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Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development

Ph.D. Student Competencies

The program aims for the highest standards of excellence in all areas of preparation: courses, supervised applied experiences, research preparation, and individual mentoring. Students will take multiple trajectories in their doctoral training and their careers, served by a common foundation of preparation that includes competency in core areas: foundation knowledge of the field, research methods and statistics, professionalism, publication, grantsmanship, applied work, teaching and mentoring, dissemination, scholarly specialization, and cultural sensitivity. Competence in these areas can be demonstrated through a variety of mechanisms such as coursework (including independent study and directed research courses), independent writing and research (e.g., Qualifying Papers), research training with faculty mentors, presentations at professional conferences and applied internships (e.g., universities and schools, hospitals, mental health clinics, museums, television studios, government offices, non-governmental and not-for-profit organizations, child and family advocacy centers).

This competency-based approach ensures that all Eliot Pearson Ph.D.'s will achieve in-depth mastery of a particular specialty area (e.g., positive youth development, emotional development in early childhood, children's development of coding skills), competence in communicating and disseminating their work, and the skills necessary for success in their professional development, such as teaching and mentoring, and participation in the grantsmanship process. Each student's program forms a unique configuration of experiences. Faculty members help each student design a program that both reinforces individual strengths and complements previous applied child study and human development training and experience.

  • Students will have a knowledge base that reflects mastery of important areas in field of child development.
  • Students will have knowledge of methodologies and working ability in statistical techniques used in applied child development research.
  • Students will demonstrate ability to assume the role of a professional in the field.
  • Students will have exposure, experience with, and develop expertise in, the conduct of research in the field of applied child study and human development.
  • Students will gain experience in the process of reading and critically evaluating empirical research, and in preparing their own work for publication.
  • Students will gain experience in the evaluation, preparation, and submission of grant proposals.
  • Students will be actively engaged in work that promotes health and positive development among children and families.
  • Students will develop skills in communicating knowledge and supporting the intellectual growth of others through teaching and mentoring.
  • Students will demonstrate their competence in disseminating the results of their work to non-academic audiences.
  • Students will demonstrate cultural sensitivity in the conduct of research, teaching, policy work and engaging with others.
Learn more about CSHD faculty and research