Early Career Investigators

Pre-Meeting Workshop for Trainees

As part of the American Psychopathological Association (APPA) Annual Meeting, we hold a half-day meeting for undergraduate and graduate students as well as postdoctoral fellows involved in training or training programs. Workshops are training sessions typically taking place on the Wednesday before the Annual Meeting. The next APPA Annual Meeting will take place on March 2-4, 2023. 

This event offers students, fellows, trainees, and faculty from different universities and organizations to meet and get to know each other. In the past, the workshop was held in conjunction with the APPA Annual Meeting as a forum for joint meetings of NIMH-T32-funded psychiatric epidemiology and biostatistics training programs. Over the past few years, the workshop has extended to a broader range of training programs relevant to psychopathology and mental health, including substance abuse epidemiology, social epidemiology, aging epidemiology, etc.

Faculty members briefly present on the training program at their university, followed by a 15-minute presentation given by one of their fellows or trainees of their work, followed by questions and discussion. NIH staff also present 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 provides everyone with a chance to interact more informally. The connections made at past workshops have sometimes led to junior scientists’ positions or fellowships and new research collaborations.

Round Table Discussion

Each year a roundtable is held for trainees and early career investigators which is devoted to the experiences and questions of trainees and early career investigators. The informal discussion offers junior attendees an opportunity to meet and learn from more senior APPA members. Discussion topics include grant funding, establishing collaborations, and fellowship and job searches. Senior participants share insights from their varied career development trajectories. Early career attendees ask questions, share feedback about their experience at the meeting, and benefit from meeting peers connected to APPA.

This event is facilitated by the APPA Officers and Council members. Importantly, participation in this event among early-career Annual Meeting attendees has grown steadily over the past five years. This roundtable is a popular event that helps to create community connections for junior members and meeting attendees.

Mentorship Program

APPA is excited to support a mentorship program again in which we matched junior meeting attendings with mid-career or senior-level mentors. Each year, numerous trainees and early career attendees share how they appreciate the chance to connect with a more seasoned member of APPA. This program offers a way for new or junior attendees to feel connected to the meeting and organization and form potential mentorship or collaborative relationships in the field of psychopathology. How attendees connect before, during, or after the meeting is flexible. We have a virtual platform called Gather Town that allows for one-on-one or small group conversation – kind of like a virtual coffee break – available during breaks throughout the meeting.