For many students, summer is a time to take a break from the classroom and work at a job to earn money and gain work experience. Summer jobs are not a break from learning, however. Summer employment, or indeed any employment, practicum, internship, or research experience, can provide opportunities for you to apply the knowledge you learned in the classroom, add to your knowledge base, practice your professional skills, develop new skills, explore career options, solidify your career goals, and expand your network of professional contacts. As many articles in previous issues of Eye on Psi Chi have noted (e.g., Appleby, Keenan, & Mauer, 1999; Cannon, 2005; Grayson & Reedy, 2002; Landrum, 2001; Landrum, 2002), the knowledge, skills, and experience you gain from research, practicum, field, and internship experiences can be important assets when you apply to graduate school or apply for a job.
In the Spring 2005 issue of Eye on Psi Chi, I announced two new internship opportunities that the Psi Chi National Council approved: the Psi Chi FBI National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC) Internship Grant and the Psi Chi American Psychological Association (APA) Science Directorate Internship Grant. These grants not only expand the opportunities for our members to participate in field work that develops valuable professional knowledge and skills, but they also provide an educational experience consistent with the Psi Chi mission to advance the science of psychology. The application forms for these internship grants will be available in the fall but I would like to take this opportunity to describe these internships and encourage you to consider applying for one of them.
The FBI NCAVC internship provides a 14-week unpaid research experience for undergraduate and graduate students in the fall and spring semesters at the NCAVC in Quantico, Virginia. There are now five intern positions each semester. If the NCAVC selects a Psi Chi member as an intern, the Psi Chi member will be eligible to apply for the Psi Chi FBI NCAVC Internship Grant. One $7,000 grant will be available each semester.
The NCAVC conducts empirical research on factors involved in violent crime. Interns participate as team members in all aspects of the research including research design, data collection, data analysis, and publication of results. For example, when NCAVC researchers have identified a type of crime they want to study and operationally defined the variables to be studied, members of the research team search FBI databases, the Internet, and other sources for records of these crimes. The researchers obtain case files and other material related to the cases, code the information, analyze the data, present their findings at staff meetings, and prepare their research for publication in professional journals. The current NCAVC research topics are maternal filicide, sexual exploitation of children, edged weapon homicide, domestic violence homicide, child abduction/homicide, child abduction epidemiology, and serial murder. Research being planned includes paternal filicide and terrorism-related topics.
Psi Chi members interested in this internship must apply through the regular NCAVC application process and meet the NCAVC requirements (see the NCAVC website for details: www.fbi.gov/employment/ncavc.htm). The application deadlines are November 1, 2005 for fall 2006 interns and March 1, 2006 for spring 2007 interns. Details regarding the criteria for the Psi Chi grant and the Psi Chi application form will be published in the fall.
The 10-week paid APA Science Directorate summer internship in Washington, DC will give Psi Chi members the opportunity to gain experience in science administration as well as learn more about the science of psychology. For example, interns might assist with data entry for directorate projects; conduct Internet searches on a variety of topics; write summaries of selected research or issue areas; help construct databases of researchers or topic areas; help develop and implement components of larger projects (e.g., Decade of Behavior initiative, Exploring Behavior Week initiative, PSY21 initiative); help assemble materials for the Summer Science Institute or for the annual convention; sit in on Directorate policy meetings; and/or attend congressional hearings and/or meetings on the Hill. Undergraduate and graduate student members of Psi Chi are eligible to apply for the internship. The Psi Chi National Council and staff members in the APA Science Directorate will collaborate on selecting one intern for the summer internship. The grant will provide $2,000 to supplement the salary paid by the APA. The deadline for the 2006 internship will be in the early spring. Details regarding the criteria for this Psi Chi grant and the application form will be published in the fall.
If you are looking for an exciting internship experience to help you develop marketable professional skills while providing an opportunity to conduct research in psychology or develop leadership skills in science administration, consider these internship options. These grants are just two of the many grants and awards available to Psi Chi members. For information on all Psi Chi grants and awards, go to page 55 of this issue or www.psichi.org.
Appleby, D., Keenan, J., & Mauer, B. (1999, Spring). Applicant characteristics valued by graduate programs in psychology. Eye on Psi Chi, 3(3), 39.
Cannon, J. B. (2005, Spring). Career planning and opportunities: The bachelor's degree in psychology. Eye on Psi Chi, 9(3), 26-28.
Grayson, J. & Reedy, M. (2002, Winter). Success in fieldwork. Eye on Psi Chi, 6(2), 19-20.
Landrum, R. E. (2001, Fall). I'm getting my bachelor's degree in psychology – What can I do with it? Eye on Psi Chi, 6(1), 22-24.
Landrum, R. E. (2002, Winter). Maximizing undergraduate opportunities: The value of research and other experiences. Eye on Psi Chi, 6(2), 15-18.
Summer 2005 issue of Eye on Psi Chi (Vol. 9, No. 4, pp. 5, 7), published by Psi Chi, The National Honor Society in Psychology (Chattanooga, TN). Copyright, 2005, Psi Chi, The National Honor Society in Psychology. All rights reserved.