Students & Early Career Professionals

Graduate Student Research Awards Program

Division 38 of the American Psychological Association annually sponsors 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 2014 Graduate Student Research Award winners!


The awards may cover any topic in health psychology, including, but not limited to the following topic areas:

  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;
  4. Health disparities;
  5. Child health psychology; and
  6. Health care systems and health policy.


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

  • All references must be formatted according to the APA publication manual, 6th edition.

Formatting guidelines: 12-point font and 1" margins must be used.

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 and how the research addresses a topic area within health psychology.
  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.). Please note the award funds are meant to support the research being proposed and therefore may not be used for travel expenses to conferences.
  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 Health Research Council. 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 Health Research Council 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

© 2015, APA Division 38
All rights reserved.

APA Division 38   •    P.O. Box 1838 Ashland, VA 23005-2544   •    Phone (804) 752-4987    •    Contact Us