP, and the benefits of joining and being active in a SIG. Each of these roles is a vital service to the society. We would not be the success that we are without students serving in these roles and fortunately, each one also provides an excellent opportunity for students to gain valuable experience.

I know that each of you have skills to bring to SPP. I look forward to working with you!