Chair's Corner

As psychology graduate students, we are often encouraged to engage in self-reflection. When I approach a new school year, I like to evaluate my progress, reviewing where I've been, where I'm going and what I would like to focus on in the coming year. Perhaps you, too, are considering the skills you'd like to develop or daydreaming about exciting new research projects.

But chances are, you're not thinking about APAGS — the group that, as you know, represents psychology students nationwide. I'm here to tell you that you should be. APAGS can help you realize many of your training and research dreams. In addition to advocating for graduate students, APAGS provides many funding and learning opportunities for students. Here are six ways you can benefit from your APAGS membership.

  1. Apply for an APAGS scholarship or grant. Each year, APAGS awards 17 student research grants and scholarships. These funding opportunities extend across a wide range of topic areas and training levels and are a great way to fund your master's or dissertation project or support clinical and training opportunities.

  2. Apply for a Science Directorate award. You can also apply for a variety of APA scholarships, grants and awards. For instance, APA's Science Directorate and the American Psychological Foundation provide $300 to about 100 students to present research at APA's Annual Convention. You can also win a dissertation award from the Science Directorate, which provides $1,000 to $5,000 to assist doctoral students with research costs, as well as master's-level research awards of $1,000.

  3. Check out funding opportunities for ethnic-minority students. There are many scholarship and award opportunities for psychology students from underrepresented groups. Some examples include the Minority Scholarship Program for Graduate Training in Psychology, which provides $5,000 for minority students pursuing careers in school psychology; the Minority International Research Training Grant in the Biomedical and Behavioral Sciences, which provides minority students with $200,000 in funding for international study of diseases and health conditions; and the Pre-doctoral Fellowship Award for Minority Students, which provides an annual stipend of about $21,000.

  4. Seek awards from APA divisions. If you're looking for funding for a particular research area, check out the awards offered by APA's 54 divisions. For example, Div. 29 (Psychotherapy) provides $2,000 every other year to support an outstanding student research project on psychotherapy. Div. 28 (Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse) annually honors an outstanding dissertation in the area of psychopharmacology and substance abuse with a $250 award. Div. 44 (Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues) sponsors an annual award of $1,000 to a graduate student studying issues of bisexuality. Visit APA's awards index to search for these and other grants, scholarships and awards.

  5. Attend student-focused programs at APA's Annual Convention. Last month, APAGS offered an impressive slate of convention sessions especially for students, including sessions on grant writing, career options in psychology, how to get into graduate school and how to find mentors. We're already working on programming for next year's convention in Washington, D.C. Stay abreast of our plans.

  6. Connect with APAGS social networking sites. Want more funding ideas or maybe just advice from other students on handling the pressures of grad school life? Try tapping into the vast knowledge of the APAGS virtual community by posting on the APAGS Facebook page or an APAGS listserv. You might find exactly what you're looking for.

As you embark on a new year of planning your courses, research or training experiences, take a minute to see how APAGS can help — take a breather from your own work, and make APAGS work for you.