The present proposal is for twenty-four months of support for the Black Graduate Conference in Psychology (BGCP). The BGCP has been held annually since 1995. The conference was organized with three goals in mind. These goals are to: 1) provide African American graduate students in psychology with a supportive atmosphere to present their research and receive constructive feedback from fellow African American graduate students and faculty that will improve their research capabilities; 2) provide students with an opportunity to exchange strategies and experiences that will help them to thrive in graduate school and beyond; and 3) provide a forum for African American graduate students in psychology to develop long-lasting professional relationships with future colleagues. Each year since 1995, approximately 50 African American graduate students in psychology and African American faculty have participated in the conference. The conference is open to African American graduate students in all areas of psychology. As such, a variety of substantive research topics are presented. Conference activities consist of paper presentations, poster sessions, roundtable discussions and professional development presentations. Abstracts of students presentations are published on a website that is designed to provide African American graduate students with support and valuable information. Students are required to participate in all aspects of the conference. This requirement along with the small size of the conference fosters a climate of support and ensures that students get to know each other. The conference has had a significant broader impact on the field of psychology by playing a vital role in training African American graduate students to become productive and effective researchers. Over the years, more than 20 former participants have gone on to become academic psychologists. The impact of the conference continues to be felt as the research skills and professional contacts that former participants gained from the conference help them navigate the tenure process more successfully. This broader impact will only grow as more African American graduate students get a chance to participate in the conference.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences (BCS)
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Amber L. Story
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University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor
United States
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