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«NEWSLETTER SUMMER 2015 We wish all ERU/EADP members sunny and joyful summer! This is the summer 2015 edition of the ERU newsletter in which we share ...»

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Early Researchers Union



We wish all ERU/EADP members sunny and joyful summer!

This is the summer 2015 edition of the ERU newsletter in which we

share many interesting events of our members; most important of these is the

ERU/EADP Writing Week in Romania. We are all extremely grateful to EADP

and Jacobs Foundation, as well as to our local organizer Prof. Dr. Carmen Buzea, Vice Rector of Transylvania University of Brasov for their support in such an important training event for our careers!


Summary of lectures and papers at the 2015 ERU/EADP Writing Week by Francesca Lionetti & Justyna Michałek At the 2015 writing week in Brasov, Romania, a team of scholars actively contributed to sharing knowledge and creating networks for improving the research expertise of each member of the team. The multifaceted picture of competences represented one of the strength of this experience. In the opening talk of Loes Keijsers, each of us shared with enthusiasm what we expected from, and what we were willing to offer to the network of young and senior scholars that participated at this great event.

The scientific program started with a lecture by Elisabetta Croccetti, from University of Utrecht, on the relevance, and the methodological base of reviews and metaanalyses in the developmental psychology field. Her presentation was extremely clear, even in the statistical description of steps underlying the meta-analysis process. She gave us additional recommendations for conducting reliable and state of the art research using the literature in the major scientific databases and gave us directions on how to work on our papers in the subsequent days. At the end of the lecture, we were all enthusiastic about the richness of this overview of the meta-analytic approach, and eager to start (with a more valuable knowledge!) the review of the literature.

After having reviewed the literature, and eventually with some data at hand, the next step comes: writing our paper! The second lecture, by Loes Keijsers, University of Utrecht, was a conceptual continuation of the first and opened the debate on the writing process. Actually, this was a writing week! Precision, coherence, and a great commitment are asked in the process of making our thoughts understandable and attractive in form of a paper. The metaphor of the “grandfather”, i.e., trying to explain each step of your research as you are talking to someone who knows nothing about your plans, made us smile and reflecting in a thoughtful way on the difficult, but nonetheless emotionally rewarding process of making our research effort communicabl

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Our preparation for this event started in 2014. After discussing and brainstorming ideas on our papers, we decided to work on two review papers and one empirical multi country paper to be submitted to the EJDP or other outlets in the field of developmental psychology. We have been working on the proposed papers since September 2014 in order to increase the chance of finalizing and successfully submitting these papers after the Writing Week.

Especially working on the review articles turned out to be very satisfying. We had to develop a strategy for each research topic that we wanted to review. The main activities such as organizing and evaluating, synthesizing literature were shared, and worked on before meeting in Brasov. During the Writing Week we had the chance to discuss our recent work, to improve our tables with results of research articles that were relevant to our topics, as well as to create first drafts of our papers. We also really appreciated the senior scholars support on our work as we believe their comments and suggestions will influence the final versions of our papers.

The three papers are now in the stage of advanced drafts and are aimed to be submitted for

publication in the end of July:

Is There a Paradox of Adjustment in Immigrant Children and Youth across Europe? A Literature Review. (Manuscript in preparation, authors: Dimitrova, R., Bayram Ozdemir, S., Farcas, D., Kosic, M., Mastrotheodoros, S., Michalek, J., Stefenel, D.) The Development of Parental Monitoring: A Critical Review. Manuscript in preparation (Manuscript in preparation, authors: Keijsers, L., Casonato, M., Dellagiulia, A., Hamzallari, O., Lionetti, F., Mocan, O., Moses Pasini, C., Palladino, B., Ranta, M.) Relationships between Identity Domains and Life Satisfaction of Minority and Majority Youth in Albania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Kosovo and Romania (Manuscript in preparation, authors: Dimitrova, R., Buzea, C., Taušová, J., Uka, F., Zahaj, S., Crocetti, E.) To sum up, we think the writing event met all our expectations, and gave us even more experiences. We had opportunities to learn from prominent researchers, improved our academic writing skills, made the writing process more effective, looked at our academic careers from different perspectives and made new friends all over the world to find support for our new scientific ideas.

We are looking forward to participating in such events again. The first steps to organize the next writing event, and to make it equally successful were taken. The ERU is profoundly grateful to the EADP and their precious support, and acknowledges the efforts of everyone who was involved in making this another fruitful event.

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During the ERU/EADP writing week, participants, inter alia, gathered in a group discussion about the future of Developmental Psychology. The discussion was suggested by Prof. Koops and the EADP Council, and was led by Dr. Overbeek. Several ideas emerged from the reflections on the important issues to orient the discipline in the coming years, stemming from the topics that were already relevant in the past few years.

First of all, we all agreed without doubts that ethics in research is an important evergreen issue: applying and respecting ethical norms of behavior when doing research is relevant in all phases of the process, from collecting data to its use and presentation in publications, with honesty, transparency, carefulness, quality and integrity being some of the key values guiding our work… as well as openness… to constructive criticism, to new theoretical frameworks (from other disciplines as well), to innovative methods and tools, but also to share databases, and not only results. This could actually be seen as a new paradigm in science. In a competing world, there is always need for big data, yet in (international or interdisciplinary) collaboration for a joint article or a research project, it is usually motivating to share data, but are we/would we be still willing to share our own data in an open-access platform beyond the personal or joint interest or trust developed on personal basis? Would we agree without hesitation to share the data with editors of a publication before publishing the results in order to receive feedback and guidance for the analysis?

Second, the young scholars suggested that interdisciplinary work should be promoted with caution. Collaboration with researchers and experts from other fields might be an added value in the integration of knowledge (as it is already in the fields of Clinical Psychology and Neuroscience, Psychopathology, Biology, etc.) and generation of explaining meaningful results, yet it requires an in-depth collaboration that goes beyond superficiality. In some fields, collaboration might be more difficult, yet resulting in improved understanding of the studied issue, creation of new methodologies, a broader dissemination of results and advancement of research. Similarly, it would be a good step to further improve and bridge the gap between research in academia and practice, to an intervention science, involving more often policy makers, professionals and target groups in the presentation of research results in a digestible language.

A further challenge would be to consider the individual level, besides the typical group level that we are used to keep mostly in consideration when doing statistics and interpreting results. Adding a more qualitative approach to understand individual differences and explanations might be useful to search for new research ideas as well.

Strengthening cross-cultural collaboration goes hand in hand with the collection of big data, openness to share data, interdisciplinarity and seeking new tools, especially when adapting theories to different contexts where certain measures are not yet translated in the local languages, adapted, standardized or validated. Many of the (clinical) measures are also subject to a usage fee, therefore not affordable or easy to use everywhere, as well as some services as journal databases (Scopus, etc).

The open-source alternatives should be used more frequently and their potential use should be more widely disseminated (R for statistics, ResearchGate platform, some libraries for databases among others). Modern technology, i.e., the use of smartphones may help in the endeavor of working more closely at the individual level too, especially among youngsters. A relevant paradigm shift should be encouraged among editors and reviewers of scientific articles: non-significant results should not be disregarded so easily as not interesting to be published. They should also have an equal right of being listened to and taken in consideration. It seems we still live in a society where many groups and children are oppressed, yet the new generation of scholars is willing to act as change-makers, improving themselves first, to progress in improving the discipline they are working in and the society around them.

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The writing week closed with another very interesting visit, to the Peles castle, on the foothills of Bucegi mountain, built at the end of the 19th century and located on a very picturesque scenery in the woods, looking at snow-covered mountains (see the picture on the left). All of us were very impressed by the architecture and of this castle which integrated art, engineering and technology. All of these social events complemented perfectly all days of writing week in Brasov, where we could know each other more closely, get inspired and work more productively.

Feedback by the Writing Week Participants “Being the third writing week I attend, I can say with confidence that the Early Researchers’ Union Writing Week 2015 was a big success. Invited scholars with great lectures, enthusiastic young colleagues from all around Europe, a very welcoming and nice environment, all contributed to a very unique learning experience. Many thanks to EADP, ERU, and the University of Transylvania in Brasov for this excellent event!” Stefanos Mastrotheodoros, University of Athens, Greece “Being part of writing week 2015 was a wonderful experience for me. I learned many new things about academic writing, how to respond to failures in academic life, and collaboration in joint projects for future research. Additionally, I was inspired by the work of my colleagues about identity development during adolescence. As a conclusion, the writing week is a wonderful opportunity to meet young researchers, learn new things about success in academia and be inspired by successful scholars.”

Skerdi Zahaj, University of Tirana, Albania

“Being a part of WW has been an important experience for me, because I met early researchers but also experienced researchers, and I found useful information for my professional career such as new methods and different approaches, socialization networks for researchers, rules and ways for building a satisfying career.”

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"With several young scholars from countries across Europe we collaborated on papers. It was a great experience not only professionally, but also socially.”

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“The Writing Week was for me a valuable opportunity that brought back fluidity in a period of perceived stuckness and indecision in research and overall professional development. It provided the needed step forward from the temporary inaction to a more active networking and doing, through an empowering boost of positive energy and motivation to put in use the resources and assets that are already inside or seek ways of minimizing the weaknesses and gaining what is still needed to improve and advance. The workshops on meta-analysis and sharing with others about different tools on similar concepts were particularly useful. I am truly grateful for what I have received and with the new awareness that I can do it too, I feel back on track in reciprocating and offering even more to others as well.”

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The EADP with the generous support by the Jacobs Foundation will provide 40 fellowships (travel grants of €700 each) for young scholars to attend the EADP Biennial Conference in 25th May 2015 Braga. Please apply and visit http://ecdpbraga2015.com/jacobsfoundation.php

- The EADP-Jacobs Foundation Preconference on scientific/grant organized by FrossoMotti-Stefanidi, President of EADP and Radosveta Dimitrova, Chair of ERU/EADP and led by professors Robert Kail and Susan Branje (14 fellowships);

- The ERU/EADP Preconference on translation of research to public policy led by Loes Keijsers and Maja Schachner (10 fellowships);

- The ERU/EADP Poster Fellowship for young scholars whose posters have been accepted to the EADP conference (16 fellowships, half based on excellence and half to scholars from developing countries).

- The ERU/EADP Best Poster Award for young scholars whose posters have been awarded the ERU/EADP Poster Fellowship (out of the 16 awarded poster fellowships, 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will be selected and given an award certificate. The first winner will be given a free EADP membership).


2015 SECC Dissertation Research Funding Awards: up to ten non-renewable awards in the amount of $2,000 (maximum) for research proposals that merit special recognition and display the strong potential to contribute to the field of child development. The deadline for the application is 30 June 2015 by 5 PM EDT. More at http://srcd.org/advancing-field/srcd-awards-research-grants/secc-dissertationresearch-funding-awards Summer School in Barcelona in the field of international migration (The University of Barcelona and the Autonomous University of Barcelona). More information contact at: master.inmigra@ub.edu, cr.migracions@uab.cat

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