Round Table Discussion
APPA for the Trainee and Early Career Roundtable took place on Saturday, March 6, 2021 from 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM Eastern.
This event was devoted to the experiences and questions of trainees and early career investigators. The informal discussion offered junior attendees an opportunity to meet and learn from more senior APPA members. Topics of discussion include grant funding, establishing collaborations, and fellowship and job searches. Senior participants shared insights from their varied career development trajectories. Early career attendees asked questions, shared feedback about their experience at the meeting, and benefitted from meeting peers connected to APPA.
This event was facilitated by Dr. William Stone (APPA Secretary) and Dr. Helen Wilson (APPA Membership Chair), with contributions from other APPA council members. Importantly, participation in this event among early-career conference attendees has grown steadily over the past five years it has been offered. This roundtable was a popular event that helped to create community connections for junior members and meeting attendees.
APPA was excited to support a mentorship program again in which we matched junior meeting attendings with mid-career or senior-level mentors. Last year, numerous trainees and early career attendees shared how they really appreciated the chance to connect with a more seasoned member of APPA. This program offered a way for new or junior attendees to feel connected to the meeting and organization, as well as forming potential mentorship or collaborative relationships in the field of psychopathology. How attendees connected before, during, or after the meeting was flexible. We had a virtual platform called Gather Town that allowed for one:one or small group conversation – kind of like virtual coffee break – available during breaks throughout the meeting.
Pre-conference workshop for trainees
Each year, as part of the American Psychopathological Association conference we hold a half-day meeting for fellows and faculty involved in training or training programs. This year, the half-day training session took place on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 where the rest of the APPA meeting took place on March 4-6, 2021. The 2021 APPA Meeting was held virtually. All registered attendees for the 2021 APPA Annual Meeting were welcome to attend this virtual trainee workshop.
This event offered an opportunity for students, fellows, trainees and faculty from different universities and organizations to meet and get to know each other. This event has traditionally been held in conjunction with the APPA as a forum for joint meetings of NIMH-T32-funded psychiatric epidemiology and biostatistics training programs; over the past few years, it has been extended to a broader range of training programs of relevance to psychopathology and mental health including those in substance abuse epidemiology, social epidemiology, aging epidemiology, etc.
Faculty members briefly presented on the training program at their own university, followed by a 15-minute presentation given by one of their fellows or trainees of their own work, followed by questions and discussion. NIH staff also presented at this workshop, focusing on current institute scientific priorities and issues in obtaining funding, especially at early career stages. A virtual networking opportunity at the end of the afternoon provided everyone with an opportunity to interact more informally. The connections made at past workshops have sometimes led to positions or fellowships for junior scientists and to new research collaborations.