From the Science Student Council

Science Student Council at the APA Annual Convention

Diverse programs are specifically geared toward the interests of science-oriented graduate students.

By Michael Dunbar

The American Psychological Association’s (APA) Science Student Council (SSC) will be hosting several exciting and informative panels, symposia and presentations at the APA Annual Convention 2012 in Orlando, Florida, for science-oriented graduate students. These programs cover a range of topics including: cutting-edge student research, networking strategies, non-traditional job opportunities, securing research funding, and interdisciplinary and translational psychological research. There is something for everyone! Make sure to check out these five great sessions at convention.

Psychological Science Idol (PSI): 6th Annual Datablitz –  Saturday, August 4, 2-2:50 p.m. 

Session Chairs:  Natale Sciolino, SSC Behavioral Neuroscience representative and  Evgeniya “Jenny” Pavlova, SSC I/O Psychology representative

Who will emerge as your “Psychological Science Idol?” Selected graduate students will present their novel and cutting-edge psychological science in a rapid, blitz-style fashion (two minutes each). A panel of judges will select the best presentation and that student will win a special prize.

Making professional contacts: A scientist’s guide to networking – Saturday August 4, 3-3:50 p.m. 

Session Chair: Rachel Manes, SSC Chair (rising), Developmental Psychology representative

This symposium addresses how to maximize networking opportunities for science-oriented graduate students. Networking strategies are broad tools that, face-to-face and via electronic media, can advance research and practice in many useful ways.

“When I Grow Up”... Nontraditional Career Options – Saturday August 4, 4-4:50 p.m. 

Session Chair: Hallie Bregman, SSC Chair (current) and Clinical Science representative

This panel highlights nontraditional career options for psychological scientists. Job opportunities, job search strategies and career trajectories will be discussed. Careers of panelists include research funding, video games and animal behavior.

Pay Day! How to Find and Secure Research Funding in Psychology – Friday August 3, 3-3:50 p.m. 

Session Chair: Michael Dunbar, SSC Health Psychology representative

Speakers from the National Institutes of Health and American Psychological Foundation discuss grants, scholarships and fellowships available for psychological science research, addressing mechanisms of support and ways to write successful proposals throughout graduate school, post-doc and beyond.

Playing well with others: interdisciplinary and translational research – Friday August 3, 12-12:50 p.m. 

Session Chair: David Kille, Social/Personality Psychology representative

Stay on the cutting edge of research in this symposium. Research is becoming increasingly interdisciplinary, with new fields emerging as combinations of traditionally distinct areas. This symposium will cover how and why to get involved in interdisciplinary and translational research, including talks by leading experts.

The SSC looks forward to seeing you at Convention this year- don’t be a stranger! To learn more about the APA SSC and our activities, please visit our home page.


Michael Dunbar is the health psychology representative on the APA Science Student Council. He is currently a doctoral student in clinical and health psychology at the University of Pittsburgh.