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APA has opened its online portal for members who are interested in serving on several boards and committees starting in 2019. Here’s a Q&A to assist early career psychologists and others interested in the process. March 2, 2018 is the deadline to submit nominations.

What boards and committees exist at APA?
APA’s boards, committees, and other governance groups are all listed online.

What boards and committees have open nominations right now?
APA’s open call for nominations has a deadline of March 2, 2018. Please keep in mind that it is only for boards and committees that get slated by the Board of Directors in June and elected by the 160+ members of the APA Council of Representatives in the fall. (Slating is taking a list of potential nominees and winnowing it down to say 2-4 individuals, thus forming a slate.) Candidates who get elected by Council will start serving in January 2019. The groups for which this process applies are: the Finance Committee, Ethics Committee, Membership Board, Policy and Planning Board, Publications and Communications Board, Committee on International Relations in Psychology, Board of Educational Affairs, Board of Professional Affairs, Board of Scientific Affairs, Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest, Board of Convention Affairs, Commission for the Recognition of Specialties and Proficiencies in Professional Psychology, and the Committee on Rural Health.

When do other boards and committees hold their nomination periods?
The remainder of the boards and committees at APA have their own idiosyncratic processes. For example, the 7-member Committee on Early Career Psychologists (CECP) asks for nominations by August, to be reviewed and slated in September, and then submitted to the Board of Directors for final appointment. Many other governance group nominations are due in summer and fall. It’s best to check directly on the group’s webpage or contact their staff liaison, who would also be listed online.

What opportunities are open to me as an ECP?
CECP wants ECPs to be involved in every area of governance in APA and elsewhere! Thanks to the groundwork of CECP to change APA policy, most boards and committees require an ECP (defined as someone within the first ten years following receipt of a doctoral degree in psychology at the time of beginning their term), but a few are exempt. Those that are exempt are the Publications and Communications Board, the Commission on Accreditation, the Finance Committee, Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools, the APAGS committee, Council of Editors, Fellows Committee (through 2020), and the Committee on Psychological Tests and Assessment (through 2020).

How do boards and committees decide eligible ECPs?
There are a few ways to answer this question. First, if a board or committee is not exempt (see above), they must have at least one ECP at any given time; however, there is no rule about the maximum number of ECPs who can serve simultaneously. Some boards and committees have several ECPs. Second, some boards and committees choose to have a specific slate for ECP candidates (which may only seek nominations when the current ECP is about to finish their term), whereas other boards and committees will encourage ECPs to apply to a general or specific slate set by criteria other than career phase. Third, regardless of just how a board or committee secures an ECP, if you feel like you’re a competitive candidate, you do not need to wait for a specific ECP slate or explicit encouragement of ECPs to apply. An ECP can apply to virtually any slate (ECP-specific or not) provided they meet other criteria defined by the board or committee.

What if I want more information about a specific board or committee?
We suggest that you reach out to the staff liaison(s) listed online for the specific board or committee you have questions about. Some common questions people have for staff liaisons are: When is your nomination period? Do you have any ECPs in your group now, and how long will they serve? Is there room for another ECP to apply?

Do you have any tips on how ECPs can get nominated and ultimately elected?
The Board of Directors encourages the nomination members who may be new to APA governance or who are underrepresented in the current governance structure. We want you to know the process is competitive, but there are ways to increase your chances of winning. According to data compiled by the APA Council’s Caucus for the Optimal Utilization of New Talent, from 2014 to 2017, between 39 and 45% of candidates were new to governance; a significant percentage (average: 38%) of these new people were then elected each year. Getting Caucus endorsements also helps: Between 2016 and 2017, securing 4 or more caucus endorsements gave the candidate better than a 9-in-10 chance of getting elected.

CECP expects and encourages individuals to self-nominate but would be happy to write nominations for a select number of individuals. There’s no data on whether having an endorsement from other boards and committees helps your chances, but in some cases it may add extra credibility and support to an application. It is part of CECP’s mission to help early career psychologists serve in leadership roles across the association. If you would like to be considered for a nomination from CECP, you need not have any prior experience with CECP but you must be an ECP. Please send your CV to eameen@apa.org by 5pm ET Wednesday Feb. 14. Please make the subject line “Seeking CECP nomination for X” where X is the name of the board or committee you are applying to. Include in the body of the email any brief, bulleted information you want to highlight for CECP (including but not limited to A. Why you are applying for a specific board/committee; and B. Your past leadership experience, especially if it has been in APA, Divisions, state psych associations, or related groups). CECP’s leaders will review your materials and if possible, write a letter of support either in time for you to attach it to your application before the deadline, or we’ll upload the letter of support separately, allowing you to apply as you normally would. Please adhere to the Feb. 14 Valentine’s Day deadline to be considered.

CECP has put together a great set of resources. Start here and be sure to head over to other tips pages and even a recorded webinar on the right hand side of the page. If you still have questions, we’re here for you. Contact the Office on Early Career Psychologists (which can put you in touch with members of CECP). Should you have any questions about the process of submitting nominations, contact the Election Office at elections@apa.org or by phone at (202) 336-6087.

What else should I know about submitting a nomination ?
The 2018 APA Board and Committee Call for Nominations form can be accessed at the following link: http://apps.apa.org/nominations/Default.aspx. You will need to login using your MyAPA account ID and password. If you haven’t yet registered for your MyAPA account or have forgotten your login ID or password, simply follow the instructions provided once you click on the link. March 2 is firm the deadline for submitting nominations.