Providing Professional Development Training for Early Career Scientists, and Showcasing Interdisciplinary Research in Mental Health
The Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (JCCAP)Future Directions Forum showcases new frontiers in mental health, recognizes promising early career scientists doing work in this field, and provides professional development to all who attend the forum.
About the Future Directions Forum
Learning how to do great science requires a toolbox. This toolbox contains tools for effectively communicating ideas and scholarly findings. For making time to produce scholarship. For securing funding for scholarly work. For identifying where and when scholarly job opportunities arise. For getting the offers to start a job and building the record to keep that job. No one takes a class to acquire this toolbox, who has the time? Yet, we still need these tools, so where do we find them? We launched the Future Directions Forum to help you build your scientific toolbox. At the Forum, we offer professional development workshops on all aspects of academic work.
Learning new skills only gets you so far. You need a space to showcase those skills and what you have to offer. Thus, a key element of the Forum is that it raises the public awareness of its attendees. Since our first Forum in 2017, our presentations have been rendered in an all-digital environment. Within this environment, attendees have the opportunity to present their research and interact with other attendees, and we leverage widely used online platforms to enhance the visibility of all this work.
In keeping with our focus on the future of science, we also dedicate time to learning about innovative areas of mental health research, based on featured content from the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (JCCAP). In 2021, JCCAP publishes its 50th volume, and so to commemorate this important milestone in the journal’s history, former editors of JCCAP will deliver addresses on the future directions of work in their areas of expertise.
The Future Directions Forum achieves its goals with five kinds of programming:
Structured professional development workshops about all elements of academic work;
Personalized consultations with seasoned professionals about projects, manuscripts, and grants;
The Forum Science Social and Forum Science Community programs showcase research from early career scientists on a global scale, catapulting the visibility of their work;
The Future Directions Launch Award program raises public awareness of our most promising early career scientists; and
Invited addresses by authors of Future Directions articles highlight innovate research areas.
Professional Development Training
The Forum provides attendees with professional development training that consists of live, interactive workshops on such topics as scientific writing style and productivity, peer review, and preparing training grant applications.
Showcasing Future Directions
At each Forum, four leaders in the field who recently published Future Directions articles at JCCAP give formal addresses on the “next steps” of scientific research in their area of expertise. Following each Future Directions Address, breakout discussions serve as “brainstorming sessions” for new science that builds on research covered in the address. Attendees choose from one of several breakout discussions led by faculty with expertise in the Future Directions content. In advance of the Forum, breakout discussion leaders identify publically available resources for new research (e.g., public datasets, funding announcements). In turn, these breakout discussions yield “deliverables” in that attendees receive guidance on developing both specific research aims, and concrete strategies for securing data or funding to test these aims. This format sparks “omnidirectional” discussions among breakout leaders and attendees about new science linked to the addresses. At our breakout discussions, attendees make the future of science happen!
Digital Poster Presentations
At the Forum, the early career scientists present posters of their research during a catered social event. In advance of the Forum, we prompt presenters to upload a single-slide PowerPoint file of their presentation. We integrate these files into our own digital system to have them ready to present during the Forum Science Social. We render these poster presentations in a 100% digital environment, saving presenters both time and money. Further, this event provides early career scientists with opportunities for “one-on-one” time with the scientists who will deliver addresses and serve as breakout discussants during the Forum.