Award for transformative early career contributions

About a year ago, the Association for Psychological Science awarded me with the Janet Taylor Spence Award for transformative early career contributions to psychological science. Given that I often move on too quickly into the next big thing rather than taking stock a little when good things happen, I wanted to write a short blog post on this. But then there was COVID and traveling and teaching and you know how it goes, so I kept postponing this blog. Anyway, here we are.

To start with, let me congratulate Dr Arielle Baskin-Sommers, Dr Sudeep Bhatia, Dr Celeste Kidd, Dr Steven Roberts, Dr Daisy Singla, and Dr Diana Tamir, my fellow awardees.

The APS Observer asked us a few questions when we received the award, and you can find our answers online. I talk about events that led to the work I’ve been doing that was awarded; work I’m most proud of; folks and situations that had a major impact on my career path; research questions I’d like to tackle in the future; and what winning the award means for me personally and professionally. I’ve also really enjoyed reading what the other awardees wrote: it’s quite amazing how broad psychological science is as a discipline.

APS also has a podcast, called Cortex, for which we were interviewed.

I also wanted to use this as an opportunity to thank everybody who has supported me. As I said in APS Observer piece:

The award is a huge honor. It reflects, in part, the hard work and long hours I’ve put into research. It reflects the support by Leiden University and other universities I worked at previously. But it primarily reflects the contributions of the amazing mentors and colleagues I got to work with in the last decade. These contributions have helped me to grow into the role of a generalist who can form bridges between specialists to leverage their knowledge. This has resulted in research that none of us could have done alone: Science is not only more fun as a team sport, but also better.

(Which reminds me: I’ve started a team page on this website to introduce you to folks I get to work with right now, including PhD students working on the WARN-D project trying to build a personalized early warning system for depression!)

To my surprise, there was actually a physical award that came per mail, in the shape of a glass thingie, and whenever the sun shines into my apartment, it thows rainbows at unexpected places. It’s been a real source of joy during the lockdown, so I thought I’d share some of the best rainbows (original photos, no filters).

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