Charles J. Gelso, Ph.D., Psychotherapy Research Grant


The Charles J. Gelso, Ph.D., Psychotherapy Research Grants, offered annually by the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy to graduate students, predoctoral interns, postdoctoral fellows, and psychologists (including early career psychologists), provides $5,000 grants toward the advancement of research on psychotherapy process and/or psychotherapy outcome.

Program Goals

  • Advance understanding of psychotherapy process and/or psychotherapy outcome through support of empirical research
  • Encourage talented graduate students towards careers in psychotherapy research
  • Support psychologists engaged in quality psychotherapy research

Funding Specifics

  • Three (3) annual grants of $5,000 each to be paid in one lump sum to each of the researchers who receives the award, to the researcher’s university’s grants and contracts office, or to an incorporated company. Individuals who receive the funds could incur tax liabilities.
  • A researcher can win only one of these grants (see Additional Information section below).

Eligibility Requirements

All graduate students, predoctoral interns, postdoctoral fellows, and doctoral-level researchers with a promising or successful record of publication are eligible for the grant.

  • Demonstrated or burgeoning competence in the area of proposed work
  • IRB approval must be received from the principal investigator’s institution before funding can be awarded if human participants are involved
  • The same project/lab may not receive funding two years in a row
  • Applicant must be a member of the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy (Division 29 of APA). Join the Society at

The research committee reserves the right not to award a grant if there are insufficient submissions or submissions do not meet the criteria stated.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Conformance with goals listed above under “Program Goals”
  • Magnitude of incremental contribution in topic area
  • Quality of proposed work
  • Applicant’s competence to execute the project
  • Appropriate plan for data collection and completion of the project

Proposal Requirements

  • Description of the proposed project to include, title, goals, relevant background, target population, methods, anticipated outcomes, and dissemination plans: not to exceed 3 single-spaced pages (1 inch margins, no smaller than 11-point font)
  • CV of the principal investigator: not to exceed 2 single-spaced pages and should focus on research activities
  • A 300-word biosketch that describes why your experiences and qualifications make you suited for successfully carrying out this research proposal.
  • Timeline for execution (priority given to projects that can be completed within two years)
  • Full budget and justification (indirect costs not permitted), which should take up no more than 1 additional page (the budget should clearly indicate how the grant funds would be spent)
  • Funds may be used to initiate a new project or to supplement additional funding. The research may be at any stage. In any case, justification must be provided for the request of the current grant funds. If the funds will supplement other funding or if the research is already in progress, please explain why the additional funds are needed (e.g., in order to add a new component to the study, add additional participants, etc.)
  • No additional materials are required for doctoral level psychologists who are not postdoctoral fellows
  • Graduate students, predoctoral interns, and postdoctoral fellows should refer the section immediately below for additional materials that are required.

Additional Proposal Requirements for Graduate Students, Predoctoral Interns, and Postdoctoral Fellows

  • Graduate students, pre-doctoral interns, and postdoctoral fellows should also submit the CV of the mentor who will supervise the work
  • Graduate students and pre-doctoral interns must also submit 2 letters of recommendation, one from the mentor who will be providing guidance during the completion of the project and this letter must indicate the nature of the mentoring relationship
  • Postdoctoral fellows must submit 1 letter of recommendation from the mentor who will be providing guidance during the completion of the project and this letter should indicate the nature of the mentoring relationship

Additional Information

  • A full accounting of the project’s income and expenses must be submitted within six months of completion
  • After the project is completed, recipients will submit a practitioner-friendly summary of the research for publication in Psychotherapy Bulletin and/or the website of the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy. This summary is meant to not conflict with or duplicate publication in a research journal, but rather is meant to inform Society membership and the public about the research in a way that translates the research in a practice-friendly way.
  • Grant funds that are not spent on the project within two years must be returned
  • When the resulting research is published, the grant must be acknowledged by a footnote or author note in the publication
  • All individuals who directly receive funds from the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy will be required to complete an IRS w-9 form prior to the release of funds, and will be sent a 1099 after the end of the fiscal year (December 31st)

Submission Process & Deadline

Submission Deadline: June 1 (midnight).

Submission Process:

  • Please submit grant applications electronically, in Word format, along with all other grant materials at one time
  • All applicants must complete the grant application form, in MSWord or other text format
  • CV(s) may be submitted in text or PDF format. If submitting more than 1 CV, then all CVs must be included in 1 electronic document/file
  • Proposal and budget must be submitted in 1 file, with a cover sheet to include the name of the principal investigator and complete contact information (address, phone, fax, email)
  • Submit all required materials for proposal to: Tracey A. Martin in the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy (Division 29 of APA) Central Office, [email protected]
  • You will receive an electronic confirmation of your submission within 24 hours. If you do not receive confirmation, your proposal was not received; please resubmit.

Questions about this program should be directed to the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy Science and Scholarship Domain Representative (Dr. Susan Woodhouse at [email protected]), or Tracey A. Martin in the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy (Division 29 of APA) Central Office, [email protected]

Charles J. Gelso, Ph.D., Psychotherapy Research Grant

2019 Recipient: Abby Blankenship

Abby Blankenship, PhD is an Assistant Professor and a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Dr. Blankenship is the Chief of Psychology for the STRONG STAR Consortium and the Consortium to Alleviate PTSD at the Fort Hood site. She oversees the day to day clinical operations for clinical intervention research for combat related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and deployment related problems in active duty service members, veterans, and their families. Dr. Blankenship has expertise in the areas of training, supervision, and consultation in evidence-based assessments and treatments for PTSD and families experiencing military related transitions.

2019 Recipient: Amy Weisman de Mamani

Dr. Amy Weisman de Mamani is a Professor and the Associate Director of the Adult Division of the Department of Psychology at the University of Miami. Her primary research areas focus on family and cultural factors that influence the course of serious mental illness (e.g, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and Alzheimer’s disease). She has published over 75 peer reviewed manuscripts on these topics.

A major focus of her research has been aimed at developing and testing a 15-session culturally informed treatment for schizophrenia (CIT-S), which expands earlier interventions in an attempt to better serve minority families and patients coping with the illness. In particular, several spiritual and existential components were developed and combined with previously established cognitive behavioral techniques to make treatment more relevant for Hispanics and other minorities prevalent in Miami.

Her recent research indicates that this intervention is effective (relative to a psycho-education only control condition) in reducing the severity of patient’s psychiatric symptoms (in both single family and group format) and in decreasing shame, guilt, and psychological burden in schizophrenia caregivers. Surprisingly, her research also shows that religious individuals are more likely to drop out of CIT-S prematurely. Based on this finding, Dr. Weisman de Mamani is currently extending this line of research through a pilot grant funded by the John Templeton Foundation. Through this project, she has combined forces with Reverend Laurie Hafner, Senior Pastor at Coral Gables United Congressional Church of Christ (UCC). This grant will allow her to examine whether systematically integrating religious components early on in treatment alongside already established cognitive-behavioral approaches, and offering some of the groups in a religious intuition, will make treatment more relevant and appealing to religious individuals. She expects that this will improve efficacy and satisfaction with treatment and increase therapy retention. The current grant (Gelso) will allow Dr. Weisman de Mamani and her research team to extend this study to Spanish speaking individuals.

2019 Recipient: Margaret Boyer

Margaret Boyer is a doctoral candidate in Counseling Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Prior to her graduate studies, she received her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Economics from Haverford College and managed the Emotion and Self-Control lab at the University of Michigan. Her current research pursuits explore the integration of positive psychology in psychotherapy, interpersonal processes in emotion regulation, and therapeutic processes in psychological assessment. She currently serves as student supervisor of the Psychological Assessment Center at UCSB and provides individual and group therapy in local university and college counseling settings.

The goal of the current project is to establish a strategy for efficiently and effectively measuring clients’ vagal tone as a meaningful predictor and indicator of psychotherapeutic change. It is hoped that this research can bridge disciplines of positive psychology and affective neuroscience by utilizing a novel methodology to study vagal tone as both outcome and facilitator of psychological growth.

Charles J. Gelso, Ph.D., Psychotherapy Research Grant

Previous Recipients

2018 – Robinder Bedi; Elizabeth Demeusy; Sigal Zilcha-Mano

2016 – Jennifer S. Cheavens; Ken Critchfield; Rayna Markin

2015 – Samantha Bernecker; Stephanie Hoover, Joel M. Town

2013 – Jenelle Slavin-Mulford

2012 – Marilyn Cornish

2011 – Michael Constantino

2010 – Stephanie Budge