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Paths in Psychological Science

Paths in Psychological Science (PIPS)


Welcome! Paths In Psychological Science (PIPS) is a discussion series about psychologists' "true stories", including all the surprising turns, dead ends, wandering, lucky breaks, and mistakes that often characterize development as a scientist. Attendance is limited to trainees (e.g., graduate students, postdocs). Discussions take place in a respectful, informal 'safe space' where the truth is told, advice is given (even if it's rough advice), and all kinds of questions can be asked about science, mentorship, teaching, failure, work/life balance, and so on.

What are the goals of PIPS?

In discussing the variety of professional development experiences that professors and clinicians have had during their careers, this series has two goals for trainees. First, to validate the variation in trainees' experiences with the variety of experiences shared by different psychologists. And second, to share lessons learned and perspective gained from life as a psychological scientist. Most broadly, PIPS aims to reduce "imposter syndrome", to dispel myths surrounding graduate education and academia, and to give trainees greater appreciation for their own paths.

What does a PIPS session look like?

In a PIPS session, the speaker tells their life story (~25 minutes), with an emphasis on past and present struggles, failures, insecurities, conflicts with advisors/mentors, and work/life balance. The rest of the time is dedicated to a free-flowing and informal discussion, moderated by Professor Sokol-Hessner, that follows the attendees' questions.

Where did PIPS come from?

PIPS was founded in March 2017 by Peter Sokol-Hessner, an Assistant Professor in the University of Denver's Department of Psychology. It is based on a program called Growing Up In Science, started by Wei Ji Ma and Cristina Alberini at New York University.