Western Psychological Association


APS Fund for Teaching and Public Understanding of Psychological Science


Request for Proposals

Deadline: February 1, 2016

Psychological science often suggests promising principles that may improve learning. However, many of these findings have not been translated to educational contexts or designed into easy-to-implement teaching interventions. A new grant program from the APS Fund for Teaching and Public Understanding of Psychological Science encourages the development of evidence-demonstrated interventions that apply well-established principles to improve the teaching of psychological science. The objective is to extend the validity of research from controlled contexts to naturalistic post-secondary learning environments, to determine the necessary conditions for interventions to succeed, and ultimately to design the strategies needed for others to implement successful interventions in their own teaching contexts.

The APS Teaching Fund invites proposals for grants of up to $15,000 to support research contributing to this effort in the teaching of psychological science in higher education. Larger grants may be available for projects that implement teaching interventions across different university settings to assess generalizability.

Successful proposals will have a well-established theoretical foundation, an effective experimental design with clearly defined variables, and a thorough description of the proposed intervention, including details about how the intervention will be designed for broad use. Proposals will also be evaluated on the appropriateness of the budget and timeline. Preference will be given to proposals that include multiple measures related to the intervention (e.g. short-term performance, long-term retention, engagement, teacher and student satisfaction, etc.).

Frequently Asked Questions

Applicants are invited to discuss ideas with the Teaching Fund Committee prior to submission.

Contact:  Tracy E. Zinn, Chair at teachfund@psychologicalscience.org

The deadline for proposals is February 1, 2016


To Apply

E-mail proposals to teachfund@psychologicalscience.org with the following format:

  1. Identify a specific theoretical principle or basic psychological finding that has a clear implication for implementation in a post-secondary learning environment, briefly review the published literature, and explain how application of these concepts or findings could improve student learning. (500 words or less)
  2. Summarize the proposed teaching intervention and describe the research method being used to evaluate the intervention’s effectiveness. Interventions and evaluation methods should be user friendly to facilitate implementation and replication by other instructors in a variety of contexts. Designs that include appropriate control conditions and multiple dependent variables with an emphasis on long-term learning (e.g., improved test scores, better retention of information, student perceptions of the learning process, student engagement, instructor perceptions) will receive preference. (500 words or less)
  3. References from the relevant literature.
  4. Timeline: Describe timing of major study milestones (e.g., data collection, completion of data analysis), including plans for dissemination of results. Note: The review committee may make recommendations for modifying funded projects based on fund initiatives; applicants may wish to defer IRB approval until after the review process.
  5. Budget: Describe how grant funds will be used, including an itemized budget and a clear explanation of why proposed expenditures are necessary for the success of the project. Please note that university overhead, computers, and conference travel are not typically funded through this grant program.
  6. Letter of institutional support (e.g., department head/chair, dean).
  7. CV of principal investigator(s).


APS Teaching Fund Committee

Tracy E. Zinn, James Madison University, Chair
Mark Costanzo, Claremont McKenna College
David Daniel, James Madison University
Amanda Diekman, Miami University
Sue M. Frantz, Highline College
Mandy Gingerich, Butler University
Rajiv Jhangiani, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Neil S. Lutsky, Carleton College
Steve Meyers, Roosevelt University


The APS Teaching Fund was established with the generous support of

The David & Carol Myers Foundation.