Between the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, general GW resources and the wider scientific community, there are many funding sources available to support undergraduate, graduate and faculty research.
"As a lab manager in the Attention and Cognition Laboratory, I developed research and writing skills while learning how to navigate a professional environment, present information and supervise others."
Sarah Weiss Rozalis
Research experiences not only provide challenges and depth to students' education, but they also strengthen their applications for nationally competitive fellowships and for graduate and professional schools. The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences offers two research grant opportunities to undergraduates:
- Undergraduate Research and Service Grant (URSG)
- Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship (USRF)
Undergraduate Research and Service Grant
The URSG supports undergraduate psychology majors who are exploring psychological research and psychological services as possible career paths. Students may apply for up to $500 to cover relevant expenses. Each recipient must submit a report at the end of the funding period explaining how the funds were used and any activities or outcomes that the funds made possible.
Students in these categories may apply:
- Conducting research with Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences faculty, through a research internship, through independent study, as a research assistant paid with other funds or through uncredited volunteer activities
- Participating in service placements coordinated by Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences faculty through a psychology field internship course or Columbian College service learning course
- Participating in service placements within the Meltzer Center, whether on a funded or volunteer basis
- Engaging in psychological research conducted by investigators outside of the Psychological and Brain Sciences department or the university, when coordinated through faculty via research internship, independent study or through non-course learning plans.
- Non-course learning plans: Some students who are not enrolled in either psychology research internship or independent study courses may find opportunities for participating in psychological research projects conducted outside the Psychological and Brain Sciences Department. These students may apply for Undergraduate Research and Service Grant funding if they find a member of the psychology faculty willing to provide oversight of the experience, develop a written learning plan with research supervisors and help the student negotiate with the research team if problems arise.
Award funds may be used to cover:
- Travel to and from project site
- Materials and subject payments
- Hourly wages for students assisting with the project who have Work-Study positions in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences or Meltzer Center
- Scientific or professional conferences, poster sessions or trainings directly relevant to project
- Cost of required background checks, if applicable
There are three application deadlines per year, during the spring, summer and fall. Contact the department for current deadlines.
- Application Requirements
- Completed application form
- Statement of support from a Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences faculty member who will oversee the project
- Unofficial GW Transcript (please provide a screen shot; no transcripts from GWEB)
- Final Report
Each recipient must submit a report at the end of the funding period explaining how the funds were used, and any activities or outcomes that the funds made possible.
Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship
The USRF provides an award of $4,000 to support the student’s research-related expenditures, which may include living expenses, travel, materials and equipment. Faculty mentors also receive a stipend of $500. These funds can be used to support activities directly related to this research project (e.g., supporting travel, equipment, supplies, etc.)
Student applicants must be full-time undergraduate students at GW who are majoring in psychology. Note: Recipients must be enrolled at GW throughout the tenure of the award. Faculty mentors must be tenured or tenure-track faculty in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.
- Application Deadline
Contact department for the next deadline.
- Required Application Materials
- Completed application form
- Statement of support for the student and their research activity from the psychology faculty member overseeing the experience
- Unofficial GW transcript (please provide a screenshot; no transcripts from GWEB).
- Selection Process
The Psychological and Brain Sciences Department Selection Committee, which includes faculty members from the three department programs, will review applications and make decisions on funding. Recipients must let the department know if they receive funding for the same activity from another source; the award may need to be reduced.
- Final Report
The recipient must submit a report at the end of the funding period explaining how the funds were used and any activities or outcomes that the funds made possible.
Other University Funding
GW also offers many university-wide awards and initiatives to encourage undergraduates to engage with research.
For Graduate Students
Richard Walk Dissertation Fellowship
Current GW psychology PhD students may apply for the Richard Walk Dissertation Fellowship, which is funded by the Richard David Walk Endowment. Walk was a prominent developmental psychologist and a member of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences faculty.
The fellowship awards $1,000 to help doctoral students complete their dissertation research. Funds may be applied toward participant incentives, travel, software, materials and other project-related costs. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and should be emailed to the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.
Research is one of GW’s top strategic initiatives, and the university accordingly offers several research funding opportunities to graduate students.
External Funding Sources
- American Psychological Association Awards
- American Psychological Foundation Scholarships
- Clara Mayo Grants
- Cosmos Club Foundation Scholars
- Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship
- Fulbright U.S. Student Program
- National Institutes of Health Dissertation Award
- National Institutes of Health Individual Fellowships
- National Institutes of Health Summer Internship
- Psi Chi International Honor Society Scholarships
- For more information about the Psi Chi chapter at GW, contact [email protected].
- Society for Community Research and Action Awards
- Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues Grants
Many psychology faculty members are active in mentoring student research and recognized for their productivity and expertise in their fields of study. Faculty serve as editors and reviewers for federal granting agencies, top professional journals and textbook publishers. They also represent the department at professional conferences around the world.
The majority of Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences research funding comes from the National Institutes of Health, in particular the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Drug Abuse, and the National Science Foundation. Additionally, the GW Office of the Vice President for Research sponsors various intramural funding competitions and incentive programs to encourage research and scholarship at the university.