Abrams Named Director of NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research; Elizabeth Loftus Chosen for 2005 Grawemeyer Award; Applications Now Available for 2005 Advanced Training Institutes; APA Science Student Council Call for Nominations; APA Summer Research Programs Ready for Applicants!; Call for Nominations: Meritorious Research Service Commendation; Call for Nominations: Master Lecturers and Distinguished Scientist Lecturers; Apply for the Positive Psychology Summer Institute; Promoting Psychological Research and Training on Health Disparities Issues at Ethnic Minority Serving Institutions (PRoDIGS): Request for Proposals (RFP); Proposals Sought for LGB Research; Apply for Gerson Grant for Family, Couple, Multi-Generational Processes; NIH Updates Grant Review Criteria—Changes Take Effect in Summer ‘05

Abrams Named Director of NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research

NIH announced that psychologist David Abrams of Brown University has been named Associate Director for Behavioral and Social Sciences, and Director of the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research. He will begin his appointment in January of 2005. Visit the NIH news release online at and read our profile of Dr. Abrams in the January issue of the PSA.

Elizabeth Loftus Chosen for 2005 Grawemeyer Award

Elizabeth Loftus, noted for her study of human memory and how it can be altered, has won the 2005 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Psychology. She will receive a $200,000 prize. Loftus’ research on false recollections, the reliability of eyewitness reports, and memories “recovered” through therapy has affected the way law enforcement agencies and the court system views such testimony. Her research has shown that people not only forget but also falsely remember, meaning that they sincerely and vividly can recall events that never happened when information suggested to them becomes entwined with their memory of what actually happened. The individual may not be able to separate the real threads of memory from the added strands of suggestion.

Her many honors include the American Psychological Association (APA) Distinguished Scientific Award for the Applications of Psychology, the American Psychological Society (APS) William James fellow award and the James McKeen Cattell fellow award for lifetime contributions. She was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences. The University of Portsmouth in England endowed a research dissertation prize in forensic psychology in her name this year.

Loftus is a distinguished research professor at the University of California-Irvine, with positions in its psychology and social behavior department, criminology, law and society department and cognitive sciences department. She is also a fellow of UCI’s Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. She earned her doctoral (1970) and master’s (1967) degrees from Stanford University. She served on the New School University’s graduate faculty before joining the University of Washington’s faculty in 1973; she taught psychology and law at the University of Washington for 29 years. Loftus has served as a consultant for the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Secret Service, Internal Revenue Service, Federal Trade Commission, General Services Administration, and the Law Reform Commission of Canada.

Each year the Grawemeyer Foundation awards a total of $1 million for powerful ideas or creative works in the sciences, arts and humanities. The awards were begun by Charles Grawemeyer, an industrialist, entrepreneur and a University of Louisville graduate. His goal was to reward powerful ideas or creative works rather than personal achievements.

Applications Now Available for 2005 Advanced Training Institutes

2005 will mark the sixth year of this highly successful program, featuring training seminars on fMRI (where this year's focus will be on clinical applications), structural equation modeling, and using large-scale databases, featuring the NICHD's Study of Early Child Care. Please go to the ATI website for more information, and to apply.

The ATI on large-scale databases will be held from June 7-10 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Participants will learn to use longitudinal data from NICHD's Study of Early Child Care (SECC). The SECC data are from 1,364 families, followed since their infants' birth in 1991. The study covers demographic, family, maternal, paternal and caregiver characteristics; child social and emotional outcomes; language development; cognitive skills; school readiness; growth and health measures, and much more. Through a grant from NICHD, training institute costs for transportation, lodging, food and materials will be covered.

The fMRI course is run by Robert L. Savoy, Director of fMRI Education at Massachusetts General Hospital, and will be held at the hospital's Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, just outside of Boston. It will be held from June 19-24. Most expenses are paid for invited applicants, thanks to a grant from NIMH.

The ATI on structural equation modeling in longitudinal research will also be held in June, exact dates to be determined. This course is taught by Jack McArdle at his home institution, the University of Virginia. This training covers a range of topics, including fundamental measurement problems, dealing with incomplete data, and new techniques for dynamic analyses. Course materials will include basic readings on the fundamental theoretical issues in contemporary longitudinal data analysis. These materials will also include all computer scripts (e.g., AMOS, LISREL, Mplus, Mx) used in the practical applications. Participants will be encouraged to bring along their own data and research problems, and time will be set aside daily for individual meetings with members of the faculty.

Two more ATIs are being planned (at the time of this writing, one on conducting online experiments, and another on behavioral genetics) so please check the ATI website over the winter for more information and applications.

APA Science Student Council Call for Nominations

The APA Science Student Council (APASSC) is seeking graduate students to serve as representatives of the following areas:

Cognitive Psychology
Developmental Psychology
Quantitative Psychology

Each representative is required to serve a two year term, from January 2005 through December 2006. During that time representatives are expected to attend four meetings in Washington, DC, and to contribute to Council activities intermittently throughout the year. For more information on the APASSC, please visit its website.

If you have specific questions about service on the Council, please email them to

In order to nominate a candidate, please send a CV, reccomendation letter from the candidate's advisor, a brief (no more than two pages) statement of research interests, and a brief (no more than two pages) statement on why the candidate is interested in serving on the Council to:

APA Science Directorate
APASSC Nominations
750 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242

Self-nominations are welcome. The deadline for receipt of nominations is December 20, 2004.

APA Summer Research Programs Ready for Applicants!

February 2005 deadlines have been set for the APA Science Directorate’s two summer research experiences for undergraduates. The Summer Science Institute (SSI), now in its 10th year, and the Advanced Statistical Training in Psychology (ASTP), new in 2004, will be open for applications beginning December 1, 2004.

Applications for SSI, to be held at Vanderbilt University June 18-26, 2005, will be accepted until February 8, 2005. The SSI is a 9-day intensive program designed to immerse students in the science of psychology. The Institute gives students an opportunity to explore the intellectual, personal, and social processes of scientific inquiry and to experience cutting-edge psychological research through seminars and hands-on laboratory activities. Visit the SSI website for complete details about the program and online application.

The ASTP will be held at the University of Maryland July 9 – 17, 2005. Applications will be accepted until February 23, 2005. ASTP is an intensive, hands-on seminar in which students learn about psychological statistics and research methods in a dynamic setting that emphasizes the skills it takes to analyze and interpret real data. Much of the statistical instruction will be geared toward the use of computer-assisted statistical packages (SPSS). ASTP will target students from traditionally underrepresented groups in psychology. The definition of underrepresented groups for this program is extremely broad. The seminar will undoubtedly include students who are members of ethnic minority groups, but it will also include first generation college students and students who have had to overcome other kinds of social, physical or economic barriers on the road to academic excellence.

Call for Nominations: Meritorious Research Service Commendation

The APA Board of Scientific Affairs (BSA) is soliciting nominations for the Meritorious Research Service Commendation. This commendation recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to psychological science through their service as employees of the federal government or other organizations. Contributions are defined according to service to the field that directly or indirectly advances opportunities and resources for psychological science. This may include staff at federal or non-federal research funding, regulatory or other agencies. Nominees may be active or retired but ordinarily will have a minimum of 10 years of such service. The individual’s personal scholarly achievements (i.e., research, teaching, and writing) are not considered in the selection process independent of their service contributions.

To submit a nomination provide the following:

  • letter of nomination that describes and supports the individual’s contributions (e.g., nature of the individual’s service to psychological science, positions held, program development activities). The nomination letters should be no more than two pages long.

  • curriculum vita

  • three letters of support from scientists, at least two from outside the nominee’s organization.

Deadline for submitting nominations is March 1, 2005. Please send nominations to Suzanne Wandersman via email. For a list of past recipients, visit APA science awards.

Call for Nominations: Master Lecturers and Distinguished Scientist Lecturers

The American Psychological Association’s (APA) Board of Scientific Affairs (BSA) is soliciting nominations for speakers for the 2006 Master Lecture Program and the 2006 Distinguished Scientist Lecture Program. These annual programs spotlight experts in psychological science and are sponsored by the APA’s Science Directorate.

Selected speakers receive an honorarium of $1,000 and reimbursement for travel expenses, up to $1,000. All nominees should be excellent public speakers. BSA will review all nominations at its 2005 spring meeting and begin to contact potential speakers for these programs. Nominations may be for either the Distinguished Lecture or the Master Lecture program (or both).

The Master Lecture Program, developed by BSA, supports up to five (5) psychological scientists to speak at the APA Annual Convention. A list of previously selected speakers can be found online. BSA has organized the lectures into ten core areas to reflect the broad range of topic areas across psychology. Each year, five of these areas are addressed by Master Lecturers. Speakers for the 2006 Convention, to be held in New Orleans, LA, August 10-13, 2006, will give lectures in each of the following areas:

  • developmental psychology

  • learning, behavior and action

  • methodology

  • psychopathology

  • social and cultural psychology

The Distinguished Scientist Lecture Program, developed by BSA, supports up to three (3) psychological scientists to speak at Regional Psychological Association meetings to be held in 2006. Speakers must be actively engaged in research, with expertise in any area and must be excellent speakers. A list of previously selected speakers and their topics can be found online.

Please send in the name of your nominee(s) via email or fax (202-336-5953) to Jeanie Kelleher, APA Science Directorate, 750 First Street, N.E., Washington, DC. 20002-4242. Nominations must be received by February 11, 2005.

Apply for the Positive Psychology Summer Institute

The Positive Psychology Summer Institute is now accepting applications for their five day conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 24-29, 2005. Applicants should be in the early stages of a research career. Applications from non-psychologists are also welcome.

Promoting Psychological Research and Training on Health Disparities Issues at Ethnic Minority Serving Institutions (PRoDIGS): Request for Proposals (RFP).

A small grants program funded by the American Psychological Association (APA) Science Directorate's "Academic Enhancement Initiative" and administered by the APA Public Interest Directorate's Office of Ethnic Minority Affairs (OEMA) in collaboration with the APA Minority Fellowship Program

PRoDIGs grants will be awarded to early career faculty for specific, limited, and highly focused activities that are both preliminary and related to the preparation of a federal or foundation funding proposal, and able to be fully implemented during a 12 to 18 month period. The proposed project seeks to increase the capacity of ethnic minority serving post secondary institutions and faculty to engage in health disparities research and to encourage student involvement in health disparities research training at early levels of the educational pipeline. Small grants ($5,000 to $6,500) will be awarded to support activities associated with the preparation of an initial research or program/curriculum development application for federal or foundation funding. All program/curriculum development application efforts must incorporate provisions for student research training, and whenever possible, research training applications should include student researchers. All applicants are required to submit a detailed concept paper (2 to 4 pages) of their proposed research or program/curriculum development effort.

Awardees may use their small grants for: course reduction to free up time for grant preparation; conduct of pilot study; consultation with research/curriculum experts; survey/instrument design; data collection; student assistance; faculty mini retreats/workshops, etc. All awardees will be expected to attend a mandatory 5 to 7 day professional development institute in Washington, D.C. during the summer of 2005 at which concept papers will be critiqued, major trends in health disparities research will be discussed, and opportunities to network with federal funding program directors and federal research institute staff will be provided. It is expected that awardees will submit a funding application to a federal agency or private foundation within 24 months after award of the small grant.

Deadline for Applications is February 21, 2005.

Questions should be directed to Sonja Preston of the APA Office of Ethnic Minority Affairs (OEMA) at 202-336-6029.

Proposals Sought for LGB Research

The American Psychological Foundation (APF) requests proposals for the 2005 Wayne F. Placek Research Large Research Grants and Small Research Grants. Both large and small grants support scientific research that increases the general public’s understanding of homosexuality and aims to alleviate the stress that gay men and lesbians experience in this and future generations. Proposals are especially encouraged for empirical studies that address the following topics:

  • Prejudice, discrimination, and violence based on sexual orientation

  • Family and workplace issues relevant to lesbians and gay men

  • Subgroups of the lesbian and gay population that have historically been underrepresented in scientific research, especially racial and ethnic minorities

Applicants for both awards must have a doctoral-level degree (e.g., PhD, PsyD, M.D.) and must be affiliated with a college, university, or research institution that meets federal requirements for administering research awards. Funds are not available for dissertation research or other pre-doctoral studies.

Wayne F. Placek Large Research Grants

The Wayne F. Placek Large Research Grants are available for empirical research on any topics related to lesbian, gay, or bisexual issues from all fields of the behavioral and social sciences. Applications should propose new studies that can be completed in two years solely with the level of funding provided by the grant.

Grant Amount. Up to $40,000 may be requested for any expenses legitimately associated with conducting an empirical research project, including salary for the applicant or assistants, equipment (with a $5,000 limit), supplies, travel, photocopying, postage, and payment of participants. The award does not pay institutional indirect costs. Special preference for one of the two grants to be awarded will be given to applicants who have completed their doctorates within the previous seven years.

Deadline. The deadline for receipt of applications is March 11, 2005. Award recipients will be announced in August, and funding will begin on or after September 15, 2005.

Wayne F. Placek Small Grants

The Wayne F. Placek Small Grants program covers expenses legitimately associated with conducting an empirical research project on lesbian, gay, and bisexual issues.

Grant Amount. The small grants award up to $5,000. Applications should propose a new study that can be completed in one year solely with the level of funding provided by the grant. Funds are not normally provided for stipends of principal investigators, travel to conventions, or manuscript preparation. The award does not pay institutional indirect costs.

Deadline. All application materials for small grants must be received by January 26, 2005. Awards will be announced in April 2005.

Applications for both awards must conform to the APF Placek Grant Award guidelines. Application guidelines and forms may be downloaded from the Hooker Programs website.

Apply for Gerson Grant for Family, Couple, Multi-Generational Processes

The American Psychological Foundation (APF) announces the Randy Gerson Memorial Grant to be given in 2005. For the 2005 cycle of the grant, graduate students engaged in doctoral studies are invited to apply. The $5,000 grant has been created to advance the systemic understanding of family and/or couple dynamics and/or multi-generational processes. Work that advances theory, assessment, or clinical practice in these areas shall be considered eligible for grants through the fund.

Preference will be given to projects using or contributing to the development of Bowen family systems. Priority also will be given to those projects that serve to advance Dr. Gerson's work.

Eligibility Requirements
Applicants from a variety of educational settings are encouraged to apply. Awards are given to students and professionals in alternate years. The 2005 grant will go to a graduate student engaged in doctoral studies.

Submit the entire application electronically to APF via email by February 1, 2005. Applicants will be notified on or after April 15, 2005.

Applications must include the following:

  • Statement of the proposed project

  • Rationale for how the project meets the goals of the fund

  • Budget for the project

  • Statement about how the results of the project will be disseminated (published paper, report, monograph, etc.)

  • Personal reference material (vita and two letters of recommendation)

  • Official transcript

For additional information, visit the APF website or contact the APF Awards Coordinator/Gerson, 750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242, by telephone: (202) 336-5843 or via email.

The APF encourages applications from individuals that represent diversity in race, ethnicity, gender, age, and sexual orientation.

NIH Updates Grant Review Criteria—Changes Take Effect in Summer ‘05

In mid-October, the NIH announced updated review criteria for evaluating NIH research grant applications. The criteria established in 1997 have been updated to better accommodate clinical, translational, and interdisciplinary studies. The updated criteria will be effective for all investigator initiated research grant applications submitted for receipt dates on or after January 10, 2005 [including those responding to a Program Announcement (PA)]. The NIH Review criteria can be accessed at NIH grants.

Beginning with reviews in the summer of 2005, reviewers will be instructed to use the updated review criteria as the basis for evaluating research grant applications and for assigning a single, global score for each scored application. The score should reflect the overall impact that the project could have on the advancement of science. The emphasis on each criterion may vary from one application to another; and an application need not be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have a major scientific impact.

View a comparison of the revised and former review criteria.