Research

DSC00077.JPG Research in community psychology is differentiated by its goals, its methods, and the topics addressed. It is action oriented, with the overarching goal of leading to real change in our institutions, communities, and societies. The Research Council is responsible for the SCRA Research Scholars Program

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SCRA Research Scholars 2020 Program Announcement

The SCRA Research Council is delighted to announce the application period for the 2020 SCRA Research Scholars Program, formerly known as the Research Fellows Program. this period begins on Thursday March 5th and continues through Friday May 1, 2020. A primary goal of the SCRA Scholars Program is to advance the research careers of untenured community psychologists to help them successfully obtain tenure. Ultimately, the SCRA Research Council seeks to enhance the intellectual contributions and increase the number of articles authored by community psychologists in community psychology journals. The untenured community psychologists who may apply for the Research Scholarship may include but  are not limited to community, community clinical, community social, community organizational, community health and community developmental psychologists. SCRA members who are tenure-track faculty in community psychology graduate programs, other graduate programs in psychology that include community psychology, or other graduate programs in public health, social work or education that include community psychology are eligible for the SCRA Research Scholarship. Priority is given to untenured faculty in doctoral programs in or including community psychology as they will be mentoring those most likely to become community psychology faculty.

Two major methods will be used to assist tenure-track SCRA members. First, SCRA Research Scholars may receive up to $2,500 for research expenses over the time they are Research Scholars, i.e., one to two years. Funding will be for research and professional development expenses and will become available once Scholars have selected a mentor and have developed a professional development plan for their time as Scholars. Second, Scholars will have a senior community psychology researcher mentor them on their research plan, progress and related matters for the duration of the Scholarship and perhaps beyond. Mentors will have interests that complement those of the Scholars and a commitment to facilitating others’ professional development. Those who are most likely to be successful mentors for SCRA Research Scholars are those community psychologists who have robust research careers including experience publishing articles in quality journals and obtaining external funding for their investigations. They will also have had some experience with research mentoring. Other forms of support such as cohort calls on topics of shared interest may be developed with the mutual agreement of the Research Council and Research Scholars.

SCRA members who meet the criteria for application are strongly encouraged to apply. Each applicant must submit:

  • A completed SCRA Research Scholar Application Form
  • A Research Scholar Proposal. The successful applicant’s Research Scholar Proposal is no more than 4 pages single spaced in 12-point font. It indicates the applicant’s need for mentoring and for research funding. It includes the activities to be undertaken and the time commitments involved. It is also expected to offer a persuasive rationale that these activities and time commitments are appropriate for: (1) developing particular kinds of expertise the applicant seeks and (2) enhancing the applicant’s community psychology research program in a way that will increase the applicant’s likelihood of obtaining tenure. The applicant is asked to indicate specifically how they will benefit from mentoring and funding. More generally, the successful proposal succinctly speaks to how the applicant’s research career will make a scientific contribution to the field of community psychology.
  • A current Curriculum Vita 
  • The names and contact information of three references who can speak to the applicant’s research ability and potential to make meaningful scientific contributions to community psychology.
  • Three exemplary publications that illustrate the applicant’s best scientific work in community psychology and related areas of scholarship

Applicants need to arrange for the head of their academic unit, dean or department head or chair, to write a letter that speaks to the benefit this Scholar appointment would be to the applicant and to the community psychology training program or the community psychology training effort in the academic unit. Moreover, the letter should speak to the value of the proposed work to the applicant’s academic unit. Also, the letter should indicate what specific research funding and other support the academic unit will offer the applicant during her/his/their time as an SCRA Research Scholar in addition to support already committed to the applicant and to other untenured faculty on the tenure track in the applicant’s academic unit. 

Selection Process and Considerations

The applications will be reviewed by the SCRA Research Council. Considerations for selecting Scholars fall into three categories: applicant qualities, Scholar plans and benefits, and setting support and benefits.

Applicant –What qualities does the applicant bring to the Research Scholar role? These qualities may include:

  • Untenured faculty member on the tenure track with community psychology research interests in a currently functioning community psychology graduate program or a graduate program that includes community psychology at an institution of higher education. Faculty in doctoral programs will be given preference.
  • Research program and record to date
  • Work in the research pipeline and future promise for making a scientific contribution to the field
  • SCRA member and SCRA involvements
  • Performance on  grants and other research support
  • Contribution to diversity including but not limited to race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and disability

Research Scholars-What are the applicant’s plans for the term of the Scholar appointment and what benefits will the Scholar appointment offer the applicant? These include:

  • Overall goals for the Research Scholar during their appointment
  • Methods of seeking those goals
  • Mentoring relationship envisioned including mentor expertise, mentoring activities, expertise mentee seeks to acquire from mentoring, nature and frequency of mentoring interactions for two active people, barriers to effective mentoring (e.g., distance and busy schedules) and how they might be overcome.
  • Mentors: The applicant may know one or more mentors whom s/he/they thinks will be very appropriate and, if so, can mention them in their application. Alternatively, the applicant may know the kind of expertise sought but not specific people. In the latter instances the Research Council will help anyone once selected as a Research Scholar obtain an appropriate mentor. The Research Council will prioritize being tenured faculty, a Fellow of SCRA and other signs of a robust research career in community psychology in selecting experienced, talented research mentors.
  • Benefits anticipated from the funding and from the mentoring dimensions of the Research Scholar appointment for the applicant’s research career, especially obtaining tenure.

Context-How will the setting value, benefit from and support the Research Scholar appointment? This includes:

Support from, value and benefit to the applicant’s academic setting- department and/or college- in the form of a letter from the head of the tenure granting unit-chair/head or dean. In this letter, the head of the academic unit should indicate what support, financial and otherwise, will be provided an applicant, over and above what is currently provided and anticipated, should the applicant become an SCRA Research Scholar.

We anticipate each year at least two new SCRA Research Scholars will be selected and previous and current SCRA Scholars may continue their mentoring relationships.  The Research Council reserves the option of offering fewer Research Scholar appointments if the applicant pool does not yield appropriate candidates. On the other hand, we may offer more unfunded, mentored Research Scholar appointments if the applicant pool yields more than 2 very talented candidates.

The application deadline for all materials including the letter from the academic unit head is May 1, 2020. All application materials should be submitted to: researchscholars@scra27.org . Questions regarding the SCRA Research Scholars Program may be addressed to Chris Keys at ckeys@depaul.edu or Jack Tebes at jacob.tebes@yale.edu . We anticipate that Scholar applicants will be informed of the selection decisions on or before June 15, 2020 and that Scholar appointments may begin starting July 1, 2020.

Download the Research Scholars Application Form Here