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#SPSP2017 Finalists Have Been Chosen! Click here to find out who has been selected.

SPSP is pleased to announce the return of Q&pAy, a small grants competition—our own version of the ABC hit show “Shark Tank”—at the 2017 annual convention.

Q&pAy will showcase three small research grant finalists pitching their grant proposals to a team of social and personality experts who will ask questions about the grant (significance, research methods, budget, etc). During the 15-minute interrogation, audience members will be given the chance to participate in this high-stakes Q/A. In the end, the “sharks” will pick a winner to receive a $5,000 grant for their research. The two runners-up will each receive $2,500.

Q&pAy is an educational experience for both contestants and audience members, and it is open to any current SPSP member or student. If you are attending the convention and interested in participating, complete the application below.

About the Grants

This program will provide small grants to individuals (or a team of two) that is intended to support a relatively inexpensive, well-powered study that may be submitted for publication and for presentation at a future SPSP convention

Awards may be used to compensate participants (on-line or in-person), purchase supplies, travel to research sites, or pay research assistants.  Funds may not be used for salary or travel to conferences, and no indirect costs will be granted to the awardee’s institution. If grantee’s institution cannot receive grants without direct costs being assumed, payments and tax-reporting responsibility falling upon the grantee.

Award recipients must submit a report of the research to SPSP within six months of the completion of the study and, if the research is successful, are expected to submit it both for publication and for presentation at the SPSP convention.

The Application Process

November 1              Deadline to Apply

November 2-10         Round 1 Judging

November 11            Semifinalists Announced

December 1              Two-minute videos due

December 2-15         Round 2 Judging

December 5-14         Voting open to public

December 16            Finalists Announced

January 20                Q&Pay Live from San Antonio


The application must include an abstract, a description of the proposed project (described below), a curriculum vitae (CV), the proposed timeline for completion of the research, and a budget. Applications may be submitted here and are due by November 1st. Applicants must be members of SPSP and their dues paid for 2017. Priority will be given to applications that have already received institutional review board (IRB) approval. 

The Review Committee will evaluate each proposal along the following criteria: (1) importance or significance of the topic to the field; (2) clarity and quality of the research methodology and analyses that will be conducted; (3) appropriateness of the budget; and (4) feasibility of completing the project within the timeline provided.  It is particularly important that applications include sufficient information to convince the Committee that the project will be completed to an ethical and publishable standard, so issues involving power, sample size, and planned analyses should be discussed.

Semifinalists will be announced by November 11th and must submit a two-minute video clip discussing their proposal by December 1. The semifinalists will be reviewed by a second judging panel and audience vote will account for part of the final score.

The SPSP "Sharks"

Meet the experts who will question the finalists on-stage.

Feature ImageCynthia Pickett, University of California - Davis: Cynthia Pickett is an associate professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis. She obtained her PhD from Ohio State University in 1999. Her research is in the areas of self and identity, intergroup perception, and social rejection. Some of her skills that she has yet to put to good use are falling asleep fully clothed, knowing all the words to Ice Ice Baby (Yo, VIP, let's kick it!), and Ukranian egg dying.

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Tessa West, New York University - Tessa West is an Associate Professor at New York University.  She conducts research on the dynamics of social perception at the level of the dyad and group, and develops analytic methods for examining accuracy and bias in person perception.  She also examines methodological issues in the study of intergroup relations. Tessa is best known for her uncanny ability to build castles from mini marshmallows and chug up to 2 liters of chocolate milk in less than 90 seconds.

Elizabeth HainesWilliam Paterson University - Elizabeth Haines is a professor of psychology at William Paterson University. She earned her Ph.D. from City University of New York in 1999. Her research focuses on stereotyping and prejudice. Well-honed skills include: the two finger whistle, daydreaming, and putting runs in her nylons.


Sam GoslingThe University of Texas at Austin - Sam Gosling is a professor of psychology at the University of Texas, Austin. His research focuses on personality in non-human animals, new methods for collecting data in everyday contexts, and the psychology of physical space. In the summers he can often be found at the helm of his tiny inflatable boat, the Belafonte II.

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Nicholas RuleUniversity of Toronto - Nick Rule is an associate professor of psychology at the University of Toronto and the Canada Research Chair in Social Perception and Cognition. An expert in the study of person perception and thin-slices, he is an avid people-watcher, careful listener, and impatient judge of character. He presently rents a two-bedroom condo from his 20-lb. Maine Coon cat, Mrs. Jingles.

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