As Seen in the Psychology Today and
Heard on the Hello PhD Podcast!
Pages: 300 pages
Publisher: The Center for Reinforcing Early Academic Training and Enhancement (CREATE)
ISBN: 978-1-7344425-0-2 (print)
ISBN: 978-1-7344425-1-9 (ebook)
Product Dimensions: 6 X 9 inches
Publication Date: April 07, 2020
Research isn’t all elegant study designs, accurate data collection, and sophisticated equations. Researchers must also communicate their ideas and findings with scholarly audiences, and do so effectively. These audiences are no different from those found at your local theater: They understand each paper you write or talk you deliver insofar as it tells a compelling story. Yet, your storytelling doesn’t stop with a single paper or talk. Scholarly records span years and multiple pieces of work. Successful researchers learn to synthesize their records to tell a larger story: a research program. In this book, Andres De Los Reyes describes how narrative tools commonly used in film help you build a research program. Tailored to the lives of early career researchers, these tools reveal keen insights into working with mentors, navigating peer review, and nailing the job talk that launches your career.
Table of Contents
Praise for The Toolbox
"How did I get here? Do I really belong? What on earth do I do next? Such are the questions that huge numbers of young researchers constantly ask themselves. In The Early Career Researcher’s Toolbox, De Los Reyes provides vivid and cogent answers to these compelling professional, even existential questions. Using metaphors from film and contemporary media, he lays out ‘three acts’ of actionable objectives around which emerging investigators can make progress to embark upon their careers. Replete with vignettes and actual early-researcher questions and experiences, this book will provide both inspiration and concrete tools for trainees and early-career researchers across the sciences."
-- Stephen P. Hinshaw, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology, UC Berkeley and Professor of Psychiatry, UC San Francisco; Editor, Psychological Bulletin (2009-2014); Recipient, American Psychological Association Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award (2020)
"The old adage ‘publish or perish’ has not changed, but it now has valuable nutrition attached to its fragile bones. De Los Reyes, feeding from his annual Future Directions Forum, provides the diet for success. In sage and readable style, De Los Reyes leads the novice to discover what drives them, to learn how to manage the publishing world, and to tell a compelling story about their work. Using classic and recent film as a parallel set of illustrations, and laced with personal experiences, De Los Reyes’ guidance in The Early Career Researcher’s Toolbox is both general and individually germane. This readable, useful, and valuable book demystifies early career tasks for future emerging academics."
-- Philip C. Kendall, Ph.D.
Distinguished University Professor and Laura H. Carnell Professor of Psychology, Temple University; President, Association for the Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (1989-1990); Editor, Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice (2003-2010)
"Easy to read, full of practical advice, and from the perspective of someone who has done it all, De Los Reyes offers an outstanding volume to explain what everyone needs to know, but no one may teach you in graduate school. Following from his Future Directions Forum, designed to offer professional development for graduate students in clinical psychology, this book is indeed a toolbox of terrific guidance and easy-to-follow steps that readers will come back to again and again as their career progresses. De Los Reyes uses a fun, approachable, and non-intimidating style to help future scholars find a research topic, work productively through graduate school, and ultimately land a faculty job. Every student will want this book!"
-- Mitch Prinstein, Ph.D.
John Van Seters Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of North Carolina; Editor of The Portable Mentor (2012); Author of Popular: The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World (2017)
"Opening this book feels like stepping into the living room of a close friend and curling up on their couch with a cup of tea and a blanket, except that friend is a very wise mentor who is about to give you the key to making it as an academic. Using movie and solar system analogies, Dr. De Los Reyes has managed to demystify and drill down into bite-sized tidbits concepts that can seem intimidating on their face. By leading the reader through this step-by-step career development process, Dr. De Los Reyes provides an invaluable service to trainees – the material in this book is an antidote to the imposter syndrome that plagues nearly all trainees at various points in their careers, and may be particularly helpful for first generation graduate students and those from backgrounds underrepresented in the academy. I intend to add it to my must-read list for first year graduate students and grad school-bound senior psychology majors."
-- Jessica Borelli, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychological Science and Director of Graduate Admissions, UC Irvine; Associate Editor, Journal of Child and Family Studies
"An academic career has the rare distinction of offering simultaneously perhaps the most rewarding and the most inscrutable of all career paths. A rite of passage in academia has long been the search for kernels of wisdom to guide those embarking upon this career along their way: ‘How do I do this? Where do I begin? How do I know if I'm on the right track? What do I do to make this career - this life - as rewarding as possible?’ These kernels have always been squirreled away in disparate points along one's academic journey, with the early career academic never knowing if they have truly learned what is most essential - until now! In this indispensable - and eminently readable - guide, De Los Reyes manages to masterfully and elegantly package virtually all of the most important bits of wisdom needed for an early career academic to truly thrive - to find success, nourishment, and joy in one's work. Any one chapter of this book would be a profound gift for the next generation of scholars - as a whole, De Los Reyes offers an inestimable contribution that is sure to be an instant necessity for young scholars everywhere! Moreover, this book provides essential guideposts and reminders to mentors regarding how best to support and engage in honest dialogue about how best to meet the needs of all trainees, making it an equally invaluable addition to the well-worn bookshelves of even the most established scholars as well!"
-- Matthew Lerner, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology, Stony Brook University; Recipient, National Institutes of Health’s Biobehavioral Research Award for Innovative New Scientists (2016); Recipient, Society for Research on Child Development’s Early Career Research Contributions Award (2019)
"Dr. De Los Reyes’ The Early Career Researcher’s Toolbox is a true gift to our field’s future. Too often, students receive high-quality guidance on how to gain admission to competitive doctoral programs, only to face the more opaque challenge of ‘succeeding’ as a scientist—and determining what ‘success’ really means!—upon arrival. This book offers a roadmap for students and early-career researchers as they navigate this complex task. Its chapters demystify academic systems and structures, from navigating peer reviews to crafting job talks, and offer wise guidance on developing a ‘research identity’ and finding awe and meaning in one’s work. Its inclusion of anonymous scientists’ own stories and experiences, from graduate students to early-career faculty, renders content all the more motivating and relatable. I will be thrilled to share this resource with my own doctoral trainees for years to come!"
-- Jessica L. Schleider, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychology, Stony Brook University; Selected as one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Healthcare (2020); Recipient, National Institutes of Health Director’s Early Independence Award (2019)
"De Los Reyes has translated his careful observations of how to thrive in academia with humor, generosity, and a wealth of real-world examples in The Early Career Researcher’s Toolbox. We are lucky he has used his talents to develop and support emerging academics and I am thrilled that he has turned many of the ideas previously shared at the Future Directions Forum into a book to aid early career scholars. This book is ideal for new scholars and their mentors alike! I plan to cover this chapter by chapter with my students and trainees as they learn both the basics on writing scientific articles and responding to peer reviews as well as framing their larger questions and motivations for their work."
-- Kathryn L. Humphreys, Ph.D., Ed.M.
Assistant Professor of Psychology and Human Development, Vanderbilt University; Recipient, Association for Psychological Science Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions (2020)
"The Early Career Researcher’s Toolbox provides numerous key pieces of advice and many of the tools needed for early career academics to be successful as they transition to doctoral training, post-doctoral work, and their first academic job. Many topics covered in the book are either fully omitted from formal doctoral training or passed down only from one generation of the ‘academic family tree’ to the next in an informal way. This book formalizes the description of these topics and provides tools, as well as concrete examples, to help early career researchers navigate everything from selecting and working with a mentor, to constructing and implementing an effective job talk. The sections on peer review and preparing job talks (and disseminating research more broadly) will be assigned reading for my doctoral mentees moving forward."
--Erica D. Musser, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology, Florida International University; Recipient, National Institute of Health’s Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award
"Through storytelling, personal accounts, practical tools, and real-world advice, Dr. De Los Reyes provides a one-of-a-kind resource that unlocks the secrets to succeeding in academia. Whether you are a student in graduate school or a seasoned faculty member seeking to more effectively mentor students, you will find this book an engaging resource with strategies and tools that you can immediately apply to increase your success."
-- Joshua Langberg, Ph.D.
Associate Dean of Research, Virginia Commonwealth University; Associate Editor, Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology
"The Early Career Researcher’s Toolbox is a must-read for any trainee interested in pursuing a research career. Dr. De Los Reyes draws on his extensive experience as a researcher, mentor, editor, and faculty member to provide helpful guidance and a remarkable array of resources for early career researchers spanning from the abstract (e.g., identifying the “burning question” that guides your research) to the practical (e.g., responding to peer review comments). Reading this book felt like suddenly receiving an instruction manual after years of struggling to figure out the unspoken rules of academic publishing and hiring. If you have ever dreaded responding to a critical peer review, or feared having to articulate your entire body of work in a job talk, this book is for you. I finished this book feeling inspired and equipped with a new set of tools to tackle these challenges. I wish this book existed earlier in my training."
-- Ilana Seager van Dyk, M.A.
Doctoral Graduate Student, The Ohio State University
"The Early Career Researcher’s Toolbox is an invaluable professional development resource for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows planning to pursue an academic career. Personally, it has changed the way I think about my own work. It helped me clearly articulate the core question that has guided my research program over the last 10 years, and the tools it provides will shape the way I prepare presentations and manuscripts moving forward. Learning to communicate through story has also allowed me to discuss my work more effectively with others both in and outside of my field. This book is engaging and fun to read, with clarifying metaphors and concrete examples for each of the academic tools that are introduced. The advice it provides will influence how I mentor others throughout my career; I plan to give a copy of it to each of my future graduate students when I become a faculty member."
-- John L. Cooley, Ph.D.
Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Colorado
"If only this book had been around when I launched my career! It could have spared me many blind alleys and clueless moments. This book answers questions a budding academic might feel too naïve (you aren’t!) to ask and provides information you might not even know you need (until you read this critical compendium). Dr. De Los Reyes’ writing is captivating, clever, comprehensive, and contains all the elements needed to prepare for academic success. I plan to share this book with all my mentees!"
-- Mary A. Fristad, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, The Ohio State University; President, Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (2009, 2012); President, American Board of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (2011-2013)
"Dr. De Los Reyes is one of the most dedicated and successful mentors of his generation. He’s facilitated the careers of countless trainees in psychology, and we are incredibly fortunate for his commitment to mentoring. This book is chock full of wisdom about how to succeed in academic psychology. It is a must-read for young scholars!"
-- Gregory E. Miller, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology, Northwestern University; President, Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research (2015-2016); Associate Editor, Psychosomatic Medicine (2008-2011)
"As someone who is in the early stages of their career and will be going on the job market in the near future, The Early Career Researcher’s Toolbox was a very timely read. I found the information easy to follow, intuitive, and thought-provoking. After reading this book, I have started to think about how to frame my research according to the principles that Dr. De Los Reyes clearly presents. With the Trilogy Technique Tool, I feel confident that I will be able to tell a compelling story about my work that will ensure that my job talk is clear and persuasive. Furthermore, the templates provided to guide researchers through the journal publication process are a unique resource, particularly for people early in their career who have had less exposure to the nuances of peer review. I will undoubtedly use these many times in the future to increase the likelihood that my work is published!"
-- Kara Christensen, Ph.D.
Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Kansas
"As an Emerging Academic, I am incredibly lucky to have directly benefitted from the professional development tools described in The Early Career Researcher’s Toolbox; therefore, it is very exciting that these tools are made accessible in a book! De Los Reyes’ book is easy to read, and I felt as if I were sitting in his professional development workshops or having in-person conversations with him. Metaphors and examples throughout the book clearly illustrate the point, and worksheets and tips make the book extremely practical and useful. This book is a wonderful guide and resource at all stages of academic career, as it uniquely captures how to navigate through years as early career researchers and the key components of building a successful research program, as well as how to mentor such Emerging Academics. I will surely be referring to this book throughout my career!"
-- Erin Kang, M.A.
Doctoral Graduate Student, Stony Brook University
"De Los Reyes has outdone himself in this compendium of resources for the early-career academic. He draws on a wealth of knowledge and expertise on establishing one’s research program to provide a much-needed and easy-to-use resource. Reading this book early in one’s training will no doubt help students increase their productivity and have an impact on the field. It will surely be the dog-eared book on many desks around the country!"
-- Susan W. White, Ph.D.
Doddridge Saxon Chairholder in Clinical Psychology, University of Alabama; Director, Center for Youth Development and Intervention; Associate Editor, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (2014-2019)
"For years, De Los Reyes has built a reputation providing unparalleled professional mentorship and sage career guidance to the next generation of researchers. With The Early Career Researcher’s Toolbox, he has finally consolidated his expertise on this front into a highly engaging book that’s overflowing with invaluable wisdom, direction, and practical tools—all while drawing on effective metaphors and captivating references to superheroes, villains, and Hollywood magic. I wish there had been a book like this when I was starting out. Any emerging academic who is not reading this remarkable work is launching their career at a significant disadvantage."
-- Jonathan S. Comer, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology, Florida International University; President, Society of Clinical Psychology (2019); Recipient, American Psychological Association Early Career Award for Outstanding Contributions to Benefit Children, Youth and Families (2015)
"Dr. De Los Reyes is a generous, practical, and effective mentor. His advice in The Early Career Researcher’s Toolbox reflects that he has not forgotten what it was like to be an emerging academic, despite being a well-established and successful professor himself. This book makes his concrete, well-formulated guidance on how to build a successful research program accessible to a wide audience. The Early Career Researcher’s Toolbox reminds me of Mitch Prinstein’s Portable Mentor, which was my academic bible throughout graduate school. Where The Portable Mentor focuses on specific guidance for becoming a psychologist, The Early Career Researcher’s Toolbox more broadly addresses strategies for developing into an effective scholar. A generation of graduate students, post-docs, and assistant professors will be lucky to have this on their shelves next to other essential references."
-- Molly Crossman, Ph.D.
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Harvard Medical School
"Dr. De Los Reyes offers a very well-formulated guide for how to land a job in the competitive academic job market; he provides this guide in the form of a compelling narrative, as he motivates you to develop your own story. This book is a must-read for early-career researchers who are aiming to weave together the strands of their academic work into a unique program of research."
-- Taylor Burke, Ph.D.
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Brown University
"The Early Career Researcher’s Toolbox is an outstanding resource for young academics. In his easy-to-follow narrative, he demystifies academia’s unspoken rules and processes, including providing outstanding templates, resources, and links for each step along the way. De Los Reyes’ combination of personal examples, anonymous anecdotes, and flow charts make this an essential resource. I recommend this book to students deciding how to choose a graduate program, advanced students responding to pesky peer reviewers, doctoral candidates creating their job talk and hitting the market, and all in between. If you are a soon-to-be-student, graduate student, or young professional, you need this book on your shelf!"
-- Tyler McFayden, M.S.
Doctoral Graduate Student, Virginia Tech
"The Early Career Researcher’s Toolbox offers a much-needed road map to help up-and-coming scientists navigate the earliest stages of their careers. Written in a creative and engaging style, De Los Reyes has distilled years of scholarly research experience into an immensely readable and valuable resource. For before, during, and after doctoral training, this is essential reading at each step along the way."
-- Spencer C. Evans, Ph.D.
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Harvard University
"Awash in practical advice and tools, this revealing book offers insights into key tasks and areas of development for early career researchers. The first-person accounts are illustrative, interesting, and engaging. From selecting a mentor, to responding to manuscript reviews, to dealing with rejection and preparing a job talk, this book is an invaluable addition to the libraries of post-bacs to post-docs. No doubt, I’ll be recommending it to my trainees for years to come."
-- Meghan Miller, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, UC Davis; Recipient, National Institutes of Health’s Pathway to Independence Award
"Dr. De Los Reyes has pulled together a valuable resource that can help remove the trial-and-error process that so many talented early career researchers go through because of the lack of access to quality information and a toolbox to draw from. The metaphors used to parallel mentoring and the experiences early career researchers go through are incredibly helpful to understand the process and tools one can use to progress from playing a role in others’ work to showcasing their own work. The content throughout is as good as gold—the chapters on the peer review process alone make the book worth the read."
-- Clayton R. Cook, Ph.D.
Professor of Educational Psychology, University of Minnesota; Awarded over $10 Million in Research Funding From the Department of Education
"The journey from student to faculty member is all too often mysterious and confusing. Dr. De Los Reyes provides a much-needed and easy-to-read guide on the fundamental steps to landing a faculty job―from identifying doctoral program mentors and successfully handling peer review, to developing a program of research and nailing the job talk. This book is an excellent gift for anyone considering or pursuing an academic career! It is chock-full of countless tips and valuable resources for success in academic research. In fact, the lessons on mentorship and storytelling in research are critical for academics in any career stage. I am thrilled to gift this book to my graduate students and recommend it to all of my mentoring colleagues!"
-- Maggi Price, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Social Work, Boston College; Recipient, Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology’s Future Directions Launch Award
"If senior superhero Tony Stark wrote a how-to guide for emerging superheroes, it would be required reading. And senior supermentor De Los Reyes' The Early Career Researcher's Toolbox ought to be required reading for emerging superacademics. In this book, a master academic storyteller teaches trainees (and all of us) how to build and share the narratives of our science. Chock-full of tips, examples, and engaging metaphors, it is a book I will be recommending for years to come!"
-- David A. Langer, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychology, Suffolk University; Recipient, National Institute of Health’s Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award
"The Early Career Researcher's Toolbox is a fantastic book for anyone who is interested in pursuing a research career in academia. Dr. De Los Reyes provides a wealth of advice to emerging academics, including how to select a good mentor, build a program of research, navigate the peer review system, and prepare an engaging job talk that conveys the progression of your research and where it is headed. The text is very accessible to undergraduate students considering graduate school, as well as those who are already in graduate school or post-doctoral training. Filled with practical examples and relying on tried-and-true principles of storytelling from the film industry, this book is a wonderful resource to anyone seeking tools to succeed in academia. I recommend it highly."
-- Andres Viana, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Houston; Recipient, National Institute of Health’s Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award
"The Early Career Researcher's Toolbox is an ideal read for anyone considering or beginning their journey as a scientist. Through compelling stories and memorable analogies, De Los Reyes discloses these often hard-to-reach truths in a way that is approachable and action-oriented. He meets budding scholars where they are at, and rapidly equips them to navigate academia in a way that will serve both them and their field well. I’m grateful for this toolbox and look forward to sharing this with my students and colleagues!"
-- Christine B. Cha, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology, Columbia University; Recipient, National Institutes of Health’s Research Enhancement Award
"Have you ever wondered whether there’s a manual with a road map to guide you on what you should be doing in graduate school to launch a successful academic career? Are you a mentor to junior scholars and finding yourself struggling to provide advice on the hidden curriculum of academia? If so, The Early Career Researcher's Toolbox is just for you. De Los Reyes has packed this book with concrete advice about how to approach the many milestones faced by emerging academics. For students, this book is an essential companion to the training you will receive from your real-life academic mentors. For mentors, this book is a gentle reminder of what you should be training your students. The “anonymous accounts” humanize the process and remind us that we all have strengths, struggles, big wins, and crushing rejections along the way—the highs and lows of a research career are normal and part of the gig. If you are planning to attend graduate school, currently enrolled, or supervising graduate students, this book is a must-have."
-- Katherine B. Ehrlich, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Georgia; Recipient, National Institutes of Health’s New Innovator Award
"De Los Reyes has created a highly engaging and very useful book full of insider information about the academy for early career folks. The story-in-three-acts made it easy to pick up the book and read at my leisure. Act II in particular was pure gold—an honest account of the highs and lows of the peer review process with some practical advice for all of us. Reading Act II was like sitting down with a trusted senior colleague and experienced editor and getting the scoop. Act III had a similar feel with great advice from new experts—those who have recently been through the job-talk-wringer. I look forward to using this book in mentoring junior faculty and will share it widely among new colleagues in the field."
-- Elizabeth Talbott, Ph.D.
Professor and Department Chair, William and Mary; Co-Editor of the Wiley Handbook of Diversity in Special Education
About the Author
Andres De Los Reyes, Ph.D.
Andres De Los Reyes received his Ph.D. in 2008 from Yale University. He began his career as an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland at College Park. Within 10 years he was promoted up the ranks to Full Professor with tenure. He serves as Director of the Comprehensive Assessment and Intervention Program, where he has provided research training to hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students. Dr. De Los Reyes has over 100 publications, many in career-defining peer review journals in Psychology such as the Psychological Bulletin, Psychological Review, Psychological Assessment, and Annual Review of Clinical Psychology. He has received over $1.5 million in research funding from the Institute of Education Sciences, National Science Foundation, and National Institutes of Health. His service record reveals his passion for education and professional development. In 2019, Dr. De Los Reyes served as Chair of the Board of Educational Affairs of the American Psychological Association, Psychology’s largest organization with over 100,000 members. He serves as Editor for the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (2017-2025), a top-tier journal with subscriptions at institutions in over 30 countries. Over the last decade, Dr. De Los Reyes has delivered innovative, high-quality professional development training to students and early career professionals across the country. He also founded and serves as Program Chair for the Future Directions Forum. This annual event includes a full day of professional development workshops and small-group and one-on-one consultations on all aspects of scholarly work. He has received a number of honors, including the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Scientific Award for an Early Career Contribution to Psychology, and Fellow status at the American Psychological Association and Association for Psychological Science. During the 2020-2021 academic year, he will serve as the Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Mental Health at the University of Regina.