Dissertation Research Grant

The Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology (SMEP) announces a small grant program to help support the dissertation work of graduate students working in psychology and related disciplines, with special emphasis on multivariate approaches to measurement and analysis of substantive problems. These grants are for graduate students who are Ph.D. candidates and are actively working on their dissertations. The grants are limited to graduate students whose dissertation committee includes an active or emeritus SMEP member. Applications may request up to $5000, but applications with smaller budgets are also encouraged. Funds may be used to offset direct research costs associated with conducting the dissertation research, including but not limited to: participant costs, material and mailing costs, equipment costs (including special purpose computer hardware or software if not otherwise available), travel costs associated with participant recruitment or assessment, and payments to research assistants. Grantees are expected to submit an abstract of their findings to SMEP at the time of their dissertation defense, and these abstracts will be linked to the listing of the awards on smep.org. In addition, recipients are strongly encouraged to submit their research for presentation at the annual Graduate Student Poster Sessions using the general call for submissions in the summer of each year. Any publication stemming from the research should acknowledge SMEP support. Funding cannot be used toward the expense of attending workshops or conferences, or to offset the usual costs of graduate education such as books or personal computers, or for a stipend for personal compensation.

Applications for the 2024 awards must be completed by December 18, 2023. Review of the applications will take place in the following six weeks. We expect that the awards will be announced around the end of February. The application must include:

  • A letter of recommendation from the SMEP member on the dissertation committee (a SMEP member can nominate more than one Ph.D. candidate per year). The letter of recommendation should discuss both the strengths of the applicant and the level of contribution of the proposed research, and it is expected to be approximately one to two pages in length.
  • A summary of the proposed dissertation work not to exceed two single-spaced pages that should include the following sections: specific aims (1 paragraph), significance (1-2 paragraphs), and a research plan (remainder). The significance section should address both the theoretical contributions and methodological innovations of the proposed research to its area of study.
  • A budget and budget justification. The budget should include line items for each major category of expenses. The budget justification should indicate the purpose of each expense and, when appropriate, clarify that resources currently available to the candidate are not sufficient for the conduct of the research. For example, if a candidate were to propose purchasing cloud computing time to conduct a simulation, it would be necessary to provide specific information on anticipated run times showing that the simulation would be infeasible using already-available computing resources but could be conducted in a timely manner using cloud computing. Similarly, if the proposal were to include original data collection from participants, the candidate would need to provide justification for the need for paid subjects, their rate of compensation, and a power analysis to motivate the target sample size.
  • Contact information for the applicant and the advisor including full address, phone number, fax, and e-mail of both the applicant and the advisor.

Applications should be sent to Emilio Ferrer at eferrer@ucdavis.edu.