Graduate Student Research Awards Program

The Society for Health Psychology annually sponsors five graduate student awards to support new research. Each award is for $1500.



  • Etiology, promotion and maintenance of health;
  • Prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of physical illness;
  • Psychological, social, emotional and behavioral factors in physical illness;
  • Child health psychology; and
  • Health care systems and health policy.


Health disparities are defined as “differences in the incidence, prevalence, mortality, and burden of diseases and other adverse health conditions that exist among specific population group” (National Institutes of Health). In particular, the award for health disparities research is intended to support research focusing on various health conditions that are more prevalent, serious, or specific to disadvantaged and medically underserved groups, or on healthcare inequities relevant to these groups, specifically, ethnic minorities and socio-economically disadvantaged individuals in rural and urban areas.


Proposals will be reviewed on an annual basis and must be received by January 15, with notification of award made in March.


The award competition is open to full-time students enrolled in any degree conferring-graduate program in psychology. The program is not required to be a Health Psychology program. To be eligible to receive the award, students must be current members of the Society for Health Psychology. Research awards are typically used to fund students’ thesis or dissertation research, but this is not a requirement of the support mechanism. Students may submit only one award year.


For the purposes of this award, the term “research” is broadly defined as any scholarly endeavor, including but not limited to experiments, correlational studies, qualitative investigations and evaluation research.


Although the faculty sponsor should be consulted during the formulation of the proposal, the student should be the author of the proposal and the principal investigator of the research project. Research proposals must include the following information:

A. Specific Aims (recommended length 1 page)

  • What are the research goals?

What are the specific hypotheses?

B. Background (recommended length 2 pages)

  • Brief literature review of the area
  • What has past research shown?
  • What gaps in the existing literature does this research address?

C. Methods (recommended length 3 pages)

  • Inclusion and exclusion criteria
  • Proposed sample
  • Measures/Instrumentation
  • Procedures
  • Data analytic plan
  • Anticipated limitations

Parts A through C of the research proposal should not exceed 6 single-spaced pages, including tables and figures. Proposals that exceed the 6-page limit will not be reviewed.

D. References

  • All references must be formatted according to the APA publication manual, 6th edition.

Formatting guidelines: 12-point font and 1″ margins must be used.

Applications that do not follow these guidelines will be excluded from consideration.


It is REQUIRED that applicants complete the following online form as part of the submission process: The data from this online form will only be used for information purposes and will not be shared with reviewers. In addition, the award packet (described below) should be uploaded using the following Dropbox link: and must be received by January 15th in any given year. All pieces of the application must be contained within a single document for ease of distribution to reviewers. It is preferable for the reviewers, and probably easiest for the applicant if the single document is in .pdf format. The name of the file should be the student’s last name, e.g., Smith.pdf. Each award packet should include:

  1. A cover letter that indicates you are a member of the Society for Health Psychology and how the research addresses a topic area within health psychology.
  2. A proposal title/cover page, that includes the project title, your name, title, affiliation, and contact information (email address, postal address, and phone), and the faculty sponsor’s name, title, affiliation, and email address.
  3. Please provide a detailed budget covering the entire proposed project. The award funds are meant to support the research being proposed and therefore may not be used for travel expenses to conferences. Specifically indicate how the funds from the Graduate Student Research Award will be used. Please describe other sources of funding for the proposed project, if any. Information on additional funding, if any, is helpful in evaluating not only the need for funding, but also the feasibility of carrying out the project with the available monies from this award. Projects that can feasibly be accomplished within the support from this award alone are welcome.

Example budget:


Participant Payments

($20 x 50 participants)


(5 actigraphs, $100 each)


(SPSS student license)


(Xeroxing of questionnaires)

TOTAL $1,850


The $1,500 from this award will be used for the participant payments and the purchase of the actigraphs. The applicant’s mentor will be purchasing SPSS for the student from within the mentor’s funding ($250). The applicant will be paying out of pocket for the copying of questionnaires ($100).

  1. The proposal, as described above.
  2. Biographical sketch for the student (follow the NIH biosketch guidelines for the pre-doctoral fellowship format).
  3. A letter of recommendation from the faculty sponsor. The letter should verify that the proposed research is the student’s project and that the student will function as the principal investigator. *Note that faculty mentors may submit their recommendation letters directly, and separate from the student’s proposal and other materials, if preferred; please use the following link to upload the recommendation directly:


Proposals will be reviewed by members of the SfHP Health Research Council. Students will receive comments regarding their proposal and the outcome of the review process. 

Research Report

Each student receiving an award will be required to submit a report to the Health Research Council by September 1 of the year following the award. The report should be limited to 2 single-spaced pages and should include a description of the results and a plan for presenting or publishing the results. In addition, we would appreciate the opportunity to post any final presentations, abstracts, or papers on the SfHP web site.






For further information, please email

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