Putting Psych Science to Work for Government: Office of Evaluation Sciences
Based at the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), the Office of Evaluation Sciences (OES) is a team of interdisciplinary experts that works across the federal government to help agencies build and use evidence. OES provides government-wide expertise and support on leading practices for evidence-building and evaluations, and partners with federal agencies to answer priority questions using rapid and rigorous evaluation. To date, OES has completed over 70 randomized evaluations with dozens of agency partners.
The three presenters in this session have a background in psychological sciences, but they took three different career paths to get to OES. They’ll describe those career paths and the day-to-day work of being part of OES.
You will hear from:
Russ Burnett divides his time between project work and serving as Methods Team Lead at the Office of Evaluation Sciences (OES), supporting the team’s commitment to reliable, reproducible, and transparent methods. He is a cognitive psychologist with a research background in judgment and decision making, causal reasoning, and culture and cognition. Prior to joining OES in 2016, he worked as a social science methodologist at the Government Accountability Office (GAO), where he advised on research design and methods and conducted analysis for projects on a variety of federal programs and policies. Russ has also worked as a survey methodologist for government and private-sector clients. He has a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Northwestern University.
Heather Kappes earned a PhD in Social Psychology at New York University before joining the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in 2012. She is part of the LSE’s Marketing group in the Department of Management, where she teaches undergraduate, graduate, and executive courses on both consumer behaviour (spelled the British way!) and marketing, and motivation and goals. Her current research looks at how adults and children think about wealth and spending, and how those beliefs predict their spending and financial resilience. She uses a variety of methods including lab, online, and field experiments in the UK, US, and elsewhere. Heather is interested in ensuring the quality of research in psychology and related fields, participated in the Reproducibility Project: Psychology and Many Labs projects, and does periodic outreach on science in UK schools with the STEM Ambassadors program. She is a Fellow at the Office of Evaluation Sciences (OES) in 2020-21.
Mary Clair Turner joined the Office of Evaluation Sciences in 2017 and currently serves as a Portfolio Lead. Mary Clair was previously a Research Fellow at the University of Chicago’s Poverty Lab. Her research uses econometric and mixed methods techniques to examine how interventions that target the development of psychological skills or access to social resources impact decision making, particularly during educational transitions such as the transition from high school to college. She draws on insights from human development to focus on sensitive periods of development when interventions may induce the largest effects. At the Poverty Lab, she led an impact evaluation of a soccer-based nutrition and character development program for elementary school students in Chicago. Before graduate school, Mary Clair was a Technical Research Assistant at MDRC in the Young Adult and Postsecondary Education group where she helped conduct large-scale randomized control trials of interventions in community colleges. She holds a BA in Math from Washington and Lee University and a PhD in Human Development and Social Policy from Northwestern University.
Marginalized Graduate Student Survival Kit
Dismantling Systemic Shortcomings in Education and Clinical Training (DiSSECT) is a student-led group dedicated to facilitating anti-racist change in mental health training programs. The group strives to create, compile, and disseminate open-access resources to address program-level systemic shortcomings, while amplifying BIPOC voices. The Marginalized Graduate Student Survival Kit is one such resource in development to help graduate students with marginalized identities successfully navigate their graduate training and academia. During this webinar, we will hear from DiSSECT leaders whose focus is the development of the Marginalized Graduate Student Survival Kit.
Virtual Networking: How to Network and Find Collaborators from Afar
How do you make meaningful connections when research and scientific events are all taking place online? The Association for Psychological Science has partnered with STEM career consultant Alaina Levine to help APS members improve their networking skills and develop strategies to build collaborations online.
At its core, networking is all about crafting win-win alliances where both parties provide value. You may think that “networking” can only take place in person, but this is a myth! In fact, most networking takes place from afar, and in some cases, the individuals may never even meet in person.
In this webinar, learn how to:
- Develop strategies and tactics for finding new collaborators
- Build mutually-beneficial partnerships with professionals across the globe
- Utilize various methods to find and reach out to people
- Nurture critical conversations necessary for collaborations
Careers Outside of Academia
Considering a career outside academia? Join us for an engaging panel discussion with a group of psychological scientists who have chosen careers outside of academia. Panelists will share their own experiences and advice in making the decision to pursue alternative careers and give advice about how students can start taking the right steps now to find jobs in areas like government, technology, and business. Learn how you can position yourself for success!
- Dr. Hotaka Maeda: Psychometrician II at the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners, an independent, not-for-profit organization that monitors the quality of the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination.
- Dr. Iiona Scully: Scientist in Human Factors at Exponent, an engineering and scientific consulting firm.
- Dr. Linsey A. Smith: Director of Research at Cushman and Wakefield, a global commercial real estate services company; was previously Vice President of Consumer Insights at Compass Group, a multinational contract foodservice company.
- Dr. Melissa Smith: Senior User Experience Researcher for Google
- Dr. Mike Winograd: Consultant at ZS, a professional services consulting firm with clients across a range of industries including healthcare/pharma, high tech, and financial services.
Moderated by Ms. Alaina G. Levine. President, Quantum Success Solutions, author, Networking for Nerds (Wiley, 2015), professional speaker and STEM career consultant.
The Basics of Peer Review
This panel is designed to support feedback by the APSSC Executive Board that more students would like to learn the basics of academic review and properly evaluating scientific research. This webinar will feature members of the APS staff editorial team as well as editors from APS journals, and prepare students and early career researchers to participate in the peer review process as both an author and a reviewer.
- Amy Drew, Director of Publications, Association for Psychological Science
- Robert L. Goldstone, Indiana University, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Editor in Chief of Current Directions in Psychological Science
- Erin B. Tone, Georgia State University, Department of Psychology, Associate Editor for Clinical Psychological Science
- Becca White, Peer Review Manager, Association for Psychological Science
Online Research: Tools and Techniques
Scientific research has largely moved from the lab to an online-only event. Hear from a panel of psychological scientists about general methods to conduct research online, how to use data that is already available online to answer research questions, and how conducting online research may impact applications for funding and IRBs.
- Robert Ariel, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Virginia Wesleyan University
- Elise Rice, PhD, Program Officer, Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Program, NIH NIDCR
- Joshua VanArsdall, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Elmhurst University
Path to My Postdoc
How did you get your position? It is probably the most commonly asked question among graduate students. This webinar features a panel of APS members, all of whom share their personal journeys to their postdoc positions. Webinar moderator and STEM career coach Alaina Levine will also participate and give advice about the steps involved in identifying the best opportunities for you, and preparing for your search.
- Joy Geng, Ph.D., Professor, Center for Mind and Brain, UC Davis
- Amy Rapp, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Center for OCD and Related Disorders, Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute
- Katherine Storrs, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher, Abteilung Allgemeine Psychologie, Justus-Liebig-Universität