The program in Developmental Psychology at the University of Michigan is designed to prepare its students to be creative, proficient scholars who will pursue sound, meaningful basic and translational research careers in developmental science, pursue grant applications, and be excellent teachers and mentors in the future. The program includes 23 core faculty, is in the Department of Psychology with more than 140 faculty, and interacts with other University of Michigan departments and research centers with an additional 38 developmental researchers. Courses and research training opportunities are both broad and in depth within the program, the Department, and the University community. The broad themes of research training within the developmental area include: Transitions across the Lifespan;the Role of Context;Biological Perspectives;Developmental Models and Methods, and Translational Research Integrating Theory, Research and Practice. These themes are actualized in trainee-specific research training in neuroscience, cognitive, language, socioemotional development, and developmental psychopathology. Unique opportunities exist for training in interdisciplinary centers, cross- cultural, and international settings, schools and clinics, and for the application of research to policy issues such as ethnic and gender gaps in educational achievement and socio-economic disadvantage. Support is requested for four predoctoral and two postdoctoral trainees per year for a period of five years, consistent with the number of positions in the previous training period of this NICHD training grant. Trainees are chosen from a highly selective pool of stellar applicants, with special attention given to recruiting students from underrepresented minorities. The record of our graduates has been especially strong, with many of our minority trainees now in prominent professional positions. The program has excellent physical facilities and resources, and we are part of an internationally eminent psychology department with state of the art-equipment and laboratory space available to our trainees.
The developmental psychology program is highly relevant to education through its research on cognitive, language, and literacy development, to mental health problems with its focus on socioemotional development, family process, and relationship research, to social justice with its research on gender, socioeconomic status, and minority health disparities, and overall to healthy development and social adjustment across the lifespan during childhood, school-age, adolescence, the transition to adulthood and aging.
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