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 eight awards ($500 each) will be given to APS student affiliates (graduates and undergrads). 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 Grant Competition, APS student affiliates should submit the following:

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

  • Project Title and Abstract
  • Background (a summary of previous related research)
  • Motivation (the specific justification for the current project including a clearly stated hypothesis)
  • Methods (a clear explanation of the materials, procedures, etc. that will be used)
  • Theoretical Implications (how this research will impact/advance psychological science)

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. 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.


The submission deadline is November 1, 2017. Please contact the Graduate Advocate with any questions. Grant award winners will be notified by Spring of 2018.

Interested in becoming an APSSC reviewer?

Student Grant Competition Past Winner Spotlight

Margarida Vasconcelos

Margarida Vasconcelos is a 4th year Doctoral Student in the Basic Psychology Program of the School of Psychology at the University of Minho (Portugal). Margarida’s PhD dissertation will be partially funded by the APS Student Grant Competition that will assist her with participant’s compensation and scientific manuals’ acquisition. In her project Margarida investigates the transfer effects between musical training and language abilities, at the behavioral and neural levels. The project aims to provide a systematic investigation of how musical expertise affects brain functions underlying the detection of regularities in speech stimulus sequences. Margarida is assessing professional musicians and non-musicians’ brain activation patterns with Event-Related Potentials along with behavioral measures while linguistic information is perceived and learned. Her studies will contribute to our knowledge on the transformative power of music by adding significant findings to the literature on the impact of musical training on brain plasticity.

Taylor Ballinger

Taylor Ballinger is a first-year student in the Social Psychology program at The Ohio State University. With Dr. Jennifer Crocker, his research examines how attributional ambiguity increases vigilance toward subliminal, supraliminal, interpersonal, and contextual cues of social identity threat for members of stigmatized groups. He hopes to ultimately identify how the experience of attributional ambiguity detracts from learning and knowledge transfer, undermining stigmatized group members’ performance in educational settings. The grant funds will be channeled toward recruitment and compensation of underrepresented participants.