SPP Diverse Scholar Award

Deadline: December 1,2020
Sponsor: Division 54

The Society of Pediatric Psychology (SPP) strongly believes that a diverse workforce benefits the profession and the communities we serve. The SPP Diverse Scholar Award aims to support the goal of a more diverse workforce by identifying and recognizing individuals who express a strong commitment to pursuing graduate training in psychology. Thus, SPP is pleased to announce the “SPP Diverse Scholar Award” for underrepresented undergraduate and post baccalaureate students who have an interest in graduate training.

The SPP Diverse Scholar Award provides a $1250 award towards travel to the SPP Annual Conference. In addition to support for travel, scholars will:

  • be connected with a current SPP Board member who will provide mentorship related to networking opportunities and participation in conference activities. Awardees will be expected to attend business meetings and social student networking events at the conference;
  • be provided a seat at the SPPAC mentoring lunch
  • be expected to contribute a brief feature to the SPP newsletter, Progress Notes, describing their experience and future goals.

2020/2021 update: As SPPAC will be virtual in 2021, the award will be somewhat different.  Stay tuned, as we are working to come up with some great ideas to celebrate the winner(s) of this year's Diverse Scholar Award!

  1. Applicants must be currently enrolled as an undergraduate with a psychology major or be post baccalaureate with an interest in graduate training in psychology. Students in a psychology graduate program and postdoctoral fellows are not eligible for this award.
  2. Applicants for the award must be from historically disadvantaged or underrepresented backgrounds including:
    • Individuals from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups: Black or African-American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.
    • Individuals with disabilities including physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (as defined by the American Disabilities Act).
    • Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, as it refers to the financial and educational family contexts described below:
      • Individuals who are first-generation college students in their family of origin.
      • Individuals who come from a family with an annual income below established low-income thresholds (as defined by USDHHS Poverty guidelines).

These examples are intended to be illustrative, not exclusive. Applicants must describe the category to which they belong to as part of a signed eligibility statement.

In one PDF file, please submit the following to the Division 54 Member at Large for Diversity, Melissa Santos, PhD (msantos@connecticutchildrens.org):

  1. Cover Letter (up to 2 pages single-spaced): Please use the cover letter to describe how becoming a SPP Diverse Scholar would further your training and career development. For example, you might consider providing some description of why you are interested in becoming more involved in pediatric psychology, information about the types of events/sessions that you hope to attend at SPP with the funding provided, and information about the type of mentor/mentorship in which you would be particularly interested when you meet with a SPP Board Member.
  2. Brief Eligibility Statement (up to 1 page single-spaced): Please provide a signed statement describing how providing this award will address issues of diversity in the SPP workforce (i.e., what underrepresented group do you identify with and how is that relevant to your training/career goals).
  3. Unofficial copy of student transcripts.
  4. Current curriculum vitae or resume (This document should include information about educational experiences, relevant research activities, service, and professional organization membership, among other things).

General application dates:

  • Announcement / call for applications will be posted in early November
  • Application deadline will be early December
  • Notification in early January


  • Kishan DesaiBaylor College of Medicine
  • Honorable mention:
    • Afiya SajwaniLurie Children's Hospital


  • Manuela SinisterraChildren's National
  • Honorable mention:
    • Alex BlairOklahoma State University


  • Misha Haq, University of Cincinnati, studying Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Honorable mentions:
    • Clayton Edwards, Oklahoma State University
    • Alejandra Perez-Ramirez, Boston University

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