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Call for Nominations: 2019 Leadership Development Fellowship for Graduate Students in APA Divisions

Apply by November 25, 2019


APA’s Early Career and Graduate Student Affairs and the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) Committee are pleased to announce this call for nominations. Our newly developed Leadership Development Fellowship for Graduate Students in APA Divisions seeks to offer additional models for leadership development APA Divisions; create strong graduate student candidates for service to Divisions and APA boards and committees, and particularly to the APA Council of Representatives when they become early career psychologists; and raise the visibility and importance of graduate students within Divisions and APA at large.

The fellowship is a package consisting of four elements:

1. Funding five doctoral students to participate in the Practice Leadership Conference (PLC; held from Saturday 3/7 through Tuesday 3/10/2020) in Washington, DC.

2. Reimbursing those same students to attend the August 2020 Council of Representatives meeting during APA Convention, held Aug 5 and 7 in Washington, DC (up to $1,300 in travel, lodging, and meals);

3. Sponsoring those same students to participate in the virtual APA Emerging Leaders in Psychology Academy launching in spring 2020 (a value of up to $199); and,

4. Providing $1,500 before the end of 2019 to each selected Division to support the development, piloting, implementation, and/or expansion of projects or programs that promote leadership education and training, and nurture active leadership pipelines for graduate students in their Divisions.

Benefits of this fellowship to Graduate Students and Divisions:

1. Practice Leadership Conference is APA’s premier advocacy and leadership training conference. Many leaders in Divisions get their start in lifelong leadership through this conference.

2. Participation in, observation of, and active mentorship through an APA Council of Representatives meeting is a key strategy of APAGS and the Committee on Early Career Psychologists to see that more recent graduates in their APA Divisions are nominated to run and successfully serve in the near future on the APA Council of Representatives. We seek to pair graduate students with Council representatives to mentor them throughout a full year, and beyond. Ideally the Council representative from their home Division will be the mentor. Mentors will connect at least three times over the course of 2020 with their mentees and during a planned meal together at the August 2020 APA Council of Representative meeting. Mentees will also participate in an online web-based training on topics such as Council structure and support systems, general procedures, parliamentary procedures, agenda planning, and policymaking.

3. The virtual APA Emerging Leaders in Psychology Academy, entering its second year in 2020, is an innovative course sequence and learning community based in psychological science and real-world examples, designed to give psychologists at every career stage the skills to successfully transition into a leadership role. Upon successful completion of the APA Emerging Leaders in Psychology Academy, participants can receive a certificate of achievement and up to 10 CE credits. 

4. Provide funding support through for the development, piloting, implementation, and/or expansion of projects or programs that promote leadership education and training, and nurture active leadership pipelines for graduate students in their home Divisions.


All APA Divisions are eligible to apply for this initiative. Qualifying APA Divisions must identify a graduate student who has the qualities and commitment to warrant success through the yearlong fellowship; must have a plan to nurture their candidate’s engagement in governance over time in APA, especially the APA Council of Representatives; and must have a plan to develop, pilot, implement, or expand a leadership training or pipeline project for graduate students. 

APA Division are invited to nominate one late-career doctoral student in psychology or a related field (in their third year of doctoral training, or later). The graduate students must be current members of both APA and the APA Division. Graduate students who are not already members of APA must join by the application deadline. It is acceptable for the individual to have previously attended an APA advocacy and leadership conference and/or have participated in the APA Emerging Leaders in Psychology Academy. APA Divisions are encouraged to nominate individuals from underrepresented groups in psychology. Preference will be given to those nominees who have been involved in the ongoing work of the APA Division and/or have made measurable contributions to the APA Division and/or APA, and for whom the APA Division has made specific plans for leadership development and engagement.

Selection priority will be given to APA Divisions that demonstrate a clear commitment to graduate students and take concrete steps to incorporate them into their organizational activities and structure, such as through establishment of an graduate student division or committee, the involvement of students in key leadership roles, and the development of student programming or resources. We are also looking to award APA Divisions that currently offer (or plan to offer) members education and experiential training in leadership, particularly from a multicultural perspective; engage (or plan to engage) in leadership self-assessments; engage (or plan to engage) mid and senior career members in mentoring the next generation; and work to meaningfully expand opportunities for student participation in governance, including the APA Council of Representatives when these students graduate with their doctoral degrees.

The APAGS Committee will review and score all applications and provide feedback to applicants before the end of the year.

How to Apply:          

The application deadline is Monday, November 25, 2019 at 5:00pm EST. Please apply online here. The application screen will ask for some basic information about the APA Division, the graduate student, and the submitter of the form. It will then ask for you to attach a single PDF. (Go here for tips to combine multiple files into one PDF.) Name the file with the APA Division’s name. The PDF must include the following documents and assembled in the following order:

1. A narrative about the graduate student that describes their past, current and planned involvement with the APA Division; any characteristics that may make this individual a member of an underrepresented group (optional); past experience, if any, with APA advocacy/leadership conferences and the APA Emerging Leaders in Psychology Academy; the individuals’ hopes for participation in this fellowship; and the individual’s overarching leadership goals for the next five years. (This section can be authored or co-authored by the student; two pages max, double spaced).

2. A narrative about the APA Division that describes these interrelated items (two pages max, double spaced):

- A description of the graduate student constituency of the APA Division.

- Efforts to recruit, retain and meet the needs of student members in the past and future.

- The APA Division’s history of students in leadership roles.

- The APA Division’s receptivity to being represented on APA Council by an early career psychologist, should one show interest. (Our fellowship seeks to inspire graduate students to stay engaged in their Division and in matters before APA Council, and seeks to support their involvement as Council members when they are eligible to serve with their doctorates.)

- The selection process for the APA Division’s representative to the APA Council of Representatives.

- The APA Division’s willingness of its current APA Council representative(s) to mentor the selected student, if chosen for funding.

3. A narrative describing how a $1500 grant will help the APA Division to develop, pilot, implement, and/or expand its leadership development efforts (3 pages max, double spaced). Each narrative should address the following:

- A brief history of the activities that the APA Division has conducted in the past 5 years regarding leadership development of graduate students and/or early career psychologists.

- How the concept of a leadership development program for graduate students fits within existing goals, aims, or objectives of the APA Division.

- Specific desired outcomes to be met through this effort; how these will be measured; when they reasonably may be met; and the mechanisms/methods for reaching them (e.g., activities, efforts, formats, etc.). Note: the proposal should impact at least two individuals.

- The criteria graduate students must meet to participate in the leadership development program.

- Length of time the APA Division could maintain the proposed leadership development program, at minimum, without additional funding from the current initiative.  

- Name of individual(s) who would serve as the point of contact for this award program.

- A description, with expected costs, of key budget items mentioned in this proposal.

4. A current and abbreviated curriculum vitae for the graduate student (five pages max, ensuring the year the graduate student started and plans to complete their doctoral training are clearly marked).

For all inquiries, please feel free to contact Lucia Gutierrez, PhD, Early Career and Graduate Student Affairs, at We appreciate your participation in this program and look forward to receiving your applications.

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