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Graduate Student Initiated Research Awards

A fundamental component of our Foundation’s mission is to support the training of graduate students. One way we meet this goal is by providing funding for student-initiated research and projects addressing psychological issues that have significant impact on community health. Through the generosity of individual contributions, we are able to offer four awards and scholarships for innovative family, school, and community projects. NJPA Foundation grants/awards requirements and criteria are subject to change each year.

The Graduate Student-Initiated Research Award is an annual contest that awards research/projects that align with the criteria outlined in the description of the 4 awards below. This is a competitive process.  The student-initiated research and projects may be conceptual or data driven. The research may have more than one student author. If so, the award money will be divided equally among the students.

Proposals are presented anonymously to a group of designated judges/reviewers who utilize a numeric rating scale for assessment. The award winner is determined by the average of the judges’ ratings in each category. Awards are limited to 1 award for each of the 4 categories in a given year.  The NJPA Foundation Board of Trustees will review the rating scale results, and in the case of a rating scale tie will work with the reviewers and determine the final winner. The NJPA Foundation reserves the right to provide an award to only those proposals that meet a standard of excellence, and does not guarantee that awards will be given every year in every category. 

Proposals/applications may be submitted beginning in April and are due by July 19th of each calendar year. The applicant must be enrolled in a New Jersey college or university master's or doctoral level psychology program OR, a psychology intern at a New Jersey facility. Applicants, who are not NJPA members, are encouraged to join the New Jersey Psychological Association by visiting here.


Graduate Student Initiated Research Award Categories:

  1. The John M. Lagos Award for Research Into Causes and/or Treatment of Social Problems ($2,000). Awarded for the study of causes and/or treatment of social problems. Some possible topics include school issues, work problems, health issues, and aggression.
    2022 
    Click here to view previous award winners in this category, and read their papers
    .
  2. The Dr. Zellig Bach Award for the Study of the Family ($1,000). Awarded for the study of behavior related to divorce, teenage pregnancy, adoption, single parents with dependent children, interpersonal abuse, substance abuse, custody, dual careers, childcare, etc. Click here to view previous award winners in this category, and read their papers.
  3. The NJPA Foundation Scholarship for Research on Diversity Issues ($2,000): Awarded to a graduate student in psychology who advances the following goals: (a) promote scientific understanding of the role of diversity in psychology; (b) foster the development of sensitive models for delivery of psychological services to diverse populations. Some possible topics include issues related to cultural or ethnic issues, socioeconomic issues, gender issues, or work with underserved populations. Click here to view previous award winners in this category, and read their papers.
  4. The Winifred Starbuck Scott Award ($1,000). Awarded to a graduate student in school psychology for completing a distinguished project, usually during internship. Click here to view previous award winners in this category, and view their papers.

Note - These grants require verification letters. All submissions must include a letter of verification from one's supervisor.  Use the upload button to submit.  This letter must state that said supervisor will supervise the work in progress and to its completion. 

Criteria for Evaluating All NJPA Foundation Awards

The following guidelines are designed to assist the reviewers who evaluate applications for the Research Grants awarded by the Foundation.  The reviewers are instructed to use these guidelines in evaluating each proposal.  Hence, it is in the applicant's interest to be certain that each criterion is suitably addressed in the proposal. As this is a competitive process, the NJPA Foundation reserves the right to provide an award to only those proposals that meet a standard of excellence. 

  1. Social Significance of the Study: Does this proposed research (significantly) contribute to (advance) our understanding of a social and psychological problem or enhance our understanding of the program? Obviously, this is a matter of subjective opinion. Although judgments may reflect personal values, all judges are sufficiently informed of the social needs that psychological science and practice can address, so there should be reasonable agreement.
  2. Scientific/Theoretical Appropriateness of the Study: In this category, attention will be given to the scientific, theoretical, and/or evidential bases for the rationale, the appropriateness of the research design selected for the type of study proposed, the suitability of the data analyses indicated, and the likelihood that findings will permit strong inferences.
  3. Originality of the Study. Credit will be given for imaginative or innovative use of resources, creative treatment of ideas, and the novelty of the design employed to study them.
  4. Clarity of Written Expression. Is the level of written expression adequate for a graduate student? Is the proposal clear? Is it well organized? Is it succinct? Does it make sense?
Each criterion will be rated on the following scale:

1. = superior
2. = above average
3. = adequate
4. = lacking in some respect
5. = unacceptable

Distribution Schedule

  • Award recipient(s) will be presented with the first half of the award money during the annual NJPA Fall Conference.
  • The final summary is expected to be submitted to the NJPA Foundation at least one year from the time the initial award was presented, and not more than two years from then. While final submissions are expected within two years, an award winner may request an extension of up to one year due to unforeseen circumstances. It is the responsibility of the winner to contact the NJPA Foundation.
  • The final summary will include: 
    • A summary, by the award recipient, of not more than 250-300 words describing the completed research project, ANDA verification letter from the supervisor confirming the supervision of, and completion of the research project.
      • The summary must be submitted in APA style of writing, as found in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 
    • A verification letter from the supervisor confirming the supervision of, and completion of the research project.
  • After review and approval of the final summary and the verification letter, by the NJPA Foundation Board of Trustees, the second half of the award will be distributed. 

Congratulations to the 2022 Award Winners in Each Category:

 

 

The John M. Lagos Award for Research into Causes and/or Treatment of Social Problems:

Awarded for the study of causes and/or treatment of social problems.  Some possible topics include school issues, work problems, health issues, and aggression.  $2,000 award

2022 Winner: Maia L Buschmann, MS, PsyM

Implementing Evidence-Based CBT Treatment for Insomnia (CBT-I) in a Primary Care Setting Click here to view research paper

2021 Winner: Angela W. Wang MS, MEd

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for Adolescents (DBT-A) Skills Group for a Group of Diverse Adolescents with Emotion Dysregulation in a Primary Care Setting: A Feasibility and Acceptability Study Click here to view research paper

2020 Winner: Matthew J Dwyer
Evaluation of App-Based Behavioral Activation for Co-Occurring Depression and Drinking to Cope During the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Read paper here. 

2019 Winner: Tamara L. Quezada, PsyM
A Mixed-Methods Study of the Social-Emotional Learning and the School Experience of Emergent BilingualsRead paper here. 

2018 Winner: Krista Herbert, MA
Examining the Efficacy of mHealth for Treating Depression in Primary Care. Read submitted paper  here.

2017 Winner: Laura Grossi, MA
Assessing Victimization Risk. Read submitted paper and summary.

2016 Winner:  Yasmine Omar - Rutgers GSAPP
Self-Regulation for Smoking Cessation.  Read submitted paper here

2015 Award Winner:  Mina Yadegar - Rutgers University
The Impact of Cognitive Techniques on Exposure Effectiveness in CBT for Youth Anxiety.  Read submitted paper here.

 

The Dr. Zellig Bach Award for the Study of the Family:
Awarded for the study of behavior related to divorce, teenage pregnancy, adoption, single parents with dependent children, interpersonal abuse, substance abuse, custody, dual careers, childcare, etc.  $1,000 award

2022 WinnerNicole T Elimelech Maleh, Med

Scared to Lose You: Attachment Narratives of Mothers Post-Neonatal Hospitalization Click here to view research paper

2020 Winner: Jessica L Bonumwezi
Coming of Age After the Genocide: Mental Health of Rwandan Young Adults.  Read paper here.

2015 Winner:  Moshe Winograd - Seton Hall University
Predictors of Post-traumatic Growth in a Pregnancy Loss Population.  Read submitted paper here

 

 

 

 

 

The NJPA Foundation Award for Research on Diversity Issues: 

Awarded to a graduate student in psychology who advances the following goals:  
(a) Promote scientific understanding of the role of diversity in psychology;
(b) Foster the development of sensitive models for delivery of psychological services to diverse populations.
Some possible topics include issues related to cultural or ethnic issues, socioeconomic issues, gender issues or work with underserved populations.  $2,000 award

2022 WinnerFebrian Moten, MS

Racism as the Invalidating Environment in the Development of Borderline Personality Disorder Click here to view research paper

2021 Winner: Lauren E. Davis, BS

Using Structural Equation Modeling to Examine Eating Disorder Symptoms and Their Theoretical Correlates Among Sexual Minority Men Click here to view research paper

2020 Winner: Sarah Schaaf
Examining the Impact of Traditional Sexual Scripts on Professional Responses to Female Sexual Assault: An Implicit Approach. Read paper here.

2019 Winner: Cindy ChangBA
Application of Minority Stress and Suicide Models in Bisexual versus Gay/Lesbian Young Adults."  Read submitted paper here.

2018 Winners: Nicole Cantor, MA and Ebru Dugme Yucel, MA
Alcohols’ Affect on Risk Perception Among Sexual Minority Female: A Laboratory Paradigm. Read submitted paper here.

2017 Winner:  Nicole L. Eskenasi, PsyM
Women Warriors: Exploring the Various Dimensions of  Female Service-Members’ Role Identities. Read submitted paper here.

2016 Winner:  Aishah Manuel - Rutgers GSAPP
An Exploratory Study of the Impact of Participating in Social Support Groups on the Psychosocial Functioning of Transgender Adolescents.  Read submitted paper here.

2015 Winner:  Michael Awad - Columbia University
Assessing Gender Role Construction in Men & Women of Color: Scale Development and Evaluation.  Read submitted paper here

 

The Winifred Starbuck Scott Award:
Awarded to a graduate student in school psychology for completing a distinguished project, usually during internship.  $1,000 award

2022 Winner:
 Hui Jiang, PsyM

Training International Clinicians on the Effective Treatment of Tourette's Syndrome Click here to view research paper