Student Grant Competition


In an effort to encourage student research in psychological science, the APS Student Grant Competition provides small “seed grant” funding to support research in its initial development stages, e.g., the purchase of research materials or other expenses incurred prior to data collection. Up to three awards ($500 each) will be available to APS graduate student affiliates and up to two awards ($300 each) will be available to undergraduate student affiliates. Research proposals in all areas of psychological science are welcome. Peers will evaluate each research proposal on the clarity in the presentation of ideas, the ability of the project to explain some psychological phenomenon, and the ability of the project to advance research in a specified area. Applicants will receive copies of the peer reviews once the competition has concluded.

Applicants must be current APS Student Affiliates, and may only enter one APSSC competition each year (i.e., Student Grant Competition, Student Research Award, or RISE Research Award) and as such are only eligible for one of these three awards each academic year. (Note:  Travel assistance for convention volunteers is excluded from this rule.)

Grant Application

To be considered for the Student Research Grant Competition, APS student affiliates must submit the following:

Cover Letter: The cover letter must include the following information: name, current mailing address, current telephone number, current e-mail address, APS membership number (found on the mailing label of your APS Observer by contacting the APS office) and membership status, and the full name(s) and affiliations of other(s) involved in the project. Cover letters must identify a primary (and if applicable a secondary) area of research from the following choices:


Project Summary: The project summary should detail the purpose and methodology of the proposed research. The following specific sections should be included:

The Project Summary should be in APA format (including adherence to standards for margins and font size), double-spaced, and should not exceed 3000 words (including an abstract). References, figures, tables, and appendices may take up additional pages.


Note: Please OMIT the author’s name(s) and affiliation on all parts of this document. (Only the Cover Letter should contain your personal information). Instead, be sure to include the title of the submission in the header at the top of each page.


Research Practices: In keeping with a policy statement adopted by the APS Board of Directors, APS members are expected to adhere to all relevant codes of ethical behavior and legal and regulatory requirements. It is expected that formal documentation indicating that the project outlined in the proposal is approved for data collection by the institutional body that regulates research within the submitter’s university (e.g., Human Subjects Committee, Internal Review Board, etc.) will be sought and achieved during the course of the project.


Submission of Materials

All materials should be submitted through e-mail to the Graduate Advocate. Please attach the documents in virus-free attachments to an email with the subject line: APSSC Student Research Grant Submission. The Cover Letter and Project Summary should be in separate Microsoft Word or Open Format documents. Again, the project summary should not contain any direct or indirect references to the identity or academic affiliation of the author. All materials must be received by November 17, 2015. Submissions that do not meet the requirements stipulated above will be disqualified from the competition. When a project application is received in full, the Graduate Advocate will send an e-mail notification indicating the receipt of the submission. Grant award winners will be notified by Spring of 2016.

Interested in becoming an APSSC reviewer?


Student Grant Competition Past Winner Spotlight


Jerika Norona

Jerika Norona is a 4th year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of Tennessee (UT). Her research focuses on romantic experiences in adolescence and emerging adulthood. Under the mentorship of Drs. Deborah Welsh and Kristi Gordon, she has conducted several projects on relationship development, rejection, conflict, betrayal, and depressive symptoms, as they relate to romantic experiences. In addition to conducting research, she also works at the UT Psychological Clinic, and provides outpatient therapy and assessment services to couples and individuals.

The APS Student Grant Competition greatly assisted Jerika in collecting data for her dissertation. Examining emerging adults’ motivations for ending romantic relationships and how their motivations are related to significant developmental tasks. The Student Grant Competition funds assisted with participants’ compensation and qualitative manuals to expand her knowledge about data collection and analysis. Jerika is in the process of preparing the final manuscript, as well as beginning the second part of the study, which examines emerging adults’ motivations for engaging in extradyadic relationships.

Tess Drazdowski

Tess Drazdowski is a Clinical-Developmental Scholar at Virginia Commonwealth University in the Child Clinical Psychology program. She is on internship at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Mailman Child Development Center. Tess is interested in discovering ways to encourage underserved and vulnerable individuals to be resilient, with a focus on the prevention of the onset and negative consequences of mental illness. She is also interested in stressful environmental triggers, such as living in low income areas or being diagnosed with a medical illness, which puts individuals at-risk to experience mental illness. Tess researches how individuals change over time and how to incorporate that information in making informed prevention and treatment interventions. Resulting primarily from her clinical work in prisons, Tess is currently focused on the prevention of substance use during developmental transitions.

Tess’s dissertation was partially funded by the APS Student Grant Competition. In this project she is investigated what motivates individuals to start and continue the non-medical use of prescription drugs as they transition through young adulthood. Using a longitudinal nationally representative data set from the Monitoring the Future project, she intends to use latent class analysis, latent transition analysis, and logistic regression to better understand how individuals’ motives may change over time and if this is influenced by college attendance. Tess is in the throes of data analyses and plans to defend her dissertation in the upcoming semester. She is excited to share her findings with the broader scientific community.