General Information: Conference Goals,
Format, and Expectations
The conference provides students with an intimate setting where graduate students in psychology can receive critical, supportive feedback from other graduate students and African American faculty as they present their research and research ideas. The conference provides valuable professional development experiences and offers unique opportunities to network with other graduate students from around the country. The conference achieves these objectives through student paper presentations and poster sessions and special professional development sessions targeted specifically for graduate students in psychology whose research focuses on African Americans and communities of color. Paper presentations and poster sessions have been specifically designed to elicit interactive discussions about students’ research. Experts will also conduct workshops and panel discussions related to such topics as funding and career options for Ph.D.s in psychology. Finally, the conference will offer a number of social events and opportunities to allow for more informal interactions.
The key to the success of the conference is its intimate setting. In order to achieve this intimacy, the conference is limited in the number of students that can be accommodated. To make the conference affordable, the cost of participants’ lodging and meals is greatly subsidized. Previous conference participants report that they gained a great deal from the feedback that they received from their presentations. However, the most rewarding experiences came from interacting with others about their ideas, learning how others think about and do research on similar topics, learning about other research areas and ideas, etc. As a result, ALL CONFERENCE PARTICIPANTS ACCEPTED ARE REQUIRED TO ATTEND ALL CONFERENCE ACTIVITIES during the full conference period. Although students do not have to present in order to attend the conference, priority will be given to students submitting paper or poster sessions.
The conference offers two formats for students to present their research—paper presentation and poster presentation. Both formats will provide students with the opportunity to present their research to and receive feedback from the entire conference. Students who wish to present their research will choose whether they prefer to present a paper or a poster. Every effort will be made to accommodate the preferences of the presenters. However, since the conference can only accommodate a finite number of paper presentations, some people who submit a paper abstract may be asked to present a poster in order to allow for the most students to participate. The sessions are structured as follows:
Paper session format – Within a single 1-hour paper session, two presenters each will have 15 minutes to present, followed by a 30-minute discussion/feedback period with session attendees. Students are encouraged to present completed research, but presentations of research in progress or developed research proposals will also be considered.
Poster session format - Each 1-hour poster session will consist of 12-14 posters. The sessions will be interactive, with poster presenters actively discussing their research, answering questions, and addressing comments from attendees. All attendees will attend the poster session so that each poster will receive a great deal of attention and feedback.