Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy Diversity Research Grant for Pre-Doctoral Candidates


The Diversity Research Grant for pre-doctoral candidates was established to foster the promotion of diversity within the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy (APA Division 29) and within the profession of psychotherapy.

Funding Specifics

The Society may award annually two $2,000 Diversity Research Grants to pre-doctoral candidates (enrolled in a clinical or counseling psychology doctoral program) who are currently conducting dissertation research that promotes diversity, as outlined by the American Psychological Association (APA). According to the APA, diversity is defined as individual and role differences, including those based on age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, disability, language, and socioeconomic status.

  • supplies used to conduct the research;
  • training needed for completion of the research; and/or
  • travel to present the research (such as at a professional conference).

Two annual grants of $2,000 will be paid in one lump sum to the researcher, to his or her university’s grants and contracts office, or to an incorporated company. Individuals who receive the funds could incur tax liabilities. All grant recipients will be required to complete an IRS form W-9 before funds are issued.

Eligibility Requirements

The applicant must be a member of the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy. The recipient of the grant will be expected to present his or her research results in a scholarly forum (e.g., presentation at an APA Annual Convention, the Society’s journal, Psychotherapy, or other refereed professional journal) or Psychotherapy Bulletin.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Consistency with the Diversity Research Grant’s stated purposes;
  • Clarity of the written proposal;
  • Scientific quality and feasibility of the proposed research project;
  • Budgetary needs for data collection and completion and presentation of the project;
  • Potential for new and valuable contributions to the field of psychotherapy; and
  • Potential for final publication or likelihood of furthering successful research in topic area.
  • Awardee must be a member of the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy (APA Division 29)

Proposal Requirements

  • A 1-2 page cover letter describing how the applicant’s work embodies the Division’s interest in promoting diversity in the profession of psychotherapy and how the funding will be used to support the applicant’s dissertation work;
  • A 1-page document outlining a detailed budget;
  • A 5-10 page research proposal (alternatively, a Dissertation Proposal may be submitted, regardless of length);
  • 1 letter of recommendation from the applicant’s current direct supervisor or advisor; and
  • 1 letter from the applicant’s dissertation advisor or director of clinical training certifying that the applicant is currently in the process of completing research for the dissertation.

Additional information

  • After the project is complete, a full accounting of the project’s income and expenses must be submitted within six months of completion.
  • 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.

Submission Process & Deadline

Submission Process:

  • All materials must be submitted electronically at the same 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 Diversity Domain Representatives Gary Howell, Psy.D.. ([email protected]); Rosemary Phelps Ph.D. ([email protected]); and or Committee Chair Astrea Greig Psy.D. ([email protected]).

Submission Deadline: April 1.

Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy Diversity Research Grant for Pre-Doctoral Candidates

2018 Recipient: Shondolyn Sanders

Author: Shondolyn Sanders
Institution: University of Memphis

Shondolyn is a fourth year Counseling Psychology doctoral student at the University of Memphis.  She received a M.S in Counseling (Clinical rehabilitation) from the University of Memphis and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.  She was born and raised in West Memphis, AR and is the oldest of 5.  Her research areas of interest include multicultural supervision and training, chronic illness adjustment, the transitioning of children with disabilities to adulthood, and health disparities specific to ethnic/racial minority individuals.  Her dissertation focuses on the supervision experiences of ethnic minority psychology graduate students.  She is currently a pre-doctoral intern at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center-VA track.  Her favorite pastime is being the best aunt ever.

Grant abstract:

2018 Recipient: Joey Sergi

Author: Joey Sergi
Institution: Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University

Joey Sergi is a fourth year Clinical Psychology doctoral student at Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University. She holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Ferkauf and a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Wagner College. She is currently a pre-doctoral extern at the Manhattan Veterans Affairs Medical Center where she is working on developing an integrative approach to treatment that balances the common factors across therapeutic approaches.  Joey’s research interests include the therapeutic alliance, therapeutic rupture and repair, and multicultural and cross-cultural psychotherapy, especially with individuals who identity as sexual minorities. Her dissertation will explore the impact of therapist-committed microaggressions on the therapeutic alliance for LGBTQ individuals. Through this project, she will examine the effect of therapist attempts to acknowledge and resolve these difficult moments when they occur in session. Ultimately, Joey hopes that the findings of her study will contribute to enhancing therapeutic outcomes for clients of diverse backgrounds by allowing her to develop an empirically-supported and culturally sensitive rupture-repair framework to aid clinicians in working cross-culturally.

Grant abstract:

Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy Diversity Research Grant for Pre-Doctoral Candidates

Previous Recipients

2016 – Nour Mahmoud Abdelghani

2013 – J. Alexis Ortiz

2105 – Jay Bettergarcia