Students & Early Career Professionals

Graduate Student Research Awards Program

Division 38 of the American Psychological Association is sponsoring five graduate student awards to support new research. Each award is for $1500. The awards are distributed in the following three categories.

Follow this link to see the 2013 Graduate Award Winners!


  1. Understanding the etiology, promotion and maintenance of health;
  2. Prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of physical illness;
  3. Psychological, social, emotional and behavioral factors in physical illness; and
  4. Health care systems and health policy.


Studies addressing one of the topics outlined in the items above under General Psychology directed at a sample comprised primarily or exclusively of children or adolescents. This award is conferred in memory of Lizette Peterson, a former Health Psychology editor and Division 38 member.


Defined as "differences in the incidence, prevalence, mortality, and burden of diseases and other adverse health conditions that exist among specific population group" (National Institutes of Health). In particular, these awards are intended to support research focusing on various health conditions that are more prevalent, serious, or specific to disadvantaged and medically underserved groups, or on healthcare inequities relevant to these groups, specifically, ethnic minorities and socio-economically disadvantaged individuals in rural and urban areas.

In the event that fewer than 5 proposals are received in the area of child health psychology, relevant applications will be included in the pool for general health psychology research, and an additional award will be conferred in this area. Likewise, if fewer than 10 proposals (but more than 5) are received in the area of health disparities, only one award will be selected from this area, and an additional award will be conferred in general health psychology; if fewer than 5 proposals are received in health disparities, proposals submitted for this award will be included in the general health psychology pool, and two additional awards will be conferred in this area


Proposals will be reviewed on an annual basis and must be received by January 15 in each year, with notification of award made in March.


The award competition is open to full-time students enrolled in any degree conferring-graduate program in psychology. To be eligible to receive the award, students must be current members of Division 38. Research awards are typically used to fund students’ thesis or dissertation research, but this is not a requirement of the support mechanism. Students may submit only one award per content area and may not receive more than one award in a given year. Preference will be given to submissions from students who have not previously received this award.


For the purposes of this award, the term "research" is broadly defined as any scholarly endeavor, including but not limited to experiments, correlational studies, qualitative investigations and evaluation research.


Although the faculty sponsor may be consulted during the formulation of the proposal, the student should be the author of the proposal and the principal investigator of the research project. Research proposals must include the following information:

a) Specific Aims (recommended length .5 page)

  • what are the research goals?
  • what are the specific hypotheses?

b) Background (recommended length 1 page)

  • brief literature review of the area
  • what has past research shown?
  • what gaps in the existing literature does this research address?

c) Methods ( recommended length 2 pages)

  • inclusion and exclusion criteria
  • proposed sample
  • measures/instrumentation
  • procedures
  • data analytic plan
  • anticipated limitations

Parts A through C of the research proposal should not exceed 6 single-spaced pages, including tables and figures. Proposals that exceed the 6-page limit will not be reviewed.

d) References

Style for the proposal must conform to the guidelines for a Public Health Service Grant (i.e., National Institutes of Health) application. Instructions and forms are available at: Please adhere to guidelines for font and margin size.

Applications that do not follow these guidelines will be excluded from consideration.


Award submissions should be submitted via email (see below) and must be received by January 15th in any given year. All pieces of the application must be contained within a single document for ease of distribution to reviewers. It is preferable for the reviewers, and probably easiest for the applicant if the single document is in .pdf format. The name of the file should be the student's last name, e.g., smith.pdf. Each submission should include:

  1. A cover letter that indicates you are a member of Division 38, the award to which you are applying, and how the research addresses the topical area of general health psychology, child health psychology, or health disparities/ethnic minority health. Please note that the committee will make the final decision regarding the most appropriate category for the award.
  2. A proposal title/cover page, that includes the project title, your name, title, affiliation, and contact information (email address, postal address, fax (if available), and phone), and the faculty sponsor's name, title, affiliation, and email address.
  3. A detailed budget explaining how the funds will be used (e.g., paying participants, purchasing equipment, etc.).
  4. The proposal, as described above.
  5. Biographical sketch for the student (follow NIH biosketch guidelines).
  6. A letter of recommendation from the faculty sponsor. The letter should verify that the proposed research is the student's project and that the student will function as the principal investigator. Note that faculty mentors may email their recommendation letters directly, and separate from the student's proposal and other materials, if preferred; please include applicant's name in subject line.

Email student research award applications to


Proposals will be reviewed by members of the Division 38 Research Committee. Students will receive comments regarding their proposal and the outcome of the review process.


Each student receiving an award will be required to submit a report to the Research Committee by September 1 of the year following the award. The report should be limited to 2 single-spaced pages and should include a description of the results and a plan for presenting or publishing the results. In addition, we would appreciate the opportunity to post any final presentations, abstracts, or papers on the Division 38 web site.


For further information, please email

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