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Grants to do Ph.D. in Psychology?

One Year Later...The GrantDoctor's Birthday!


Dear GrantDoctor,Please send me information on grants that are available for me. I am a single parent with two children. I am a licensed psychologist with 15 years of experience and would like to research a field of psychology while earning my Ph.D. Any information would be greatly appreciated. - Jean


Dear Jean,

It is unclear from your question whether you are looking for grants to support a specific psychology-related Ph.D. research project, or whether you seek financial aid to support you personally while you're getting your doctorate. And because I don't know in which areas of psychology you wish to specialize, I cannot give you detailed information. Nevertheless, I have found some information that should be useful to you and to others in similar situations.

With 15 years of psychology experience, I'm sure you're well aware of the major institutions, associations, and societies here in the States that focus on the different aspects of psychological science. The American Psychological Society, for example, is a great starting point for graduate students embarking on a research career in psychology, providing information for graduates on its Graduate Student Resources page. You may also want to check out the society's extensive list of Psychology Links, which includes a number of organizations at which you may find assistance.

The American Psychological Association (APA) is another organization that I'm sure you're aware of. Its Scientific Awards and Funding Programs Web page highlights funding opportunities for graduates; its Dissertation Research Award Program might particularly interest you.

Another excellent resource is the APA Graduate Students Web page. Here, you will find all sorts of useful information, including a link to the association's Psychology Research Funding Bulletin, which lists funding opportunities from federal agencies and private foundations.

Moving away from funding opportunities that are specifically for psychology research, Petersons.com is a Web site that offers helpful information on all aspects of education, including the financial aspects. Check out its Financial Aid Help Web page for hints and tips on securing funds, including an article on the financial aid application process from the parental perspective.

You might also want to contact the U.S. Department of Education's Student Financial Assistance Program, which is billed as "the largest source of student aid in America." "You'll find help," they say, "for every stage of the financial aid process, whether you're in school or out of school."

Although many awards and fellowships are open to both men and women, there are funding opportunities specifically geared toward women. For example, you may be interested to hear that the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation bills itself as "the largest source of funding in the world exclusively for graduate women." This group provides funds, grants, and scholarships to women, regardless of marital or parental status, as long as they are in graduate school or are studying.

I hope that through these online resources you'll be able to find the funding information you need to meet your goals. Good luck, and best wishes to your children! -- The GrantDoctor

Dear GrantDoctor,Happy Birthday!


Thank you. ... You're absolutely right--this column is 1 year old! How the time has flown and how much fun I've had reading your letters, investigating funding opportunities, and answering your grant-related questions. Since I opened up my virtual office, I've received a few hundred e-mails--from graduates, postdocs, faculty members, governmental officials, entrepreneurs, and parents. And you are truly a diverse audience: Aside from scientists here in the United States, readers from all over the globe tune in, including folks in Australia, China, India, Taiwan, Russia, Europe, Brazil, and Egypt.

I hear quite often from foreign Ph.D.s and postdocs who have been offered positions here in the States, but only on the condition that they first find funds to support themselves. Many of these correspondents want to know about research grants that do not require U.S. citizenship. Other readers want information on funding opportunities in specific fields of research, either here in the United States or in their home countries. You can read my responses and advice to such questions in my index of columns.

Other requests stray farther afield from science, like the one from a reader interested in grants to start a recording studio, or from a person who had designed a laser and needed to find funds to develop and market it. Some people have asked about grants to help build farms in Africa or money to help develop mental health awareness programs. I get e-mails from parents hoping to find funds to send their kids to college and have received pleas from a couple of U.S. cities that were looking for housing development grants!

I recognize that ALL your questions--no matter what the topic--are sincere, and I am flattered that you ask me for advice. I hope the information I provide is useful--not only to the person whose question is published, but to other readers out there facing similar situations.

To help address some of the questions that keep popping up (and to do what I can to get around the fact that there simply are not enough hours in the day to research and answer all of your questions), I hope in the upcoming year to develop some additional resources that will always be available to you.

Thanks again for making my first year at Next Wave such a great experience! I'm always here to help, so keep your questions coming, keep up the groundbreaking research, and stay tuned!

-- The GrantDoctor

Due to the high volume of questions received, The GrantDoctor cannot answer all queries on an individual basis. Look for an answer to your question published in this column soon! Thank you!