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Dissertation Research Funding Psychology

Whether you're pursuing a PhD in Psychology or Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), doctoral grants for psychology can make your graduate studies more affordable. Doctoral psychology programs either take a research-based or practice-oriented approach to studying human behavior and mental processes. There are currently 379 doctoral programs accredited by the APA in the United States and Puerto Rico.

Psychology is a highly diverse field offering doctorates in every discipline from clinical and social to industrial/organizational and developmental psychology. Now's a great time to become a psychologist since the BLS predicts faster than average job growth by 19 percent through 2024. Financially enduring the long educational journey to licensure can be challenging though.

Below are 20 great PhD grants for psychology students to build their professional future.

1. AAFP Dissertation Grants

Deadline: March 31st

Through the American Academy of Forensic Psychology (AAFP), $5,000 Dissertation Grants are awarded each year to PhD students pursuing a forensic psychology degree at an accredited U.S. graduate school. Eligible doctoral candidates must be in the dissertation writing stage and devoting their research to any area of applied law/psychology. For consideration, applications must include a current curriculum vitae, one letter of support, and a brief personal statement outlining their proposed dissertation.


AAFP Dissertation Grants
1200 Prince Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 229-2422
Grant Link

2. APS Student Grant Competition

Deadline: November 17th

Valued at $500 apiece, the Association for Psychological Science (APS) has an annual Student Grant Competition that provides three awards to master's or doctoral students pursuing research in psychological science. Qualified applicants must be current APS Student Affiliates, attend an accredited U.S. institution, and write a maximum 3,000-word project proposal. Studies in clinical, cognitive, developmental, experimental, I/O, neuroscience, personality, quantitative, and social psychology are welcome.


APS Student Grant Competition
1133 15th Street NW Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 293-9300
Grant Link

3. Arc of Washington Trust Research Grants

Deadline: August 15th

Since 1950, the Arch of Washington Trust has presented Research Grants for $10,000 to PhD students who are conducting psychological research on the causes, prevention, and effective treatment of intellectual disabilities in people of all ages. Grantees must attend an accredited college in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, or British Columbia to quality. Interested doctoral candidates must write a 500-word abstract, detailed project proposal, budget plan, timeline, and curriculum vitae.


Arc of Washington Trust Research Grants
2638 State Avenue NE
Olympia, WA 98506
(360) 357-5596 ext. 107
Grant Link

4. Basic Psychological Science Research Grant

Deadline: December 1st

The American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) created the Basic Psychological Science Research Grant to award $1,000 to master's or PhD students in psychology and neuroscience who are beginning research specifically related to diversity. Eligible recipients must be APAGS members, be enrolled at least half-time, attend a regionally accredited university, have good standing, submit an abbreviated research proposal, and attach one letter of faculty recommendation.


Basic Psychological Science Research Grant
750 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
(800) 374-2721
Grant Link

5. Clara Mayo Grants Program

Deadline: May 15th and October 15th

Twice each year, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) hosts the Clara Mayo Grants Program, which could be used by PhD students to fund pre-dissertation research that examines aspects of sexism, racism, or prejudice. For these $1,000 doctoral grants for psychology, applicants must be SPSSI members, be matriculated full-time at an accredited U.S. university, have IRB approval, write a 1,000-word project description, and show relevance to Clara Mayo's goals.


Clara Mayo Grants Program
208 I Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 675-6956
Grant Link

6. Eileen Coly Student Research Grant

Deadline: Varies

Starting in 2016 after eight years of suspension, the Eileen Coly Student Research Grant will again be offered by the Parapsychology Foundation to gift $1,000 to doctoral scholars conducting original research that furthers knowledge in parapsychology. Eligible PhDs must be affiliated with an accredited university, exhibit research competence, have sincere interest in the paranormal, submit two letters of recommendation, and write a maximum 1,500-word essay titled "The Challenge of Parapsychology."


Eileen Coly Student Research Grant
P.O. Box 1562
New York, NY 10021
(212) 628-1559
Grant Link

7. Fahs-Beck Doctoral Dissertation Grants

Deadline: April 1st and November 1st

Sponsored by the New York Community Trust, the Fahs-Beck Doctoral Dissertation Grants can be used as $5,000 PhD grants for psychology students in the United States and Canada who are studying problems in the well-being of children, adults, couples, families, or whole communities. Qualified applicants enrolled in accredited doctoral programs will be judged based on the merit, likelihood of success, and expected impact of their proposed dissertation research.


Fahs-Beck Doctoral Dissertation Grants
909 Third Avenue 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10022
(212) 686-0010
Grant Link

8. James L. Outtz Grant for Student Research

Deadline: June 30th

The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) awards the James L. Outtz Grant for Student Research annually to give $3,000 to outstanding graduate students beginning master's thesis or doctoral dissertation research in I/O psychology. Proposals should be for empirical research in areas like employee relations, human factors, job analysis, equal opportunity hiring, organizational behavior, etc. Principal investigators must be SIOP Student Affiliates attending an accredited U.S. institution.


James L. Outtz Grant for Student Research
440 East Poe Road Suite 101
Bowling Green, OH 43402
(419) 353-0032
Grant Link

9. Jennifer Ann Crecente Memorial Grant

Deadline: August 15th

In honor of an 18-year-old homicide victim in Austin who intended to study psychology, the Jennifer Ann Crecente Memorial Grant is presented for $5,000 by the Texas Psychological Association (TPA) annually. To qualify, candidates must be currently enrolled master's or PhD psychology students in good standing at an accredited U.S. university. Grant money must fund research focusing on the potential causes and/or prevention of violence against women.


Jennifer Ann Crecente Memorial Grant
1464 East Whitestone Blvd.
Cedar Park, TX 78613
(512) 528-8400
Grant Link

10. Lizette Peterson-Homer Injury Prevention Grant

Deadline: October 1st

Sponsored by the APA Division 54: Society of Pediatric Psychology, the Lizette Peterson-Homer Injury Prevention Grant provides up to $5,000 for doctoral students engaging in original research on the psychological aspects of the prevention of youth injuries through accidents, violence, abuse, or suicide. Qualified recipients must be committed to child psychology, show research competence, attend an accredited university, have IRB approval, and create a four-page project proposal.


Lizette Peterson-Homer Injury Prevention Grant
P.O. Box 3968
Lawrence, KS 66046
(785) 856-0713
Grant Link

11. Mamie Phipps Clark Research Grants

Deadline: November 2nd

Named for the first African American women to earn a PhD in psychology at Columbia in 1943, the Mamie Phipps Clark Research Grants are awarded for $1,500 to graduate student members of the Psi Chi Honor Society. Applicants must be conducting research focused on diversity issues at an accredited institution with a Psi Chi chapter. Online applications won't be complete without a maximum six-page project proposal written in APA style, budgetary outline, and letter of faculty recommendation.


Mamie Phipps Clark Research Grants
P.O. Box 709
Chattanooga, TN 37401
(423) 771-9968
Grant Link

Related: 20 Great PhD Scholarships and Doctoral Grants for Minorities

12. NASP Graduate Student Research Grants

Deadline: September 15th

Annually, the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) supports doctoral candidates enrolled in school psychology training programs in the United States with three Graduate Student Research Grants for $1,000 apiece. PhD or EdD students must display exceptional ability to conduct high-quality research that improves the academic, social, or mental health functioning for diverse school-aged children. There's also a $500 WPS Travel Grant offered for attending the NASP Convention.


NASP Graduate Student Research Grants
4340 East West Highway Suite 402
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 657-0270
Grant Link

13. Norine Johnson PhD Psychotherapy Grant

Deadline: April 1st

Worth $10,000, the Norine Johnson PhD Psychotherapy Grant is awarded via the APA Division 29: Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy for doctoral-level researchers. Eligible PhD or PsyD candidates must attend an accredited U.S. institution, have good standing, conduct research pertaining to psychotherapist factors that may impact treatment effectiveness, be APA members, and have IRB approval. Applications must include a research proposal, CV, budget, timeline, and personal statement of goals.


Norine Johnson PhD Psychotherapy Grant
6557 East Riverdale Street
Mesa, AZ 85215
(602) 363-9211
Grant Link

14. Oglesby-Snyder Grant for Equity

Deadline: April 1st

The Association for Applied Sports Psychology (AASP) funds the Oglesby-Snyder Grant for Equity to provide $5,000 to PhD-level scholars who propose innovative original research that could lead to understandings that advance equity and cultural diversity in sports. Eligible must be continuous AASP members for at least years, affiliate with an accredited U.S. university, show genuine commitment to sports or exercise psychology, and agree to present at the AASP conference.


Oglesby-Snyder Grant for Equity
8365 Keystone Crossing Suite 107
Indianapolis, IN 46240
(317) 205-9225
Grant Link

15. Positive Psychology Young Scholars Grant

Deadline: January 15th

With support from the John Templeton Foundation, the Positive Psychology Network has created the Young Scholars Grants to gift $10,000 to PhD students and early-career psychologists from all disciplines who are engaging in research that transforms psychology in a positive direction. Topics of interest include optimism, noble purpose, self-control, spirituality, health and wellness, character-building, etc. Successful U.S. applicants must display talent and future promise as positive psychology researchers.


Positive Psychology Young Scholars Grant
3815 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 898-4100
Grant Link

16. Qualtrics Behavioral Research Grants

Deadline: Varies

Ranging from $2,000 to $3,000, the Qualtrics Behavioral Research Grants are presented to help support PhD student researchers in psychology and other social sciences who are using Qualtrics as their primary method for data collection. Eligible doctoral recipients can utilize the grant to fund their tuition, fees, equipment, and software for research at an accredited U.S. university. Selections are based on research's originality, quality, feasibility, and potential field contribution.


Qualtrics Behavioral Research Grants
400 Qualtrics Drive
Provo, Utah 84604
(800) 340-9194
Grant Link

17. Scott Mesh Honorary Grant for Psychology

Deadline: May 4th

Named after the founding APAGS co-chair in 1988, the Scott Mesh Honorary Grant for Psychology is administered by the American Psychological Association (APA) to present $1,000 to students conducting dissertation research leading to a PhD or PsyD in any psychology field. Eligible applicants must be APAGS student members, enroll at least half-time, have good standing, attend a regionally accredited university, write a three-page research proposal, and provide one letter of recommendation.


Scott Mesh Honorary Grant for Psychology
750 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 336-5500
Grant Link

18. SSSS Student Research Grant

Deadline: June 1st

At its Annual Meeting, the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS) awards the Student Research Grant for $1,000 to two exemplary graduate psychology students conducting their master's thesis or doctoral dissertation on human sexuality. Qualified recipients must be enrolled full-time in a degree-granting program in the United States with student-level SSSS membership. Applications must be accompanied by an abstract, proposed budget, bibliography, and short biographical sketch.


SSSS Student Research Grant
881 Third Street Suite B-5
Whitehall, PA 18052
(610) 443-3100
Grant Link

19. Walter G. McMillen Memorial Grant Award

Deadline: March 15th

APA Division 20: Adult Development and Aging has established the Walter G. McMillen Memorial Grant Award to encourage graduate psychology students to devote their doctoral research on studying Parkinson's disease. The $1,000 grant is reserved for PhD students investigating the assessment, treatment, and management of Parkinson's and the disease's impact on caregivers. Research proposals should include a 400-word abstract, methodology, cited literature, biographical sketch, and letter of support.


Walter G. McMillen Memorial Grant Award
750 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 336-5500
Grant Link

20. Wayne F. Placek Doctoral Grant

Deadline: March 1st

Established in 1995 by the American Psychological Foundation (APF), the Wayne F. Placek Doctoral Grant is bestowed for $15,000 annually to graduate students in the behavioral and social sciences, especially psychology. Eligible candidates must be affiliated with accredited non-profit universities to begin empirical research studying sexual orientation and lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) issues. Proposals should have a cover letter, abstract, project description, methodology, timeline, budget, and CV.


Wayne F. Placek Doctoral Grant
750 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 336-5500
Grant Link

Becoming a licensed psychologist requires investing in a lengthy stay in graduate school. Most doctoral psychology students spend five to six years full-time completing their advanced training on the human mind. The NCES reports that the average graduate tuition cost is $16,435 per year. In comparison, clinical, counseling, and school psychologists bring home a mean yearly salary of $74,030. Finding scholarships and grants is important to maximize the ROI for your PhD or PsyD degree. Fund your tuition and research expenses by applying for some of these 20 great doctoral grants for psychology.

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  1. APA Dissertation Research Awards assists science-oriented doctoral students of psychology with research costs. Award - the current program includes 30-40 grants of $1000 each, along with several larger grants of up to $5000 to students whose dissertation research reflects excellence in scientific psychology. Eligibility - must be a member of APA and have had your dissertation proposal approved prior to application.
  2. APA APAGS Mesh Honorary Scholarship for Research in Psychology supports support dissertation research leading to a doctoral degree in the field of psychology. Award - $1,000 scholarship. Eligibility - a student affiliate of the American Psychological Association (APA).
  3. NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants supports dissertation research in any scientific field covered by NSF. Award limits vary by program ($7500 - $15000); supports research expenses only (no stipends).
  4. APA Div 49 (Groups) Dissertation Award honors a recent dissertation by someone whose research on small groups seems especially promising. Award - $500, a plaque, a three-year membership in the Division, and the prize is conferred at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association. Eligibility - Only dissertations that were completed during the prior calendar year are eligible, but the research described in those dissertations can explore any group phenomenon, using any methodology to investigate any type of group.
  5. SPSSI Grant-in-Aid of Research supports scientific research in social problems related to the basic interests and goals of SPSSI, with preference given to proposals of timely research opportunities, new investigators, and underrepresented institutions. Award - up to $1000 for students, up to $2000 for those with a Ph.D. Eligibility - SPSSI members, with strong preference given to dissertation stage research, and proposals must be accompanied by university agreement to match funds.
  6. SPSSI Social Issues Dissertation Award honors a doctoral dissertation that demonstrates excellence in socially relevant research and potential application to social problems. Award - first prize of $750, second prize of $500. Eligibility - any doctoral dissertation in psychology (or in a social science with psychological subject matter) accepted during the prior year is eligible.
  7. SESP Dissertation Award recognizes outstanding dissertation research from the previous year. Award - The SESP Annual Dissertation Award carries with it membership in the Society, as well as an honorarium to cover airfare, hotel, and registration at the Society's next meeting. The recipient of the award will be asked to give a brief talk based on her or his dissertation at this meeting. Eligibility - Only dissertations completed during the previous year are eligible for the award. The completion date for a dissertation is defined as the date of the oral defense, as officially recorded by the nominee's institution.
  8. Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation Dissertation Fellowships provides funds to scholars from any of the natural and social sciences and the humanities that promise to increase understanding of the causes, manifestations, and control of violence, aggression, and dominance. Award - ten or more fellowships are awarded each year for $15,000 each. Eligibility - Applicants may be citizens of any country and studying at colleges or universities in any country. HFGF places a priority on the study of urgent problems of violence and aggression in the modern world as it relates to eight priority areas discussed on the website here.
  9. Woodrow Wilson Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships are designed to encourage original and significant study of ethical or religious values in all fields of the humanities and social sciences, and particularly to help Ph.D. candidates in these fields complete their dissertation work in a timely manner. In addition to topics in religious studies or in ethics (philosophical or religious), dissertations appropriate to the Newcombe Fellowship competition might explore the ethical implications of foreign policy, the values influencing political decisions, the moral codes of other cultures, and religious or ethical issues reflected in history or literature. Award - approximately 30 Fellows will receive $19,000 for 12 months of full-time dissertation writing; in addition, their graduate schools will be asked to waive tuition and/or remit some portion of their fees. Eligibility - be in the writing stage of the dissertation and never held a similar national award for the final year of dissertation writing.
  10. Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship in Women’s Studies encourages original and significant research about women that crosses disciplinary, regional, or cultural boundaries. Award - Fellows receive $3,000 to be used for expenses connected with the dissertation. Eligibility - completion of all pre-dissertation requirements and expected completion of Ph.D. by next year.
  11. Woodrow Wilson MMUF Dissertation Grants are available to graduate students who participated in the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program and are at the dissertation stage. Award - offers up to $20,000 for a 12-month period. Eligibility - applicants must be Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows.
  12. Woodrow Wilson MMUF Travel & Research Grants are available to graduate students who participated in the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program. The grants provide eligible graduate students with the financial means to complete their research prior to the start of dissertation writing. Award - up to $5,000 for a period of one summer or one semester of travel and/or research support. Eligibility - applicants must be Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows.
  13. Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships assist graduate students in the humanities and related social sciences in the last year of Ph.D. dissertation writing. This program aims to encourage timely completion of the Ph.D. Applicants must be prepared to complete their dissertations within the period of their fellowship tenure or shortly thereafter. Award - 65 Fellowships for a one-year term. The Fellowship tenure may be carried out in residence at the Fellow's home institution, abroad, or at another appropriate site for the research. The Fellowships include funds for university fees and research support (together with stipend the award may total up to $33,000) but may not be held concurrently with any other major fellowship or grant. Eligibility - all requirements for the Ph.D. except the dissertation completed before beginning fellowship tenure.
  14. ACLS Dissertation Fellowships in East European Studies provides support for US citizens to conduct scholarship about policy-making related to Eastern Europe. Two types of support are available: Research Fellowships to conduct fieldwork or archival research in Eastern Europe, and Writing Fellowships to write the dissertation in the US. Award - stipend will be up to $18,000. Eligibility - currently enrolled graduate students who will have completed all requirements for the doctorate except the dissertation.

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