CRFP Alumni in Their Own Words

Elizabeth Salmon is a postdoctoral Consortium Research Fellow working in the Personnel Assessment Research Unit (PARU) within the US Army Research Institute at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia. PARU researchers focus on developing and evaluating assignment measures and performance assessments for soldiers in the US Army. In a team with other psychological scientists, Salmon’s work centers on updating attitudinal and behavioral measures included in the Tailored Adaptive Personality Assessment System, “an initial entry selection test that measures personality and temperament,” she explains. Salmon also has contributed to End of Training assessments that enlisted soldiers complete upon finishing their initial entry training, which cover measures such as adjustment to Army life, reenlistment intentions, job knowledge tests, and self-reported training performance. Through her large-scale projects in PARU, Salmon has not only expanded the data collection and analysis skills she first learned in graduate school, but also developed new skills including project management, preparing technical reports and briefings, and interacting with different stakeholders.

Justin Nelson is a postdoctoral Consortium Research Fellow working with the Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation (NIBS) team at the 711th Human Performance Wing at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. Nelson conducts neuroscience research on the cognitive effects of noninvasive brain stimulation, investigating whether transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and other technologies “can be administered to improve cognitive performance in our active-duty military personnel,” he says. Nelson’s team has found that tDCS “significantly improves performance in tasks that involve working memory, learning, sustained attention and vigilance, visual search detection accuracy, and multitasking.” In another study, Nelson and colleagues are comparing participants’ multitasking performance while receiving traditional tDCS versus transcranial stimulation through a portable headset. The team’s research findings have been published in numerous journals as well as popular news outlets such as The New York Times, Boston Globe, London Times, ESPN, and The Guardian. Nelson added that as a result of his work with NIBS and the international recognition the team has received, his professional life has flourished.

Isaie Sibomana is a postdoctoral Consortium Research Fellow working with the Molecular Bioeffects Branch at the 711th Human Performance Wing at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. Sibomana has helped conduct studies in several research areas, including sleep deprivation, stress, and metabolism. In one study, Sibomana and colleagues sought to better understand resistance and susceptibility to fatigue by identifying urinary markers that predict an individual’s performance while sleep deprived. In followup studies, Sibomana and colleagues found that participants with high-carbohydrate diets “were more susceptible to fatigue as compared to people [with] diets rich in protein.” Sibomana commends both the Consortium Research Fellowship Program and his colleagues for gathering diverse teams of researchers, emphasizing that a project evolves in different ways when incorporating different perspectives and expertise. Sibomana hopes to continue conducting independent research in a federal capacity and credits his fellowship for helping him acquire the professional and research skills to do so.