Student Grant Competition

Student Grant Competition

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 undergraduates). 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.

Evaluation Criteria: Proposals will be peer reviewed by two independent readers, who have relevant expertise. The following evaluation criteria will be used. Reviewers will be asked to provide a score for each of the points below, ranging from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest).

  • Overall clarity of writing
  • Theoretical background and literature review
  • Quality of methods, materials, procedures, and research design
  • Motivation underlying project and clearly stated hypotheses
  • Theoretical implications and contributions to psychological science

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 project.

The submission deadline for 2022 ended on January 10. Submissions for 2023 will open in the fall.

Please contact the Graduate Advocate with any questions.


Interested in becoming an APSSC reviewer?

Student Grant Competition Winner Spotlights

Rita Pereira is a first-year doctoral student in the Basic Psychology Program of the School of Psychology at the University of Minho (Portugal). In her project, Rita aims to investigate the neurophysiology and neuroimaging of the affective touch in young people with autism. Rita will use behavioral, neurophysiological and neuroimaging techniques to evaluate how the activation of C-tactile fibers affects hedonic evaluations and patterns of brain activation in patients with autism spectrum disorder compared with neurotypical participants. The current project proposes a set of innovative experiments that will help to elucidate the role of C-tactile fibers and the affective dimension of touch, and how this can affect in autism spectrum disorder symptomatology. Her results will also lead to a better understanding of the physiology of affective touch, how this can evolve across lifespan, and how it can affect to the pathophysiology of this disorder, contributing to the development of more effective intervention strategies, using sensory-based interventions in the remediation of communication and behavioral difficulties.

David M. Cole is a third-year doctoral student in the Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience at Utah State University. He studies decision-making with multimodal neurophysiology (e.g., EEG, EMG, TMS, fNIRS), canonical psychological measures (e.g., inhibition, impulsivity, reaction time), and sophisticated signal processing and data science techniques. Under the mentorship of Dr. David A. E. Bolton, his dissertation research parses high-speed, high-risk choices that contribute to the primary cause of accidental injury and death in the elderly: falling down. Due to technical limitations, the study of falls is bisected into (a) balance recovery and (b) fall arrest. The APS Student Grant will help to fund the design and construction of an apparatus that originally accommodates both strategies in the same trial. With this safe and ecologically valid tool, he will investigate the processes that determine if we “balance or brace.”