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Department of Psychiatry

Department of Psychology
 

Developmental Psychobiology Research Group

Current Newsletter - Fall 2014


MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR

 
September 2014
 
Welcome to the fall DPRG seminar series.
 
Hello DPRG Community –
 
Fall is here and another academic year begins!  On behalf of the Executive Committee and the Advisory Board, I’d like to welcome you back to the Developmental Psychobiology Research Group Seminar Series.
 
It is our hope that our twice-monthly DPRG Seminars will foster a sense of community and connection for researchers across all levels of career development.  Our goal is to provide a forum that encourages and supports the multi-disciplinary collaborative research projects that contribute in meaningful ways to scientific knowledge.  Tied closely to the fellowship program that supports the early career development of extremely talented and promising investigators, we want the DPRG seminars to promote active discussions that are relevant to all, regardless of a person’s area of interest. 
 
We are very fortunate to kick off this year’s program with an outstanding lead speaker – David Olds, Ph.D.; Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Prevention Research Center for Family and Child Health.  To learn more about Dr. Olds and his incredibly active research group, please see:  http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/medicalschool/departments/pediatrics/research/programs/prc/Pages/PreventionResearchCenter.aspx
 
A working version of the seminar program for the rest of the year is provided below and is expected to be finalized in the next few weeks.  We are excited to hear about the projects of the DPRG postdoctoral fellows and to host investigators from the Anschutz Medical Campus, the “downtown” UC Denver campus, the University of Denver, and Colorado State University.  We have tried to bring in new faculty at these institutions whose research interests are compatible with the mission of DPRG.  We hope to encourage collaborations across campuses, as well as disciplines.
 
We recognize that everyone is very busy, juggling multiple responsibilities and roles.  Research funding continues to be challenging to obtain and busy scientists may be tempted to use every waking minute to proof a paper, improve a grant application or check off some administrative tasks.  And yet, as we all know, science is actually a social process and interaction with colleagues – both within and outside of our specific areas of interest – is essential for innovative project development and implementation. 
 
In an effort to meet this objective, we’ve revised the guidance we provide to our potential speakers. 
 
Here’s a snippet of what we’ve asked our seminar leaders to consider: 
 
We like to hear about projects in the planning stages, particularly if the speaker can identify a few key questions for discussion.  Given that seminars are regularly attended by scientists from various disciplines, presenting at DPRG can be an opportunity to obtain helpful perspectives on projects in the development stage.  As such, our members tend to enjoy focused “works-in-progress” presentations, with approximately half the time (i.e., 30-45 minutes) devoted to a presentation and half to discussion.  We recognize that most speakers have more experience delivering finished/polished talks, so we’ve included a few examples of a “works-in-progress” seminar at the end of this document.
 
We value discussion and interaction.  Our group is relatively small, with 20-40 participants attending most seminars, thus meaningful discourse is possible and encouraged. 
 
We appreciate a brief introductory overview of your research topic, delivered in a way that can be understood by colleagues from other disciplines and thus generate rich cross-disciplinary dialogue.
 
We are interested in hearing about innovative research that is reflective of a variety of scientific perspectives (e.g., biological, behavioral, public health) and methods (e.g., observational, psychophysiological, informant-based). 
 
Regardless of scientific discipline, we are interested in development.  Most of our members study dynamic processes, complex systems and interactive models in animals, people or systems and many of our discussions reflect this developmental orientation.
 
 
Please also remember that participants who attend 50% or more of the seminars are eligible to apply for small grants (up to $7500) from the Developmental Psychobiology Endowment Fund (DPEF).  These funds can be used to jump-start new endeavors or enhance existing projects.  Please see our website for application dates and guidelines (http://medschool.ucdenver.edu/psychiatry/dprg)
 
We welcome your feedback on this year’s program and look forward to lots of lively discussions and active interdisciplinary collaborations. 
 
Sincerely,
 
Susan Hepburn, Ph.D.
Executive Director DPRG