Tag Archives: grants and awards

Toronto skyline in the day

Early Convention Tips and Tricks

Are you planning to go to the APA Convention in Toronto on 2015? It may be tough to think about something that seems so far away, but it might be helpful to start planning since this year it will be in another country!

When preparing to trToronto skyline in the dayavel to Canada, the first thing you need is a passport. If you do not already have one, or need a replacement or renewal, you should definitely consider applying soon. Processing times take anywhere between 8 business days to 6 weeks depending on how urgent you need it. Get started today by visiting the Bureau of Consular Affairs. Passport

After getting your passport, there are other steps that you might want to consider planning in advance. If you submitted a proposal that was accepted for presentation and you are a first author, your registration fee will be waived if you are also an APAGS member!

Other ways to get some funding for travel would be to look at travel grants.  Different sections and divisions of APA offer various types of funding. APAGS offers the Convention Travel award for first time convention attendees.  The deadline to apply for this award is TODAY, April 1, 2015. The APA Science Directorate also offers assistance for psychology graduate students to travel to the Convention.

Some APA Divisions of APA also offer funding for Convention travel. Be sure to check with any Division to which you are a member to see what type of funding is provided for students to attend Convention. You may also consider joining your Division’s listserv to get information on services and funding provided by your Division.

After getting your passport, and applying for funding, low cost travel would be the next thing for you to consider. Sites like Expedia  and Kayak  are popular for cheap travel, while accommodation sites include Hostels.com and AirBnB  among others.

Do stay tuned for more tips and tricks to help you plan your Convention travel!

Affording and Repaying Grad School

New Tools for Affording and Repaying Graduate School

Affording and Repaying Grad School

On our APAGS website, we recently published a page with tools and materials sorted into four key areas:

  1. Education costs and affordability
  2. Aid, grants and funding opportunities
  3. Loan repayment and forgiveness
  4. Financial fitness

Please visit our new webpage to get information on any of these areas. No matter what phase of an academic career you’re in (a prospective, current, or recent graduate student) there’s likely a link or two to help you. Links consist of materials APA publishes and also materials vetted by APAGS staff.

Improving Life for People with Schizophrenia Using my APAGS Grant

Imagine you had a hard time learning from a behavior that brought rewards. This very dilemma is a reality for people with schizophrenia.

If you know something about Skinner’s contributions to reinforcement learning, you know that human behavior is shaped by outcomes. Quite simply, behaviors that result in positive outcomes (rewards) should increase in frequency over time, while behaviors that result in negative outcomes (punishments) should decrease over time.  But imagine for a second that you had a hard time learning from a behavior that brought rewards. Would you be more likely to engage in that behavior in the future?

This very dilemma is a reality for people with schizophrenia. Such individuals have difficulty learning from behaviors that result in rewarding outcomes and in turn, engage less in those types of behavior. Decreased social engagement is the most common manifestation of motivational impairment in people with schizophrenia and a leading cause of disability in this illness — even though the mechanisms underlying this problem remain unclear.

Through the generosity of APAGS’s Basic Psychological Science Research Grant [next deadline: 12/3/14], participants in my study will use a novel social reinforcement-learning paradigm to interact with virtual players. To investigate learning, virtual player behavior will be designed to result in either positive (rewarding) or negative (punishing) social outcomes.

My proposed research seeks to investigate the following questions:

  • How do people with and without schizophrenia learn from social interactions with positive and negative outcomes?
  • Can utilizing a social partner’s emotional display facilitate learning from social interactions?

Hopefully, results will increase our understanding of the mechanisms underlying decreased social engagement among people with schizophrenia. My goal is improve the quality of life and social well-being of people with schizophrenia through tested interventions. Given that motivation is also a prominent feature in depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety, these findings may also shed light on potential targets for a transdiagnostic approach to treatment.

Tim Campellone picFor more information on this project, please feel free to contact me at tcampellone@berkeley.edu or visit our lab website.

Editors note: This post was written by Basic Psychological Science Research Grant winner Tim Campellone, a doctoral student in the Department of Psychology at University of California, Berkeley.


Research Spotlight: Where are they now?

In order to acknowledge all of the great psychology research APAGS members have conducted recently, we asked our funding recipients to share with us all of the important progress they have been able to accomplish with the support of the of APAGS and the APA Science Student Council (SSC).  

In the upcoming months we will be showcasing outstanding students whose research was made possible with the help of APA and SSC funding. The following students have demonstrated the utmost passion and creativity that APA looks for in its members and we love to see how their personal interests are inspiring the entire psychological science community.


spikeleeSpike Lee: Mind over Matter

“My colleagues and I have been exploring a number of quirky effects linking the mind and the body. What we consistently find is that social psychological processes are influenced by incidental bodily experiences that have no more than metaphorical relevance. For example,

  • Literally smelling something fishy makes people suspicious and invest less money in a trust game
  • After doing something unethical with their mouth, people want to rinse their “dirty mouth”; but after doing something unethical with their hands, people want to purify their “dirty hands”
  • People can metaphorically “wipe the slate clean” — an antiseptic wipe is sufficient to eliminate the classic free-choice dissonance effect

In addition, a few years back when swine flu was all over the place, we did a couple of fun studies by walking around town, sneezing and coughing. That was enough to change how people wanted the government to spend a billion dollars. The logic wasn’t new but the effects were surprisingly strong, given that it was “just a sneeze.””


Logan Fiorella: Learning by Teaching: The Role of Expectations and ExplanationsLogan Fiorella Bio Pic

It is often said that the best way to learn something new is to teach it to someone else.  My research aimed to explore this idea by testing the relative effects of preparing to teach and actually teaching on short- and long-term learning.

  •  In four experiments, college students studied a multimedia lesson on how a scientific process works with the expectation of later teaching or being tested on the material; some participants actually taught the material, whereas others only studied the lesson.
  •  Participants then completed a comprehension test either immediately or following a one-week delay… when tested following a one-week delay, only participants who actually taught the material experienced better learning outcomes.

These findings suggest that while preparing to teach leads to short-term learning benefits, the act of teaching is critical for long-term learning.


Michael Alosco: Where the Heart Is

mike alonso photoEarly research of mine has examined the impact of cognitive function on activities of daily living in older adults with heart failure. Support from APAGS has provided the opportunity to expand upon this line of research to help better understand the association between cognitive function and functional independence in cardiovascular disease patients.

  • For instance, recent work from our team suggest that heart failure patients may be at risk for unsafe driving and treatment non-adherence due to impairments in attention and executive function.
  •  In response to these findings, additional studies from our group have sought to identify possible mechanisms for cognitive impairment in persons with cardiovascular disease using advanced neuroimaging.

These students got authorship and a trip to Hawaii. What are you waiting for?

The saying goes that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Correct! For this prize, write a compelling ethics paper and then you can treat yourself to many delicious lunches.

APAGS and the APA Ethics Committee have teamed up for the 13th time to award a prize to a graduate student whose winning paper successfully examines psychology and ethics.  Applications are due January 3rd.

If you win, you are entitled to

  • $1,000
  • A round trip ticket to our 2014 Convention in Washington, D.C.
    • with free registration
    • three night of hotel accommodations
    • a session to present your paper and receive your award
  • The chance to get your work published in a peer-reviewed journal

Angela Haeny, M.A. from the University of Missouri and Christine Paprocki, M.A. from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill were APA’s 2013 winners. Angela wrote a paper on Ethical considerations for psychologists taking a public stance on controversial issues, and Christine wrote on Trainee perspectives on tensions between religious beliefs and affirming treatment of LGBT clients (follow the links to their articles in Ethics and Behavior).

From L-R: Dr. Nabil El-Ghoroury, head of APAGS, stands with winners Ms. Angela Haeny and Ms. Christine Paprocki, and Dr. Steven Behnke, head of the Ethics Office, on the balcony of the APAGS Suite in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Source: APAGS).

From L-R: Dr. Nabil El-Ghoroury, head of APAGS; winners Ms. Angela Haeny and Ms. Christine Paprocki; and Dr. Stephen Behnke, head of the APA Ethics Office. On the balcony of the APAGS Convention Suite in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Source: APAGS).

For an inside track on why you should apply, I spoke recently with Angela and Christine.

Eddy:  Please tell me, how did you arrive at your topics?

Angela:  I have personal interest in being involved in controversial issues and wondered what that might look like as a psychologist in training.

Christine:  My paper dealt with the ethical implications of “values conflicts” in which psychologists or trainees feel that their own beliefs would prevent them from working with a certain type of patient. I wanted to further explore the tricky ethical dilemmas that arise when this occurs within a training context.

Eddy:  What benefits—obvious or not-so-obvious—did you get from being involved in this process?

Christine:  It was a great way to delve into the details of a thorny ethical issue and write a more theoretical piece—as graduate students, we get much more training in research-oriented writing, so this was a wonderful growth experience! Also, I had a fantastic time at the APA convention. I had never been to this conference before, and was really impressed by the breadth and diversity of topics explored—it also didn’t hurt that it was in Honolulu! [Ed. note: We hope D.C. isn’t too shabby an alternative for 2014 attendees.]

Angela:  Writing the ethics paper caused me to become more intimate with the Ethic’s Code and to think more deeply about ethical issues and considerations for psychologists taking a public stance on controversial issues.

Eddy:  What advice would you have for 2014 applicants?

Angela:  Choose a topic that interests you and have fun writing the paper! This is a great opportunity for you to showcase your knowledge on the APA Ethic’s Code and raise an issue that is important to you.

Christine: Definitely apply if you are thinking about it—it is an excellent way to engage more deeply with an important ethical issue affecting our field. As with any writing submission, have plenty of people read it and offer suggestions. Write about something that you feel passionately about and that really sparks your interest.

Consider working on your application over Winter Break!