Training Program Components
Trainee scholars are matched with a preceptor who serves as a mentor. Trainees and their preceptors meet on a regular basis during the course of the scholar's residency. The preceptors in this program (Sumru Erkut, Ph.D., Joanne Berger-Sweeney, Ph.D., Nancy Genero, Ph.D., Elissa Koff, Ph.D.,and Nancy Marshall, Ed.D.) are all senior researchers who hold the title WCW senior research scientist or the rank of associate or full professor at Wellesley College. In addition, Allison Tracy, Ph.D., and Michelle Porche, Ed.D., WCW research scientists, serve as co-preceptors. Before completing their application, candidates are encouraged to review the current research activities of the preceptors. Upon selection, trainees indicate their first and second preceptor choices. The program directors, in consultation with the preceptors, determine the final matches. A listing of the research interests of each preceptor is listed on the program's main information page.
The training program consists of three components: training and career development; collaborating with the preceptor on the preceptor’s externally-funded research projects; and independent research of the trainee’s choosing conducted under the guidance of their preceptor. Trainees are expected to devote 40 hours a week to the program, of which 20% (the equivalent of one day) is devoted to training and career development seminars, 40% to developing their own research, and 40% to collaborating on the preceptor’s research.
Trainees have opportunities to do research on the following topics (as well as other subjects of their own choosing): psychological health and well being; cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development; family context of development; child-care as a context for healthy development; other social milieu effects; racial/ethnic and mixed-ancestry identity development; sexuality development; puberty; gender development; sequelea of childhood abuse; acculturation; migration effects on development; media effects; and effects of participation in sports — all topics to be researched using data that include under-studied populations.