APA Prize for Interdisciplinary Team Research: Call for applications

Scientific Awards

Prize-winning team will receive $5000 for continued research. Application deadline is May 1, 2020.

The American Psychological Association Prize for Interdisciplinary Team Research recognizes an interdisciplinary research team that includes one or more psychological scientists in major roles and has produced significant scientific work. The team selected for the prize will receive $5000 to help support its continued research.

Interdisciplinary research is becoming increasingly prominent across all areas of science. Research that integrates approaches from more than one field can lead to new insights into complex problems and to the development of novel interventions and technologies.

Such work often requires researchers from varied scientific backgrounds to form collaborative teams. The team members must gain an understanding of a one another’s scientific concepts, methods and cultures, and their individual efforts must be carefully coordinated.

The APA Prize for Interdisciplinary Team Research is the first honor designed specifically for interdisciplinary teams that include psychological scientists. It was developed by APA’s 2016 President Susan McDaniel and the APA Board of Scientific Affairs and is managed by the APA Science Directorate. The prize is given biennially.

Past winners of the APA Prize for Interdisciplinary Team Research include the Center for Research and Education on Aging and Technology Enhancement (2016) and the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products (2018).

Research teams

Applications for the prize should identify the core members of the research team. Core members are those individuals who contribute key areas of expertise and play major roles in planning and overseeing the team’s research. In general, core members are established investigators, who have completed their doctoral and post-doctoral training. Core members do not all need to be at the same institution. Their institutions may be located in any country.

The core members should represent two or more disciplines, according to the following requirements:

  • At least one of the core members of the research team must be a psychological scientist.  Status as a psychological scientist is indicated by an individual’s degree, title, department affiliation and/or research community.
  • At least one of the other core members must be primarily associated with a discipline other than psychological science. This discipline may be any scientific, health, technological, engineering, mathematical or computational field. (Sub-areas of psychology do not count as separate disciplines.)
  • Other core members (if any) may be in any discipline.  

One of the core members should be designated as the principal investigator (PI). The PI will submit the application and represent the research team to APA. The PI must be affiliated with an academic or other non-profit or governmental research institution. If the team is selected for the prize, the PI’s institution will receive and manage the prize funds. The PI does not need to be a psychological scientist.

Research teams may engage in basic, applied and/or translational research. The scientific questions addressed by a team should be clearly relevant to the concerns of psychological science, even if framed in the terms of another discipline. The conceptual and methodological approaches of the research should draw significantly from psychological science as well as from the other discipline(s) represented on the team.

Application instructions and deadline

To apply for the prize, the PI should submit the following materials (in English) to APA:

  • List of core members of the research team with brief descriptions of their scientific and management roles on the team. The member who serves as PI should be indicated. (It is not necessary to list other research staff who are not core members.)
  • Brief summary of the primary research contributions of the team to date. The summary should include an account of how these contributions emerged from the integration of research approaches from more than one discipline, with particular attention to the role of psychological science. (This summary should be 750-1500 words; references, figures and tables may be included and do not count against this word limit.)
  • Brief description of the research that the team plans to conduct over the next one or two years. No budget should be included; it is understood that the overall cost of the planned research may significantly exceed the prize amount of $5000. Any changes anticipated in the core membership of the team should be noted. (This description should be 750-1500 words; references, figures and tables may be included and do not count against this word limit.)
  • CVs of all core members of the team.
  • List of publications (including in-press) by the research team, along with electronic copies of, or links to, up to five of the most important publications.

The deadline for applications is May 1, 2020. Application materials should be submitted by the team’s PI as email attachments to Suzanne Wandersman of the APA Science Directorate.

Review of applications

The APA Board of Scientific Affairs (BSA) will review applications using the following criteria:

  • The quality and impact of the team’s past research accomplishments.
  • The quality, potential impact, and feasibility of the team’s plans for continued research.
  • The degree to which the value of the team’s research stems from its interdisciplinary characteristics. 

The focus of the review will be on research by the team as a whole. Research by individual members will be considered only as that work informs assessment of the team’s plans for continued research.  Other types of work by the team or its members (training, public education, administration, etc.) will not be considered in the review.

BSA will select no more than one team to receive the prize. BSA may decide not to award any prize, if it determines that no applications meet eligibility requirements or are of sufficient quality. BSA will make its decision by the fall of 2020.  

Any BSA member who has a significant personal connection to a submitted application will not be involved in the review of any applications.


Before the selected team can receive the prize funds of $5000, each current core member will be asked to confirm to APA that they will participate in the continued research described in the application.

The funds will be sent to the PI’s institution for management and dispersal. APA will not pay for any indirect or overhead costs or provide any additional funds.

After one year, the PI will be asked to submit a brief progress report to APA describing how the research funds have been used and what research has been conducted and is planned.

Information about the prize-winning team will be publicized broadly through APA’s news and social media outlets.

Questions about the APA Prize for Interdisciplinary Team Research may be directed to Suzanne Wandersman (tel: 202-336-5950).