NJPA Foundation Dissertation Grants

Click Here for Dissertation Grants – At a Glance
Click Here for the Dissertation Grant Opportunity and Description
Click Here for Dissertation Grant Application Requirements and Application link
Click Here for Criteria for Evaluating Dissertation Grant Submissions
Click Here for Dissertation Grant Recipient Distribution Schedule and Requirements
Click Here for Congratulations! 2021 Social Advocacy Open Topic Dissertation Grant Recipients

NEW Click Here to watch our Dissertation Grant Recipient Podcasts

The NJPA Foundation has established the Social Advocacy Open Topic Grant. This grant opportunity is open to doctoral level graduate psychology students enrolled in a New Jersey doctoral level psychology program, to support the process of a student’s doctoral dissertation. The dissertation grant applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. If approved, the NJPA Foundation will develop an individual grant distribution schedule, per grant recipient. To be a candidate for this grant, a qualified graduate student must have a social advocacy open topic area that may or does impact underserved populations of New Jersey as the focus of her/his doctoral dissertation.

*NJPA Foundation grants/awards requirements and criteria are subject to change each year

*Please note that due to a reduction in capital reserves, the Foundation has made the difficult decision to reduce the number of grants awarded to fund programs and to support students. This includes having to put Dissertation Grant applications on temporary hiatus.

Dissertation Grants – At a Glance

  • Proposals from students are considered and reviewed by the NJPA Foundation Board throughout the year on an ongoing, rolling basis.
  • The dissertation grant is intended to fund doctoral level graduate psychology students, enrolled in a New Jersey doctoral level psychology program, to support the process of their doctoral dissertation. The grant money is not meant to cover tuition obligations.
  • The number of grants awarded is not limited by year. 
  • This is not a contest. Grants are given on an individual basis.

NJPA Foundation Dissertation Grant Topic

The NJPA Foundation has been concerned about current events that impact the mental health of our community.

Social Advocacy Open Topic - To be a candidate for this grant, a qualified graduate student must have a social advocacy topic that may or does impact underserved populations of New Jersey. The NJPA Foundation Board of Trustees may award up to $5,000 per grant recipient, per social advocacy open topic grant. 

Click here to view our recent grant recipients and to read their proposals.

 NJPA Foundation Dissertation Grant Application Requirements

  • Complete the NJPA Foundation online form – this form will include the applicant name and contact information, graduate school, supervisor name and contact information.
  • Upload an abstract of the project that includes project title, research objectives, methodology and policy relevance, and include an estimation of expenses and duration of research – 150 to 250 words.
  • Upload a letter of verification from your supervisor (see application for details).
  • The dissertation proposal must be submitted in APA style, as found in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.
  • NJPA Foundation Dissertation Grant Recipients will provide NJPAF with their social security number for distribution of the award, and a headshot for the announcement and publication of the awards.
  • The abstracted dissertations may be published in the New Jersey Psychologist, the professional publication of the New Jersey Psychological Association, and on the NJPA website.
  • Applicants are encouraged to join the New Jersey Psychological Association. Membership application is available on the NJPA website at www.psychologynj.org/member-levels-application.

Criteria for Evaluating NJPA Foundation Dissertation Grant Applications

In evaluating submissions, The NJPA Foundation will consider the criteria listed below. A qualified graduate student applicant must have a social advocacy topic, that may or does impact underserved populations of New Jersey. It is in the applicant's interest to be certain that each criterion is suitably addressed in the submission. The NJPA Foundation reserves the right to provide a grant to only those proposals that meet a standard of excellence.

  1. Social Significance of the Study:  Does this proposed research significantly advance or contribute to the understanding of the social and psychological problem: Social Advocacy Open Topic 

  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.

Each criterion will be rated on the following scale:
1 = superior
2 = above average
3 = adequate
4 = lacking in some respect
5 = unacceptable

 NJPA Foundation Dissertation Grant Recipient Distribution Schedule and Requirements

  • Award recipient will receive 25% of the approved dissertation grant money with their grant acceptance letter.
  • The next 50% of the dissertation grant money will be distributed over two installments once we receive verification that the dissertation work is ongoing and satisfactory progress is being made, through student submission of both a status progress report and a brief advisor letter. The installments will be distributed on the first of each of the first two months following approval by the NJPAF Board.
    • The grant recipient should narrate what they are currently doing with regard to their research, in their status progress report. For example, they could describe data collection now taking place (methods, details, expected duration). The purpose of the report at this stage is to verify that progress is being made.
    • The grant recipient will also include a brief statement about expenses incurred, including an expense report detailing the use of the money to this point.
    • The letter from the advisor is a brief statement that the grant recipient is making satisfactory progress and that it's likely that the dissertation will be completed.
  • The last 25% of the dissertation grant money will be distributed after you meet with NJPA Foundation representative(s) to present your process and the end result of your dissertation, at either a live or virtual meeting. NJPA Central Office staff will help schedule this meeting.

Congratulations! 2021 Social Advocacy Open Topic Dissertation Grant Recipients

Examining the Training Experiences, Future Aims and Beliefs of Family Medicine Residents Regarding Patients in Larger Bodies
by Kate El-Sharkawy, BA
The majority of Americans are classified as either obese or overweight (Fryar, Carroll, & Ogden, 2018). The prevalence and medical implications of higher weight statuses indicate a need for physicians who are prepared to address the specific needs of patients in larger bodies. However, patients in large bodies report more negative experiences with primary care physicians than positive ones and exhibit poor health outcomes (Ananthakumar, Jones, Hinton, & Aveyard, 2020; Phelan, Burgess, et al., 2015). Click here to read more.

Previous Year Recipients: 

2020 Social Advocacy Open Topic Dissertation Grant Recipients

 Listen to the latest NJPA Foundation Dissertation Recipient Podcasts!


Phenomenological Experiences of Traumatic Childbirth in Black
by, Ruby Rhoden
Dissertation Grant Recipient

Over 700 women in the US die annually during pregnancy and childbirth, making it the most dangerous country to give birth in the developed world. Yet, there is a neglected and rapidly growing population that affects 2,000-fold more women every year – maternal morbidity. Click here to read more.



Who Wants to Fit in Anyway? – Bicultural Identity Integration as a Protective Factor Against Color Based Racial Discrimination Appraisal 
by Anne Marie Keshani Perera
2020 Dissertation Grant Recipient

Existing literature explores the association between racism and mental health suggesting that racial struggles may increase the vulnerability for the development of psychopathology. Correlations between skin color and racism have been well established. Click here to read more.