FAQ: Awards and Grant Submissions
What is the difference between an award and a grant?
What are the first awards or grants for which you
would apply as an individual?
An award is given to recognize research and accomplishments that
were completed in the past. Award funding is less restrictive on its
uses. A grant provides funding to complete research in the future.
It is more restrictive in how the money can be spent and requires
submission of reports following the research period.
What are chapter awards?
I would suggest applying for the Regional Research Awards and/or the Regional Travel Grants. The Regional Research Awards
recognize the best Psi Chi papers and posters presented at one of
the six regional conventions. There are 78 awards of $300 each
available across the six regions annually. The Regional Travel Grants
provide funding to attend the regional convention. Funding varies
from $100 to $300 and can include expenses including airfare,
hotel accommodations, ground transportation, and convention
For undergraduate students, I would also recommend submitting
an application for one of the Summer Research Grant programs.
These programs provide the student with a $3,500 stipend for travel
and living expenses so the student can go conduct a research project
for approximately 10 weeks with a sponsor that shares common
research interests. There are four programs available offering a total
of 24 grants.
What is the first award for which you would apply as a chapter?
Chapter awards recognize Psi Chi chapters and advisors who are
helping to accomplish Psi Chi’s purpose and mission. Chapters
should be active at the campus, local, regional, and Society levels.
Events that show a chapter’s involvement include hosting induction
ceremonies, scheduling service projects, voting in Society elections,
and attending local, regional, national, and/or international
conferences. Advisors are honored for service to the chapter
where the advisor is ensuring the chapter is seeking to fulfill Psi
Chi’s mission and purpose and where the advisor is involved with
members’ development academically and professionally.
How can the chapter advisor and/or officers promote
Psi Chi award and grant programs?
The first chapter award I recommend trying to obtain is the Model
Chapter Award. All chapters that meet the criteria receive the award
and $100. This can be a real motivator for the chapter. After winning
the Model Chapter Award, I suggest the chapter begin to apply for
the Regional Chapter Awards and/or the Regional Advisor Awards.
Your application may not be selected as a winner the first year
you apply, but it does get the chapter in the habit of preparing the
applications. After a declined submission, your chapter will be able
to revise the original submission using feedback received from the
Central Office. The next year, your chapter will have an outstanding
application that will have a good chance of being selected as a
winner in subsequent years. Back To Top
How competitive are the programs?
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- Discuss upcoming deadlines in your meetings
- Schedule application prep sessions with graduate students and faculty volunteers on hand to help members prepare applications for upcoming programs
- Link information about Psi Chi award and grant programs to your chapter’s webpage or Facebook account
- Send email reminders to your members about deadlines 4-weeks, 3-weeks, 2-weeks, and 1-day prior to submissions being due
- Have previous grant winners speak to chapter members about the application process and the research experience
- Showcase award and grant winners at institution and department functions like honors banquets and graduation ceremonies
- Have the local and campus newspapers publish articles about recent award and grant winners from your chapter
- Encourage interested members to contact the Central Office for further information or clarification about any of the awards and grants offered
What are the biggest mistakes most applicants make?
Award and grant programs are offered to Psi Chi members only (with the exception of the Newman Award). This allows for a much smaller applicant pool, however, the applicants are fellow Psi Chi members with a strong academic record. Psi Chi programs are well funded providing excellent opportunities for members.Back To Top
What timeline do you recommend for preparing an application?
Not following the instructions. Each award or grant has a cover
sheet detailing what should be submitted. There are three things that
are often overlooked. First, many applicants ignore the requirements
on length. If the instructions state six pages, then only submit six
pages. You may have written a 60-page honors thesis on the project,
but the Research Awards Committee reviewing the applications
expects your project to be explained within the guidelines. More
information is not necessarily better.
A second common error is APA style. Ask many people to proof
your submission. These can be fellow classmates, graduate assistants,
and professors. A final review by your research sponsor or advisor is
Finally, many grant programs require the application to be masked.
To mask an application, remove all your identifying indicators
-your name, your advisor’s name, the institution’s name, and
your geographic area. This is to prevent bias when the proposal
is reviewed by the Research Grants Committee. Most applicants
remember to remove their name and school from the narrative,
but fail to remove the information from appendices like informed
consent forms and fliers. Another overlooked identifier is email
addresses and phone numbers. Using the find and replace function
in Microsoft Word can identify these hidden identifiers as well.Back To Top
Why is winning an award or grant important?
Grants and awards have differing timelines. With awards, the
majority of the work has already been completed; it is just a matter
of getting the materials for the application together. For grants,
significantly more development is required, and more time is
For awards, I would begin preparing my application about 30
days prior to the deadline. Most awards simply require a masked
submission of the research paper. Prepare the draft of this essay 25
to 30 days before the deadline. This allows for several people like
classmates, graduate assistants, and lab partners to proof your draft .
Then have your research sponsor proof the cleanest version of the
draft before submitting the paper online. Always provide a copy
of the cover sheet for the program to those assisting in proofing to
ensure you are following all the instructions.
Grants need a longer timeline for the development of applications.
I would recommend a minimum of 45 to 60 days to prepare
your application. Perform research about your area of interest
for current information and to become aware of the older, classic
studies. Around 45 days before the application is due, select a
research advisor who has similar interests and decide on a possible
research project you could administer with the advisor’s assistance.
Then using your research and project outline, prepare a draft
of your project and an IRB application. Fifteen days before the
grant submission is due, make sure you have a final draft of all
components to the application. Request your research advisor to
proof the materials you plan to submit and check your materials
against the cover sheet to ensure all the instructions are being
followed. A week before the grant application is due, submit your
final versions online instead of waiting until the last day.Back To Top
Winning an award recognizes a research accomplishment. Not
only did you complete a research project, you did a good job. For
graduate school reviewers, receiving an award for a project from an
organization outside your college or university shows that you were
able to not only develop a research idea but see the project through
to the end. This shows perseverance and the ability to deliver results.
For potential employers, the award demonstrates that you can
develop and implement an idea within the restrictions of budgets
and institutional guidelines. These accomplishments are great things
to highlight in a cover letter or personal essay as well.
A project funded by a grant shows that you can develop solid
proposals and convey your idea through writing. This shows you
possess valuable communication skills to potential employers and
graduate school selection committees. The fulfillment of the grant
requirements demonstrates that you can develop an idea and see the
project through its completion. Once again, this is a skill desired by
both employers and graduate schools.
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How do I get more information?
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