Western Psychological Association

APA Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity Grants: Call for applications

APA Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity Grants: Call for applications

A new program for psychology departments — application deadline is Jan. 11, 2016.

The American Psychological Association is offering grants to psychology departments to support undergraduate research assistantships during the summer of 2016. The purpose of the APA Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity Grants is to provide talented undergraduates who have little or no prior laboratory experience with the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of how scientific research is conducted.

These grants are being offered by APA for the first time in 2016, on a pilot basis. If the program is successful, it may be continued in subsequent years.

Scope and Requirements

The grants are designed to enable psychology departments to hire between four and eight undergraduates to work as research assistants in faculty members’ labs for periods of six to eight weeks over the summer of 2016 (within the window of May 1-Sept. 30, 2016). For each department that applies for a grant, it is required that at least three psychology faculty members provide research assistantship opportunities within their labs.

APA will provide funds to pay each student at the institution’s 2016 rate of pay for undergraduate research assistants (but at least $10 per hour). APA will also make a contribution to the hosting department, with the amount determined by the number of students supported. Research assistants will be temporary employees of the institution, and the institution’s employment and other policies will be applicable to them.

It is expected that faculty will be present in the labs throughout the period that the research assistants are employed. The faculty should meet regularly with the research assistants to discuss the purpose, background and methodology of the research being conducted and to mentor the research assistants regarding their academic and career plans.

APA will not provide any indirect costs or overhead, nor will additional funds be provided for student housing, food, travel or other expenses.


Psychology departments in academic institutions in the U.S. that offer a bachelor’s degree are eligible to apply. (Institutions may also offer advanced degrees, though this is not required.)

Participating undergraduates need not be students at the institution; they can, for example, be students at other institutions in the vicinity. All students, however, must be enrolled at a U.S. institution (though they need not be U.S. citizens). APA strongly encourages inclusion of students from groups that are underrepresented in science. The application should include a description of how students will be recruited and selected.

At the time they are selected, students should have had little to no prior experience working in a research lab. At the point they begin working as research assistants, students should have completed their freshman year and not yet have obtained a bachelor’s degree.

Application Instructions and Deadline

One faculty member should serve as the organizer for her or his department’s application. Additional faculty members whose labs will provide research assistantship opportunities should also have their names included in the application.

To apply for a grant, the faculty organizer should submit to APA the information described in the application instructions (PDF, 271KB). In addition, the faculty organizer should ensure that the following materials are submitted to APA:

  • Current CVs of participating faculty.
  • A letter of endorsement of the application signed by both the department chair and the institution’s office of sponsored research.

The deadline for submitting applications is Jan. 11, 2016.

Note: Students should not apply to APA for research assistantships. It is the responsibility of the departments that receive grants to recruit students.

Review of Applications

Applications for the grant will be reviewed by staff of the APA Science Directorate. The quality of the research experience to be provided to student research assistants will be the primary criterion in evaluating applications.

The number of grants made will depend upon APA’s available funds and the sizes of the grants that are approved. APA may reduce the number of funded research assistantships below that which an applicant proposes.

As noted above, the deadline for applications is Jan. 11, 2016. Applicants will be informed of decisions by Jan. 22, 2016. Questions may be sent to the APA Science Directorate by email or by telephone (202) 336-6000.