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Eye on Psi Chi: Fall 2006
Psi Chi Students: Meet the APA Science Directorate
Virginia E. Holt, Assistant Executive Director for Science, APA

Are you looking for an exciting way to spend your summer in 2007? It isn't too early to begin thinking about internship possibilities, so consider applying for the Psi Chi/American Psychological Association (APA) Science Directorate Internship! The first year of this internship program is underway, and we are planning even now for next year.
Most students are not well acquainted with APA and its internal structure, so it would be no surprise if you wonder why this opportunity would be attractive for undergraduate student members of Psi Chi. Allow me to introduce you... Psi Chi, please meet the Science Directorate!
The APA Science Directorate
The Science Directorate is the unit in the APA Central Office that holds primary responsibility for association efforts on behalf of its many science-oriented constituencies. Think of any of the wide variety of interest areas in psychological science—ranging from basic to applied science—and we do our best to represent them! Our broad mission is to communicate, facilitate, promote, and represent psychological science and scientists. These goals are achieved through programs that:
  • promote psychological science in academic and scientific arenas
  • address ongoing issues and opportunities
  • communicate activities, issues, and opportunities to members and to the public, and
  • advocate on behalf of psychological science.
These are intentionally broad-brush goals. We do our best to organize programs that will benefit psychological scientists at every career stage—whether they are individuals just beginning as students, or those who are fully established in their science careers.
If you visit our website (www.apa.org/science) you will find information about the many student programs that we hope will help serve your needs. The Summer Science Institute (SSI) and Advanced Statistical Training in Psychology (ASTP) programs are exclusively for undergraduate students. For those a little further along, the APA Student Travel Awards, Dissertation Research Awards, and Early Research Awards all recognize excellence in graduate student efforts. Please bookmark the relevant pages on our website!
A bit later in your career, you may want to apply for admittance to one of the Advanced Training Institutes (ATI) organized by the Directorate. These workshops are incredible opportunities to learn about new technologies and methods in psychological science. Both established faculty members and advanced graduate students may apply for these training sessions.
Beyond sponsoring these wonderful programs, our Directorate is the home of a lot of policy making! The Board of Scientific Affairs and its several committees concern themselves with making or commenting on policies that affect the conduct of science. Whether it involves animal research issues, institutional review board concerns, or making sure that psychological science is at the table in emerging areas of scientific inquiry, the Science Directorate is there to represent you.
When it comes to lobbying on behalf of psychological science—we have the best! Five experienced science advocates walk the halls of the federal research agencies and Congress to make the case for psychological science. They bring the latest research findings to these policymakers to help them make informed decisions.
The Psi Chi/APA Science Directorate Internship Grant
Psi Chi and the Science Directorate established our joint summer internship program to benefit an undergraduate student interested in research by taking advantage of the natural linkages between the organizations. Rising college juniors and seniors are eligible. The internship is supported through a regular salary from APA and a travel/living stipend from Psi Chi, making this summer program attractive for all students. While the beginning and ending dates are flexible, APA expects the intern to work for a 10-week period during the summer. Please consult the application for eligibility and finanicial details.
Would you like to be our next Psi Chi/APA Science Directorate intern? The deadline for the 2007 program is January 15, 2007. The application form in this issue of Eye on Psi Chi (see page 47) provides more information about the grant. The form is also posted on the Psi Chi website (www.psichi.org).
* * *
The 2006 Psi Chi/APA Science Directorate intern is Clare Mitchell, a recent graduate of the College of Wooster in Ohio. Here are a few comments from Clare about her intern experience.
At the time of this writing, my internship with the American Psychological Association Science Directorate is half over. And although I do not have an entire summer on which to reflect, I can safely assure anyone wishing to apply for the position, especially anyone with an interest in science policy, that taking the time to complete the application is well worth it. Thus far, I have been engaged in projects that have given me a better understanding of what the APA does, how its different directorates function, and how it addresses and engages in issues of science policy. I have alternated between preparing materials for APA's Summer Science Institute and attending science related briefings and bill markups on the Hill. In fact, APA's Science Policy Office (a part of the Science Directorate) has encouraged me and a fellow intern to attend any Congressional science related events that might be of interest.
Everything that I have absorbed this summer in Washington, DC will no doubt serve me well. Having the opportunity to work at APA and to observe the intersection between science and policy, specifically, has been invaluable and will be something that I take with me as I begin a clinical psychology program at Case Western Reserve University this fall. (C. Mitchell, personal communication, June 26, 2006)

Copyright 2006 (Volume 11, Issue 1) by Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology



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Eye on Psi Chi is a magazine designed to keep members and alumni up-to-date with all the latest information about Psi Chi’s programs, awards, and chapter activities. It features informative articles about careers, graduate school admission, chapter ideas, personal development, the various fields of psychology, and important issues related to our discipline.

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