Training at the KLI consists of research training under supervision of members of the KLI at the universities participating in the KLI, and a general teaching program.
Aims of the KLI Teaching Program
The overall objective of the training and supervision program is to develop independent research skills in the graduate student participants. Secondary goals of the program are
(a) to instil the idea of translating societally relevant questions into scientifically researchable ones, and
(b) to develop a capacity to draw practical implications from scientific research.
To enable students to meet these goals, four domains of attainment aims can be specified:
Ability to critically review, apply, and communicate about social psychological theory and research in oral and in written form, addressing (non-)academic audiences.
Understanding of current theories in social psychology and how to monitor recent developments. Ability to connect different theoretical approaches to develop new questions and models, and to identify theoretically meaningful aspects of societal questions.
Ability to generate testable hypotheses from relevant literature, to develop and pre-test appropriate research designs and measures, to conduct and interpret appropriate statistical analyses, and to specify theoretical and practical implications of empirical results. Knowledge of current guidelines for scientific integrity, experience with procedures for research ethics, documentation of data analysis, and data archiving.
Experience with academic teaching, ability to present social psychological knowledge to broad audiences, participation in national and international networks, ability to assess policy implications of social psychological research.
Types of teaching
The KLI offers each year a varied teaching program with different types of courses.
The basic courses are intended to improve skills in academic publishing and reviewing, and for new PhD student members to get acquainted with the KLI and each other. PhD students of the KLI are obliged to participate in 1 basic course: ‘Introduction to the KLI’.
These courses are taught by KLI faculty who have specialist knowledge of specific methodological and practical techniques or data analysis procedures. The methodology training is an important part of the program. The courses are offered to increase the students’ skills in research methods. Practical courses are also designed to improve the opportunities for students on the labor market. An important responsibility of the KLI is preparing PhD students for careers inside but also outside the academic world. This type of courses is specially designed for this objective.
Research meetings are planned for each of the four thematic KLI groups:
- Social Cognition (SC) – coordinated by Thorsten Erle (TiU) and Lucas Molleman (UvA);
- Interpersonal Processes (IP) – coordinated by Niels van Doesum (UL) and Lisanne Pauw (UU);
- Group and Organizational Processes (G&OP) – coordinated by Antje Schmitt (RUG) and Hanneke Gutterink (UvA);
- Group Processes and Intergroup Relations (GP&IR) – Toon Kuppens (RUG) and Ruthie Pliskin (UL).
These research meetings are excellent opportunities for exchanging information and ideas between the faculty and Ph.D. students. In principle each research group organizes two meetings a year: one is a regular research meeting and for the other meeting a (national or international) expert in the field is invited to organize a workshop.
PhD students are expected to (informally) present their own research once a year in these meetings if possible, and they will receive feedback from KLI faculty and fellow PhD students. Participants can for example practice a presentation they will give at a conference, present research ideas, preliminary data, or discuss a paper they are currently writing and get feedback from colleagues.
All KLI PhD student members are expected to join at least one of the research groups and attend both meetings.
Theory-oriented workshops are given by KLI faculty and other experts in a particular research field. These workshops are field-specific and offer students the opportunity to acquire general knowledge of the field, to study theory and research actively in the field in depth, as well as its theory-derived applications (in some of the courses). International well-known researchers are invited to participate in these workshops by presenting their research and by actively participating in the workshop in which graduate students present their work.
In a joint seminar, one of the five constituent departments invites a social psychologist of international standing. The invitee will organize a workshop that is open to all KLI PhD students. The organizing department and the KLI share the costs.
In addition to these courses, every other year the KLI organizes a conference to provide students with a broad overview of the major developments in the fields covered by the KLI. At these two-day conferences internationally known researchers are invited as Keynote Speaker and to actively participate in workshops. During the conferences there is ample opportunity for students to communicate with the researchers and to expand their network.