This newsletter is created by the SPR Committee to Promote Student Interests and is sent to current and recent student and full SPR members.


Please click the below link, and in just a couple of minutes impart your wisdom to enhance the experience of up-and-coming psychophysiologists!

In our fantastic Spring Edition, read about:

Ø      The upcoming SPR conference in Santa Fe:

Ø      Conference tips, awards, and events of special interest to students

Ø      Santa Fe nightlife

Ø      An Interview with SPR Member and prominent psychophysiologist John Cacioppo

Ø      The New Membership Retention Subcommittee

Ø      Postdoc “Student” Subcommittee: Plans for Santa Fe/Useful links

Ø      Clinical Psychophysiology: Coming attractions

Ø      Promoting an international community of psychophysiologists

Ø      How to contact members of the Committee to Promote Student Interests


I. Annual SPR Conference: Register Now

This year, SPR will be held in Santa Fe, New Mexico USA from October 20-24, 2004 at La Fonda on the Plaza. Registration, travel, and other conference-related information will be mailed out to members in May. Refer to the featured section below on Santa Fe highlights!

If you are looking for a roommate or if you have advice to share with others, the new message board on the SPR Student website can help.


II. Student Poster Awards

Looking for fame or fortune? Or would it just be nice to be rewarded for your research efforts? If you submit a 250-word abstract by May 3, 2004, you are automatically eligible for a student poster award!  

You are eligible for a student poster award as long as you are: 1) a full-time student, 2) an SPR student member, 3) first author on a poster, and 4) in attendance at the Santa Fe conference. Students winning poster awards also receive a cash prize. In addition, the names of all winners and the titles of their posters will be announced in Psychophysiology as soon as possible after the award. .

All winners will be called up during the conference business lunch on Saturday to receive their awards when many prominent psychophysiologists will be present. What better way is there to make your face known to established researchers who might remember you later during job talks?    Here’s a way to make money doing what you were planning to do anyway, further your career goals, add more text to your curriculum vitae, AND potentially win a decorative wall ornament!

Click on the link below for submission instructions and sample posters from past award winners.

Congratulations to everyone who submitted a poster abstract, and good luck to those applying!

III. Santa fe Nightlife and SPR conference events of interest to students

Power up your palm pilots, fellow psychophysiologists, and set aside October 20-24, 2004 for SPR in sunny Santa Fe, NM!  This year’s meeting will take place at the historic La Fonda on the Plaza, right in the midst of downtown Santa Fe. Eynav Elgavish, a student at the University of Arizona and our intrepid Meeting Events chair, has already begun compiling information on all there is to do and see in Santa Fe. Here’s a taste:

· Delectable comestibles: there’s a vast array of tasty treats to be had in Santa Fe, even at prices suitable for those of student status. From Maria’s New Mexican Kitchen to the French Pastry Shop, there’s sure to be something to suit any discriminating diner (Maria’s New Mexican Kitchen: 555 West Cordova Road, (505) 983-7929; French Pastry Shop: La Fonda Hotel, 100 E San Francisco, (505) 983-6697).

· Sights galore: within driving distance of our locale are Native American Pueblos as well as Anasazi archeological ruins at the Puye Cliff Dwellings and Bandelier National Monument. There are also 320,000 acres of wilderness to explore, so bring your gear….

· Culture ain’t just in the yogurt: Art’s more your bag, you say? Santa Fe is home to more than 300 galleries, and its Museum of Fine Arts hosts over 130 of Georgia O’Keefe’s works in its permanent collection. The Museum is a mere two blocks from Santa Fe Plaza.

· Shop ‘till… oh, you know: If you are on a grad student budget (and who’s not?) and want to save between 10-60%, check out the Savings Specials in the link below and save at local Santa Fe businesses.  These specials are updated regularly, so check back.


In addition to these numerous opportunities to explore Santa Fe, there are the usual exciting events we’ve come to expect from SPR:

· The Student Social: time and date for this year’s festivities remain to be determined, but if past years are any indication, it’s an event not to be missed. It’s a great way to meet others with shared interests, talk more about research (you know you want to), and shake your body down to the ground- all in one evening, and all courtesy of SPR. Keep your eyes peeled for more information as it becomes available!

· The Open Dinner Meeting with the Committee to Promote Student Interests: time and date for this event will be posted in our fall newsletter. All SPR student members are welcome! At least 30 students (many new faces) came together during Chicago’s conference to talk up student-relevant issues over pizza and beer. Do you have suggestions for improvements in student outreach? Would you like to work with one of our many subcommittees on issues relevant to your research? Please come with your appetite and opinions!

· Special Interest lunches and dinners: these events are a wonderful way to hook up with fellow students, post-docs and full-fledged academes that share your research interests. These events are organized on an ongoing basis (although none are officially arranged as of yet) and are announced in various ways (over email, on the website, and posted on the message board at the conference), so keep your eyes peeled for topics that pique your special interest. Remember, these are typically no-host meals, which means bring your own funds.

Santa Fe Travel Options

Santa Fe can be accessed via Albuquerque and Denver, CO airports. From the Albuquerque airport, you can either rent a car or you can utilize a local shuttle service that operates between the airport and downtown Santa Fe hotels (Santa Fe Shuttle: (888) 833,2300; Sandia Shuttle Express: (888) 775-5696).  The trip is about 1 hour and cost is approximately $40. From Denver, renting a car is probably the best way to go (it’s about a 6.5 hour drive) but you can also explore bus and train options at www.flydenver.com.

More information on the upcoming conference and on Santa Fe to come from our Meeting Events Subcommittee- so keep a lookout!

IV. creativity, economics, and determinism:

                                           our Featured interview with john cacioppo

 For the SPR Student Newsletter’s regular feature, “Interview with an SPR member,” we bring you an exclusive interview with John Cacioppo, who revealed the origins of his interest in psychophysiology (economics—who would’ve guessed?) and shared his advice for us up-and-coming graduate students. The interview was conducted by Sarah Sass and covers issues of special interest to up and coming psychophysiologists. Thanks to John and Sarah for such an informative and compelling interview!


V.  the new membership retention subcommittee

The Membership Retention subcommittee was formed in response to concern that the retention rate of female student members is disproportionately lower than retention rate of male student members. We are invested in learning more about the patterns of student membership in order to gain a better understanding of the types of barriers members or potential members might encounter when deciding whether to renew or apply for membership. In the upcoming months we will collect data regarding past membership rates, and we hope to identify some issues that may affect retention rates. We are interested in investigating whether factors such as gender and ethnicity contribute to retention rate patterns. Please contact Rebecca Levin (rllevin@uiuc.edu) or Sarah Sass (ssass@uiuc.edu) if you are interested in joining our new committee.


VI. Update from the Postdoctoral "Student" Subcommittee

Last year’s Early Career Conversation Hour hosted by the postodoctoral “student” subcommittee was a great success! Thanks to everyone that participated. We’re looking forward to developing similar events at the 2004 meeting in Santa Fe. If you have ideas, suggestions or comments for this year’s event(s), please let us know. Any feedback on last year’s conversation hour is also welcome.  Email any of the postdoctoral subcommittee members with your ideas!

Click on the link below to see the handouts that were made available at the conversation hour event.  These include various resources for job searches, interviews, etc. and a few bits of “Wit and Wisdom” from established SPR members.

Early Career Resources

Wit and Wisdom

Useful Websites

One topic that seems to be of significant interest to students, postdocs and junior faculty is that of grantsmanship. The committee is currently planning to incorporate this issue into the early career event(s) at the 2004 meeting. In the meantime, the link below provides information on planning a grant application.  Look for more info at the meeting!


In addition, we would like to build on the FAQs about the early career process. The link below addresses some of the more common questions students ask when deciding when and where to apply for postdoc positions, etc. We’re currently collecting more questions concerning the early career process to expand the FAQ section. So feel free to email any of the postdoctoral subcommittee members with questions and we’ll do our best to find some answers! Then look for the updated FAQs in the next edition of the newsletter.

Frequently Asked Questions

Interview Tips


Jonathan Wynn (Co-Chair; postdoctoral student), University of Southern California

Rebecca J. Houston (Co-Chair; postdoctoral student), University of Connecticut

Nicole A Roberts, University of California-Berkeley

Peter J. Gianaros, University of Pittsburgh

Jim Coan, University of Wisconsin-Madison


VII. special interests: clinical psychophysiology

If you are interested in the interface between psychophysiological research and clinical science, the Student Subcommittee on Clinical Psychophysiology may be for you. Specific topics germane to clinical psychophysiologists include how psychophysiological research lends itself to clinical ends (e.g., treatment, outcome, definitional/nosology issues), studying clinical populations, and balancing clinical and research domains. In addition, this subcommittee aims to bring together clinical psychophysiologists to facilitate networking and stimulate collaborations. At last year's SPR meeting, over 25 students attended our first-ever special interest lunch to express their interest in these topics! Look for a clinical psychophysiology link on the SPR student web site soon--this will include a message board, and a list of SPR student clinical psychophysiologists (along with their areas of research). Join us this year for a conversation hour with SPR clinical faculty...details coming soon!

VIII. Psychophysiology Around the World

SPR is very much concerned about the needs of its non-US student members and, therefore, established its International Students Subcommittee.  To assess the needs of non-US student members, the subcommittee’s work has most recently focused on whether non-US student members feel integrated into the society, or whether they instead perceive national organizations as more valuable than SPR.  We conducted an Internet survey last year to get at these questions and want to thank all respondents for taking the time to complete it. For a detailed description of the findings click here. The main findings of our internet survey are:

· SPR is a relatively highly valued international society, with 63% of respondents placing SPR even above any national research societies. 

· Most non-US student members have joined SPR for its conferences and about 50% are willing to travel to the US. 

· 70% of our non-US student members see SPRs fee as reasonable

· 68% of respondents did not feel well integrated into the society. 

Based on these results, we are encouraged by the apparent commitment of our non-US student members to SPR.  However, we would like to further address the issue of how to better integrate non-US student members into SPR.   If you would like to join this discussion, please e-mail Stephan Moratti at .  This years conference in Santa Fe will also give us a chance to meet and share ideas on how to improve the situation.  More details on this meeting will follow.  

Be part of an international exchange. Thanks to the efforts of Stephan Moratti from the University of Konstanz, Germany, we are proud to continue featuring the International Exchange Opportunities section of the SPR student web page. The aim of this section is to identify laboratories and graduate students who may be interested in participating in an international exchange.

The principle of such an exchange is that interested graduate students would simply swap his/her work place with that of a student from another country. Thus, with the cooperation of the participating laboratories and graduate institutions, students can be financed by their graduate program during the exchange. Of course, besides swapping work places with someone else, you can organize your own “international exchange” by contacting one of the labs that is interested in hosting a graduate researcher. Especially if you have your own funding, it is often quite easy to initiate a visit. Use the listing of labs here (see below link) to help you find a research place of interest!

Enter your profile! We encourage psychophysiological laboratories supporting international exchange to go to the link below and enter their profile. Once a list of laboratory profiles is established, graduate students can search for labs that match their geographical and research interests, and international exchange can be facilitated! Students: talk to your advisors about opening your lab to collaborators internationally!


Please enter your laboratory profile by visiting:  The SPR International Exchange Forum

This is one more step toward improving international exchange and collaboration. The planning of other international sections (e.g., postings of international workshops; including this link on the main SPR web page) is underway, so stay tuned!

IX. Members of the Committee to Promote Student Interests

Are your needs being met? Please feel free to contact members of the committee below with suggestions, questions, comments, or to bond with a fellow psychophysiologist:

Faculty Chair

John JB Allen,  University of Arizona



Web Subcommittee

This subcommittee maintains and develops the SPR student website. They integrate content from other subcommittees, as well as develop new content as appropriate.


Andrea Chambers (Chair), University of Arizona

Eddie Harmon-Jones (nonstudent), University of Wisconsin

James A Coan, University of Arizona



Newsletter Subcommittee 

This subcommittee updates and prepares the semi-annual newsletter. The newsletter highlights items of special interest to students, and is timed to go out to members in electronic form in April, and again in August. These deadlines are timed with respect to two major SPR events that the newsletter can highlight for students: May 1 is the deadline for submitting an abstract, and the fall SPR meeting is in most often October, with student poster competition deadlines about one month prior to the meeting. The newsletter will highlight activities of other committees (e.g., Interview), as well as develop content as the committee sees fit.


Jennifer L. Stewart, (Chair) University of Illinois

Nicole A Roberts (poast Chair), University of California-Berkeley

Rebecca J. Houston (postdoctoral student), University of Connecticut

Terrance Williams, University of California-Los Angeles

Marja Germans Gard, University of California-Berkeley

Sarah Sass, University of Illinois



Interview Subcommittee

This subcommittee will interview two SPR members per year. Stephan Moratti conducted a very nice interview with Brigitte Rockstroh, our first interviewee. We have a list of questions that was developed with the assistance of many members, and one that can form the core of any interview, with additional questions to be added as appropriate. At our recent meeting in DC, committee members suggested that it would be good to interview a post-doctoral fellow or new faculty member, and also to specifically inquire about the job market and interview/hiring experiences. The interviews ideally should be completed in time to highlight in each newsletter.


Sarah Sass (Chair), University of Illinois

Stephan Moratti, University of Konstanz

James A Coan, University of Arizona

Greg Hajcak, University of Delaware

Catherine J. Norris, University of Chicago



International Students Subcommittee

International students comprise a substantial proportion of the student membership, but also appear to be less likely to remain members after graduation. There are likely a variety of factors responsible, but the International Students Subcommittee can examine ways in which SPR can better address the needs of international students. Stephan Moratti developed an international exchange web page that allows interested labs to host students from other laboratories. Worth considering is that the 2005 meeting is in Lisbon Portugal. As that meeting draws near, one of the things the subcommittee can do is to make sure that student needs and interests are anticipated for this European meeting. The last European meeting in Granada, Spain was very popular and appeared to attract many European students.


Stephan Moratti (Chair), University of Konstanz

Ake Elden (nonstudent), Louis Pasteur University Strasbourg

Greg Hajcak, University of Delaware

Rogier B. Mars, F.C. Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging


Post-doctoral "Student" Subcommittee 

Postdoctoral students have specific needs that overlap with those of student members. Recent efforts of our committee led to a reduced fee structure for recent graduates, but surely there are other issues that our committee might address.


Jonathan Wynn (Co-Chair; postdoctoral student), University of Southern California

Rebecca J. Houston (Co-Chair; postdoctoral student), University of Connecticut

Peter J. Gianaros, University of Pittsburgh

Nicole A. Roberts, University of California-Berkeley


Meeting Events Subcommittee

Each year we attempt to find a local student host for the annual meeting. This local host finds info on cheap eats, cheap excursions, and cheap transportation to the hotel. The student host also assists in finding a place for the SPR sponsored student social, and does whatever else seems appropriate to make the conference fun, informative, and affordable for students.


Eynav Elgavish, (Chair) University of Arizona

Catherine J. Norris, (past Chair) University of Chicago

Kim Anderson, University of Florida

Becky Levin, University of Illinois

Sarah Sass, University of Illinois

Jennifer L. Stewart, University of Illinois

Colleen Brenner, Indiana University


Program Committee Representative

Each year one of our student members sits on the program committee to ensure that the student voice is represented. This position also allows the student member to get an inside glimpse of the meeting planning, involves reviewing abstracts, and begets the immense gratitude of the membership.


Sarah Sass, University of Illinois


Membership Retention Subcommittee

Works to identify issues affecting the retention of members, especially those of relevance for women.


Sarah Sass, University of Illinois

Becky Levin, University of Illinois


Clinical Psychophysiology Subcommittee

Students enrolled in clinical programs face an additional set of demands and concerns, and this new subcommittee is working to provide a forum for discussing these issues. Topics of interest include discussing clinical applications of psychophysiology (especially new paradigms, etc) and issues specific to being in clinical programs while conducting psychophysiological research (e.g., accruing clinical hours, applying for internships, post-docs, etc.). The committee is hosting a special interest lunch at this year's annual meeting.

Greg Hajcak (Chair), University of Delaware

Terrance Williams, University of California-Los Angeles

Nicole A Roberts, University of California-Berkeley

Jennifer L. Stewart, University of Illinois

Rebecca J. Houston (postdoctoral student), University of Connecticut

Sarah Sass, University of Illinois

Colleen Brenner, Indiana University

Stephan Moratti, University of Konstanz

Ake Elden (nonstudent), Clinical Neuroscience Research Centre, UK

Marja Germans Gard, University of California-Berkeley



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