Summer Science Fellowship

June 13 – July 25, 2015 ǀ George Mason University

The APA Science Directorate in partnership with the George Mason University Department of Psychology will host the 2015 Summer Science Fellowship program (SSF). SSF aims to immerse advanced undergraduate students in the science of psychology by exposing them to the excitement and promise of the best of psychological science. Our principal objective is to inform these students about the science of psychology and its promise for the future, and help prepare them for the rigors of graduate study in psychological science.

George Mason University, while a relatively young university, has grown rapidly into one of the most highly respected universities in the Washington, D.C., area, and its department of psychology is one of the university’s greatest sources of pride. Outstanding faculty members and graduate students conduct research in a wide variety of areas in psychological science, and they are eager to welcome the 2015 APA summer science fellows. Find out more about the GMU Department of Psychology.

Description

An expenses-paid, intensive summer training program, the SSF places up to 12 talented students in the psychology laboratories of some of the most outstanding researchers in the Washington, D.C., area. The lab experience will be six weeks in length. The SSF program gives students an opportunity to explore the intellectual, personal and social processes of scientific inquiry and to experience cutting-edge psychological research through hands-on laboratory activities. SSF offers promising students the opportunity to equip themselves with skills essential to succeed in graduate school, and gives students who plan to pursue advanced degrees in psychological science the opportunity to be mentored by nationally known faculty.

The 2015 program is expected to run from June 13 to July 25. APA will pay students a summer salary, as well as cover all travel and living expenses. This should make the program financially feasible for most college students.

Eligibility is strictly limited to rising college seniors at U.S. or Canadian colleges and universities. Applicants should be psychology majors, although students with related preparation may apply if they expect to enter a psychological science graduate program. International students enrolled in U.S. or Canadian colleges are eligible; U.S. citizenship is not required. Students from underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply.

In 2015, placements may be available in the following areas of psychology. Final word on the involvement of specific faculty and labs will be made closer to the time of student selection. 

  • Applied Developmental Psychology
  • Biopsychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Human Factors and Applied Cognitive Psychology
  • Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  • Neuroscience
  • School Psychology
Location
2015 APA Summer Science Fellowship

George Mason University, while a relatively young university, has grown rapidly into one of the most highly respected universities in the Washington, D.C., area, and its Department of Psychology is one of the university’s greatest sources of pride. Outstanding faculty members and graduate students conduct research in a wide variety of areas in psychological science, and they are eager to welcome the 2015 APA summer science fellows. Find out more about the GMU Department of Psychology.

George Mason University is located in suburban Washington, D.C., in the city of Fairfax, Va.

Eligibility

Eligibility is strictly limited to rising college seniors at U.S. or Canadian colleges and universities. Applicants should be psychology majors, although students with related preparation may apply if they expect to enter a psychological science graduate program. International students enrolled in U.S. or Canadian colleges are eligible; U.S. citizenship is not required. Students from underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply.

The minimum GPA required to apply is 3.0. In addition, you must have at least a 3.25 psychology GPA in order to be considered for the program.

Apply

To be considered for SSF, you must complete the following three steps:

  1. Submit your application form electronically, no later than Feb. 9, 2015. You must complete the application form online; we cannot accept forms that are printed and mailed.
  2. Arrange to have a physical copy of your official college transcript sent to us. Transcripts must be mailed by the university (not the applicant) to:

    Science Directorate
    American Psychological Association
    Attn: Summer Science Fellowship
    750 First St. NE
    Washington, DC 20002-4242

    Note: If you have attended more than one university and your transcript at your current institution does not reflect course work from a previous institution, you must also submit a separate transcript from that previous institution. If course work from your previous institution is listed on the transcript from your current institution (including course title and grade), you only need to submit a transcript from your current college or university. We must have an official transcript of every course you have taken in college and the grade you received in each course.
  3. Arrange to have two faculty members in psychology write letters of recommendation for you (see Applicant Recommendation Instructions link). These must be sent by the faculty members (not the applicant) by email to the Summer Science Fellowship office. Mailed copies or copies sent by students will not be accepted. These letters must be received in our office by Feb. 9, 2015. Note: You are responsible for contacting your recommenders and making sure they submit their letters via email — our application system will not do this on your behalf.

Sample Application Questions

Although you may save and return to an unfinished application (link at upper-right of page), we suggest having your answers ready before beginning. Please refer to the sample application questions below as a checklist. (Questions with an asterisk are required.)

  1. Contact Information

    Prefix (Mr./Ms.)*
    First Name*
    Middle Initial*
    Last Name*
    Street Address*
    Apartment/Unit Number
    City*
    U.S. State/Canadian Province*
    Postal Code*
    Country*
    Email Address*
    Phone Number*
    Date of Birth*
    Marital Status*
  2. Education

    Name of College/University*
    City*
    U.S. State/Canadian Province*
    Major*
    Minor
    Cumulative GPA (minimum 3.00 GPA required)*
    Psychology GPA (minimum 3.25 GPA required)*
    Expected Date of Graduation*
  3. How would you describe your race/ethnicity?

    American Indian/Alaskan Native
    Asian
    Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
    African American/Black
    Hispanic/Latino(a)
    Caucasian/White
    Other (please specify) 
  4. List any academic honors or awards you have received.
  5. Of the psychology courses you have taken, name the two you have enjoyed most and tell us why. (175 words or less)*
  6. Why are you interested in participating in the SSF, and what do you hope to gain from attending the program? (175 words or less)*
  7. Describe any research experience (laboratory, field, literature review, etc.) you have had in the past three years, including a description of your level of involvement. (175 words or less)*
  8. If you are planning to attend graduate school, which field would you like to pursue and why?  If not, what are your plans immediately following graduation? (175 words or less)*
  9. What are some career options you have considered lately? (175 words or less)*
  10. The following is a list of research areas in which we may have lab placements. Please indicate the areas in which you have research experience: (Check all that apply.)*

    Applied Developmental Psychology
    Biopsychology
    Clinical Psychology
    Human Factors and Applied Cognitive Psychology
    Industrial and Organizational Psychology
    Neuroscience
    School Psychology
    No Research Experience
  11. Please indicate how interested you are in being placed in a lab in each of the following areas. You do not need to have experience in a given area to express your interest and willingness to be placed in a lab (e.g., you do not need experience in developmental to be placed in a developmental lab). You may indicate the same level of interest for more than one area. (Levels of interest are defined as: no interest; minimal interest; neutral; some interest; significant interest.)*

    Applied Developmental Psychology      
    Biopsychology      
    Clinical Psychology      
    Human Factors and Applied Cognitive Psychology      
    Industrial and Organizational Psychology
    Neuroscience    
    School Psychology
  12. Please provide the name and contact information (address, phone, email) of the two people who will be recommending you for SSF. (Note: it is your responsibility to contact your recommenders; we will not be contacting them on your behalf.)

    Name of Recommender #1  
    Address  
    Email  
    Phone  

    Name of Recommender #2  
    Address      
    Email  
    Phone
Recommendations

Applicants: Provide the URL of this page, "www.apa.org/science/resources/ssf/ [Recommendation Tab]" to both of the faculty members you are asking to recommend you for the SSF. Note: You are responsible for contacting your recommenders and making sure they submit their letters via email — our application system will not do this on your behalf.

Recommenders: Please follow the instructions below and email your recommendation to ssf@apa.org no later than Feb. 9, 2015.

Note that the applicant will be considered for participation in the American Psychological Association Summer Science Fellowship program. It is a six-week fellowship that will provide undergraduates with valuable research and professional development experience under the guidance of faculty in the Psychology Program at George Mason University.  

Recommendation Instructions

  1. Type the student's name in subject line.
  2. At the top of the email body include your full name, affiliation, mailing address and phone number.
  3. Limit the recommendation letter to approximately one page.
  4. Include in your letter:

    1. How well you know the student.
    2. Comments on the student's level of maturity.
    3. Comments on the student's ability to work as part of a team.
    4. An assessment of the student's independence level.
    5. Observations on the student's intelligence and level of academic curiosity.
    6. Thoughts on the student's motivation level and willingness to take the initiative.
  5. Email your letter of recommendation no later than Feb. 9, 2015.

If you have questions about this application, please contact the APA Science Directorate by phone: (202) 336-6000; fax: (202) 336-5953; or email.

Photos

Photos from Previous Years

Past Fellows

Past Summer Science Fellows

2014 
Doug Addleman, Wheaton College 
Wudasse Berke, Illinois Institute of Technology 
Jacob Bradburn, University of Michigan 
Logan Cummings, University of Tampa 
Tess Davis, Virginia Commonwealth University 
Elise Goubet, University of Alabama 
Natasha Kalra, Bates College 
Niya McCray-Brown, Hampton University 
Ashley Niler, Pennsylvania State University 
Erin Ratliff, Mansfield University 
Rachel Rehert, University of Southern California 
Abraham Ruiz, California State University, Dominguez Hills
2013

Jessica Braymiller, Mercyhurst University 
Ho Kwan Cheung, Pennsylvania State University 
Hailey Dotterer, University of Michigan 
Eureka Foong Chen Yew, Linfield College 
Juan Guevara, Georgia Southern University 
Shakema Lynch, St. John’s University 
Sara Moss, Dickinson College 
Andrew Nelson, Pacific Lutheran University 
Emily Pacic, Michigan State University 
Jamielyn Samper, Lebanon Valley College 
Anton Sytine, Iowa State University 
Claire Tseng, Grinnell College

2012 
Taylor Bolt, Clemson University 
Lucia Chen, University of California, San Diego 
Lauren Breithaupt, Baker University 
Aryanne de Silva, Wellesley College 
Mary-Kate Duffy, Villanova University 
Darrius Jones, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 
Noah Levine, Rice University 
Zachary Monge, Boston University 
Micah Mumper, Macalester University 
Mara Norton-Baker, University of Notre Dame 
Grace Sullivan, Buena Vista University 
Kayley Sullivan, George Washington University 
2011 

Nathan Anderson, Michigan State University 
Kate Brynildsen, Grinnell College 
Louis Cornejo, San Francisco State University 
Kathryn Dalrymple, University of South Florida 
Erica Kemp, Wright State University 
Sujala Maharjan, Wesleyan College 
Ambika Mathur, University of Maryland 
Sean Mitchell, Texas Tech University 
Elizabeth Nguyen, Reed College 
Drew Rothenberg, North Carolina State University 
Emily Urban, Marquette University 
Dane Westermeyer, University of Gonzaga 

2010 

Rebecca Asbury, St. Louis University 
Keri Bishop, University of Arizona 
Erik Brooks, University of Memphis 
Adrian Chow, Carnegie Mellon University 
Erin Delker, George Washington University 
Lauren Gonzales, New York University 
Zehra Jaffri, Davidson College  
Angela Julian, Quinnipiac University 
Allison O’Leary, University of North Carolina, Greensboro 
Daniel Rovenpor, Brandeis University 
Adriana Salcido, Arizona State University 

2009 

Virginia Ball, North Carolina State University 
Christine Burton, Hampton University 
Samantha Cibelli, Meredith College 
Patrick Heck, Willamette University 
Patty Kuo, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 
Christine Morris, Berea College 
Luis Parra, California State University, Northridge 
Lisa Weinberg, Macalester College

2008

Kimberly Alexander, Stony Brook University 
Joel Chan, University of the Ozarks 
Shelby Cooley, Scripps College 
Adam Emfield, Idaho State University 
Laura Flynn, Skidmore College 
Stefanie Holman, Auburn University 
Jessica Kang, University of Washington 
Ben Majors, Washington College 
Drew Solyst, St. Mary’s College of Maryland 
Oth Tran, University of Virginia 
Kathleen Vieira, University of Florida 
Vincent Woolfolk, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Comments

Comments from Past Summer Science Fellows

 “I think nearly everything about my lab work as part of the SSF program will help me prepare for graduate level work. I was the only undergrad, and thus treated like a graduate student. I was assigned literature reviews, hypotheses formation, some data analysis, and expected to meet certain deadlines and quality expectations. All of this will help me for graduate level work.”
— Ashley Niler, 2014, Pennsylvania State University

“I have developed a better sense of professionalism in the workplace, and have acquired better networking abilities, which I believe will serve me well in my application process for and participation in different grad school programs. I was able to interact with my advisors on a nearly daily basis, which I found to be extremely helpful.”
— Natasha Kalra, 2014, Bates College

“I thought the program was absolutely incredible and gave me a lot of useful insight and skills for grad school/in my career. I feel a lot more confident about the application process for grad school and graduate level work having gone through the program.”
— Jacob Bradburn, 2014, University of Michigan

“I think that the SSF is a great combination of academic, social, and professional development. Everything far exceeded my expectations. I think that each aspect of the program was important to include simply because each of us is so different; to have different aspects of the field [and] have different types of events represented really ensures that everyone has an enjoyable experience and leaves more well-rounded.”
— Niya McCray-Brown, 2014, Hampton University

“It was great to see what it was actually like to be a grad student  especially their level of autonomy. It opened my eyes to the level of self-discipline and problem solving skills required.”
— Logan Cummings, 2014, University of Tampa

“Being able to work on writing a manuscript for publication has been incredibly helpful. This is something that I would not have had the opportunity to do without this program. This experience is going to help me get into graduate school because faculty will know that I understand one the most vital processes of graduate school and a career in academia. I know how to take an idea, study it, analyze the data and disseminate the results into a coherent paper that also fits into the previous research that has been done.”
— Elise Goubet, 2014, University of Alabama 

“My work at the Center for Psych Services exposed me to a real clinical research in the most hands-on way I could ever have hoped for as an undergraduate. I was forced to think critically about my own research interests as they relate to my past and future experiences. I was able to work on a variety of tasks that balanced interaction with patients, faculty members, and graduate students. I saw research and clinical treatment from multiple perspectives in just 6 short weeks!” 
— Sara Moss, 2013, Dickinson College 

“My lab placement provided me with incredible opportunities. Not many undergraduates can say that they have assisted with fMRI studies, and I am extremely grateful that I was given the chance to gain that experience. Learning the ins and outs of the fMRI and ERP techniques and all of the protocols used within the lab was definitely a challenge, but everything that I have learned throughout the program will definitely be useful in my future educational goals.” 
— Jessica Braymiller, 2013, Mercyhurst University

“The SSF program was particularly helpful for me to get a taste of graduate level work since I focused on developing my data analysis and writing skills in my lab, which are the two most important skills in graduate level but most lacking in undergraduate training. Being able to carry on a project from the conception of a research idea, data analysis to manuscript also gives a flavor of the research work that dominates a grad student’s life.” 
—Ho Kwan Cheung, 2013, Pennsylvania State University

“The nature of my particular opportunity, which was to pretty much to take a project from its approval to data collection to some data analysis, was quite a challenge, but a challenge that I met with open arms. Many groups of students simply worked with sets of pre-existing data, and though they probably received more practice with data analysis than I did, my project gave me a genuine taste of graduate school activities and helped prepare me for the future.” 
— Andrew Nelson, 2013, Pacific Lutheran University

“Reading and understanding a new topic, being exposed to a new lab and research methods, as well as working to publish a paper for a conference was all helpful when preparing for graduate school. I feel I have a realistic preview of what it will be like to be in graduate school, specifically George Mason. This makes graduate school less intimidating and more manageable, I have the confidence to enter a program confident and ready to learn.” 
— Emily Pacic, 2013, Michigan State University

“I thought this was an excellent program for rising seniors in the field of psychology. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience and learned a lot about creativity, research and being a graduate student. This was the first time I’ve lived with a roommate, been to the East Coast, done lab research, been lab partners with someone, visited a usability company, used an eye tracker, looked at graduate schools, and talked about my area of psychology so passionately.” 
— Eureka Foong Chen Yew, 2013, Linfield College

"The small size of the lab made it easy for me to spend a lot of time working hands-on with these great researchers to learn as much as I could.  They were incredibly welcoming and really made me feel like a member of the lab." 
— Grace Sullivan, 2012, Buena Vista University

“SSF is the perfect mix of learning about your field of interest, hands on experience, advising for the future, and I should also mention fun.  It's not too bad living near D.C. with 11 other awesome peers who have such a wide variety of psychology related interests.” 
— Noah Levine, 2012, Rice University

“My experience at SSF has had an enormous impact on the path that I'm on today, and has contributed greatly to my preparation to enter graduate school in psychology.  I also made great friends over the summer and was able to explore Washington D.C.” 
— Micah Mumper, 2012, Macalester College

“You immediately get immersed into the research methodology and assessments that they use to work with clients. You are provided with unique experience like actually being able to go out and meet with clients for assessments. And you learn a ton about research methods, statistical analysis, and scientific writing. The program was absolutely incredible, and far surpassed my expectations in every way.” 
— Drew Rothenberg, 2011, North Carolina State University

“The SSF was an amazing experience that I will never forget! I am grateful that I got to experience a lot of new things that I may not have sought out on my own. I will definitely recommend this program to psychology underclassmen.” 
— Ambika Mathur, 2011, University of Maryland

“I truly enjoyed my time with the SSF. All of the fellows were great, as were the fantastic APA people coordinating. I would keep nearly everything about the program the same, and would recommend that any future psychology majors consider applying.” 
— Nate Anderson, 2011, Michigan State University

All aspects of the program helped prepare me for graduate school. I was introduced to almost the entire research process from developing a question to collecting data to briefly analyzing the data.” 
— Erica Kemp, 2011, Wright State University

"I had never had such hands-on experience before and was responsible for the entire project which made it even more challenging and exciting at the same time. I think the SSF is a wonderful opportunity for students who want to be involved in research and are planning to go to grad school." 
— Emily Urban, 2011, Marquette University