Scott Roesch, Kaplan Postdoc Administrator

In order to help define and establish the Kaplan Post Doctoral Fellowship, an ad hoc committee composed of Psychology Department Faculty and SDSU administrators was formed. This committee developed the policies and procedures governing the fellowship. The committee determined that the Kaplan fellowship would be a departmental fellowship with the objective of preparing the fellow for an academic position; that at the end of the two years the fellow would be prepared to conduct independent research, obtain extramural support, and teach.

The scholarly focus of the Oscar Kaplan Postdoctoral Fellowship is on the risk and protective factors associated with mental and physical health during adulthood and later life. This focus includes topics related to the etiology and maintenance of mental and physical health problems, the prevention and treatment of mental physical health problems, and health disparities.  

Much of the mentoring responsibility will fall upon a single faculty member—the primary mentor—with relatively less support and participation by other faculty. (It is possible, of course, that two faculty members who have strong collaborative projects would provide appropriate primary mentorship.)  A three person Guidance Committee consisting of the primary mentor and two others will have oversight responsibilities. The Guidance Committee will provide critical evaluation of the fellow’s progress and provide whatever additional support he/she might need.

Appropriate Mentors

The primary mentor should:

·       be a tenured faculty member of the Department of Psychology,

·       have had adequate experience supervising postdoctoral fellows,

·       have a program of research related to some aspect of developmental science

·       have an active research program that is currently funded.

The other faculty members of the Fellow’s Guidance Committee will be selected by the fellow and primary mentor together as stated in 8) below.

Operating Procedures

1.)   All members of the departmental faculty will be notified and have the opportunity to declare an interest in becoming a primary mentor.

2.)   Interested faculty who meet the eligibility criteria will be listed on the formal program announcement.

3.)   The announcement will be widely distributed to professional organizations such as American Psychological Association, Association for Psychological Science, and the Gerontological Society of America and presented on the departmental web site.

4.)   In the pursuit of intellectual diversity both for the program and the experience of Kaplan Fellows themselves, SDSU doctoral students and PhD recipients will not be eligible to apply.

5.)   A Selection Committee will be appointed by the Department Chair in consultation with the faculty to review applications.

6.)   Interested applicants will submit a vita, three letters of reference, and a one-page cover letter outlining research interests related to scholarly focus of Kaplan Fellowship (physical and mental health in adulthood). In the cover letter, the applicant will also identify any eligible faculty with whom they would like to work.

7.)   Selection Committee reviews applications and identifies potential applicant/faculty matches. Potential mentor matches are contacted by the Selection Committee to determine if they are willing to work with applicant(s).

8.)   Applicants with completed applications (vita, letters of reference, and cover letters) that match with an interested eligible faculty mentor are then reviewed to determine finalists.

9.)   Selection is based on quality of applicant’s vita, letters of reference, research match with an eligible faculty member and on the degree to which the applicant’s research interests match with scholarly focus of Kaplan Fellowship.

10.)   The Selection Committee will select one to three finalists from the available applicants. Finalists will be interviewed by the Selection Committee.

11.)  Once an applicant is selected from among the finalists to be the next Oscar Kaplan Postdoctoral Fellow, he/she will work with faculty mentor(s) to develop a research plan (3 to 5 pages) to be submitted to Department Chair and Kaplan Administrator within first two months of the award (Due November 1st of first year).  

12.)   The fellow and mentor will together select two additional faculty members to serve on the Guidance Committee.

13.)   The Guidance Committee will meet each semester to review the fellow’s progress.

14.)   There will be a mandatory review at the end of the first year with the second year contingent upon a favorable review.

15.)   The fellow will present a research colloquium in the second year.

16.)   The fellow will teach a minimum of one course during the second year.

17.)   The fellow will complete and submit a research proposal during the second year (or sooner) with the goal of securing independent support for continuing work at SDSU or elsewhere.