Building and Incorporating Scholarship

10 Aug 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Dear STP ECP Committee,

As an early career psychologist in a primarily teaching role, how can I engage in scholarship?

Please inform,

Searching for Scholarship

Dear Searching for Scholarship,

Academic positions range widely in the percentage of time and effort that is required to spend on scholarship/research. For example, those in primarily teaching roles at research universities (like Molly, Karenna, and Daniel on this very committee) may spend ~80% of their time in teaching and ~20% of their time in service, whereas those at primarily undergraduate institutions may have formal scholarship requirements that range wildly. As ECPs learn the culture of their departments and institutions, it is important to understand what the formal and informal requirements are for scholarship. Sources to help with this issue include consulting your institution’s Faculty Handbook, your department chair, your corresponding dean, and your colleagues who have gone through the promotion/tenure process. Notably, as ECPs, scholarship can also be important to consider if you envision remaining at your institution long-term vs. are thinking you may move to another institution. Maintaining some active scholarship may make you more marketable if you see yourself applying for other jobs in the future, particularly more research-focused positions. As an ECP in a primarily teaching-focused institution, Albee provides some strategies to help build scholarship/research.

Ways to build scholarship: Within the Institution

·        Attend and participate in your institution’s own research day (assuming the institution hosts this event) to support students and understand expectations for mentorship

·        Be part of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) to get ideas of the research process at your institution as well as the types of projects being conducted

·        Volunteer to be a Psi Chi Chapter or Psychology Club advisor so you can mentor students who are bound for graduate school and help them develop publishable research

·        Start a writing group with other early career colleagues and consider collaborating with each other on new or ongoing projects to help move them towards publication

·        Complete any unpublished work from graduate school and if possible, stay connected with your graduate school mentor 

·        Learn more about and consider engaging in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL)

·        Consider running some of your own pilot studies in collaboration with others 

o   Identify offices within campus that may be an avenue for research collaboration

o   Collaborate with psychology colleagues inside and/or outside of the institution who already have established labs and networks (e.g., be a co-investigator on a project across institutions to gather more data)

Ways to build scholarship: Outside the Institution 

·        Be an active member in a division of APA (e.g., APA Division 2/STP

o   Communicate your research interests and career ambitions openly as you introduce yourself to division members (as well as colleagues in your institution) and you may have opportunities for grant projects and/or conference presentations

o   Join a committee to build a potential collaborator network and/or have opportunities for conference presentations (e.g., STP ECP Committee)

·        Attend virtual or in-person conferences (e.g., ACT, TOP conferences) to get ideas for projects and to meet potential collaborators

·        Get on an active listserv (e.g., APA Division 2) and you may find opportunities to review conference proposals or collaborate on  research studies

·        Become a reviewer for a journal in your area of interest (e.g., sign up here to review for Teaching of Psychology) and/or for a journal that you would like to publish in the future for journals to gain experience evaluating psychological studies and to know what to expect when you publish

Ways to weave scholarship into teaching: Within the Classroom

·        Do SoTL research which allows you to use your class/teaching environment to conduct research (e.g., STP SoTL Workshop

·        Identify students in select courses (e.g., Research Methods) and help them develop a publishable product as part of a directed research course or as their senior capstone project

·        Incorporate any data collected from pilot studies or student-led research as class exercises 

·        Have students work together to complete a meta-analysis paper or literature review that could potentially be submitted for publication

Ways to weave scholarship into teaching: Outside the Classroom

·        Be involved in undergraduate or graduate student thesis or dissertation committees and help them develop a publishable product

·        Develop your identity and demonstrate what makes you unique as a faculty member

o   Advertise your research and teaching interests in your classes

o   Be a guest speaker about your area of expertise to other classes/departments

·        Identify local schools/businesses/clinic with which to do service learning activities and collect outcome data for a publishable product 

·        Volunteer to be on the steering or organization committees for conferences and conventions to see what topics are being presented and what projects get accepted

If you are looking for more ideas, we recommend exploring the STP website related to early career topics on scholarship:

·        Becoming a Journal Reviewer 

·        Navigating the Research and Publication Process as a New Faculty Member

·        Advice for Early Career Faculty Members and Graduate Students on SoTL

Lastly, STP’s e-books are informative and helpful in a number of topics including how to build your own research lab, how to engage in SoTL, how to find effective research assistants, etc.

·        Administration of a Student Friendly Psychology Conference: Challenges and Opportunities

o   Mentoring High Quality Student Research for Conference Presentation…and Publication 

·        So you landed a job – What’s next?Advice for early career psychologists from early career psychologists

o   Setting Up a Lab with a Budget and Incorporating Students into Research

o   Engaging Students in Collaborative Psychological Research at Liberal Arts Colleges and Universities

Your STP Early Career Psychologists Committee

Courtney Gosnell, Ph.D.

Karenna Malavanti, Ph.D.

Albee Mendoza, Ph.D.

Molly Metz, Ph.D.

Janet Peters, Ph.D.

Daniel Storage, Ph.D.


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