APA Distinguished Scientific Awards for an Early Career Contribution to Psychology

This award recognizes excellent psychologists who are at early stages of their research careers.


Sponsor: Committee on Scientific Awards


The APA Distinguished Scientific Awards for an Early Career Contribution to Psychology honor early career scientists for contributions in the first nine years post-PhD. For the purpose of this award, psychology has been divided into 10 areas:

  • Animal learning and behavior, comparative.
  • Developmental.
  • Health.
  • Cognition/human learning.
  • Psychopathology.
  • Behavioral and cognitive neuroscience.
  • Perception and motor performance.
  • Social psychology.
  • Applied research (e.g., treatment and prevention research, industrial/organizational research, educational research).
  • Individual differences (e.g., personality, psychometrics, mental ability, behavioral genetics).

Five areas are considered each year, with areas rotated in two-year cycles.


For the 2019 program, nominations of persons who received doctoral degrees during and since 2009 are being sought in the areas of:

  • Applied research (e.g., treatment and prevention research, industrial/organizational research, educational research)
  • Social
  • Individual differences (e.g., personality, psychometrics, mental ability, behavioral genetics)
  • Perception, motor performance
  • Behavioral and cognitive neuroscience
How to Apply

To submit a nomination for the Distinguished Scientific Awards for an Early Career Contribution to Psychology (ECA), please provide:

  • A letter of nomination (two pages maximum length).

  • Nomination form (PDF, 17KB).

  • A current vita.

  • No more than five reprints representative of the nominee's contributions.

All material needs to be submitted electronically. For additional information, please contact: Suzanne Wandersman.

Past Recipients

Sara N. Burke, PhD (behavioral/cognitive neuroscience), Kathryn P. Harden, PhD (individual differences), Mark J. Landau, PhD (social psychology)*, Adam M. Leventhal, PhD (applied research)*, Lara A. Ray, PhD (applied research)*, Nicole M. Stephens, PhD (social psychology)*, Jessica K. Witt, PhD (perception/motor performance)


Adriana Galvan (developmental psychology), Greg Hajcak (psychopathology)*, Nathan M. Holmes (animal learning and behavior, comparative)*, Tania Lombrozo (cognition and human learning), Katie A. McLaughlin (psychopathology)*, Fabian A. Soto (animal learning and behavior, comparative)*, Kate Sweeny (health psychology)


James MacKillop (applied research)*, Iris B. Mauss (social psychology), Bunmi O. Olatunji (applied research)*, Nim Tottenham (behavioral/cognitive neuroscience), Nicholas B. Turk-Browne (perception, motor performance), Simine Vazire (individual differences)


George A. Alvarez (cognition and human learning), J. David Creswell (health psychology), Emily A. Holmes (psychopathology), Laura E. Schulz (developmental psychology), Amanda Seed (animal learning and behavior, comparative)*, Katie E. Slocombe (animal learning and behavior, comparative)*


Adam R. Aron (behavioral/cognitive neuroscience), Naomi I. Eisenberger (social psychology)*, Todd B. Kashdan (individual differences)*, Matthew R. Longo (perception, motor performance), Jon K. Maner (social psychology)*, Kristopher J. Preacher (individual differences)*, Andres De Los Reyes (applied research)*, Mo Wang (applied research)*


Thomas L. Griffiths (cognition and human learning), Angela J. Grippo (health psychology), Bob McMurray (developmental psychology), Friederike Range (animal learning and behavior, comparative)*, Laurie R. Santos (animal learning and behavior, comparative)*, Bethany Ann Teachman (psychopathology)


Adam M. Grant (applied research), Cindy Lustig (behavioral/cognitive neuroscience), Wendy Johnson (individual differences), David Melcher (perception, motor performance), Nicholas Epley (social psychology)


Stanley B. Floresco (animal learning and behavior, comparative), Mara Mather (cognition and human learning), Simona Ghetti (developmental)*, Larissa K. Samuelson (developmental)*, Peter J. Gianaros (health psychology), Benjamin L. Hankin (psychopathology)*, Matthew K. Nock (psychopathology)*


Adam K. Anderson (behavioral/cognitive neuroscience, Daniel J. Bauer (individual differences)*, Ahmad R. Hariri (individual differences)*, Christian N.L. Olivers (perception/motor performance), Robert E. Ployhart (applied research), Jennifer A. Richeson (social psychology)


John J. Curtin (psychopathology), Elissa S. Epel (health psychology)*, Linda C. Gallo (health psychology)*, Samuel D. Gosling (animal learning and behavior, comparative), Jodi A. Quas (developmental psychology), Joshua B. Tenenbaum (cognition and human learning)


Robert D. Gray (applied psychology), Patrik O. Vuilleumier (behavioral and cognitive neuroscience), R. Chris Fraley (individual differences), Jörn Diedrichsen (perception, motor performance), Matthew D. Lieberman (social psychology)


Mark G. Baxter (animal learning and behavior, comparative), Theodore P. Beauchaine (psychopathology), Angela Bryan (health psychology), Seth D. Pollak (developmental psychology), Brian J. Scholl (cognition and human learning)*, Anthony D. Wagner (cognition and human learning)*


Albert Jan (Ap) Dijksterhuls (social), Gunther Knoblich (perception/motor performance), Robert F. Krueger (individual differences), Hendree E. Jones (applied research)*, Frederick P. Morgeson (applied research)*, Russell A. Poldrack (behavioral/cognitive neuroscience)


Edith Chen (Health)*, Gregory E. Miller (Health)*, Elena L. Grigorenko (developmental)*, Thomas G. O'Connor (developmental)*, Jenny R. Saffran (cognition/human learning), Eric Stice (psychopathology), Klaus Zuberbühler (animal learning and behavior, comparative)


Isabel Gauthier (behavioral and cognitive neuroscience), Nancy M. Petry (applied research), Richard W. Robins (individual differences), Daniel J. Simons (perception/motor performance), Steven J. Heine (social)*, Sandra L. Murray (social)*


Deanna M. Barch (psychopathology)*, Donald R. Lynam (psychopathology)*, Nicki R. Crick (developmental), Alexander J. Rothman (health), Marvin M. Chun (cognition/human learning)*, Julie A. Fiez (cognition/human learning)*, Lisa M. Savage (animal learning and behavior, comparative)


Marlene Behrmann (behavioral and cognitive neuroscience)*, Stephen A. Maren (behavioral and cognitive neuroscience)*, Norman B. Schmidt (applied research), Duane T. Wegner (social), Andrew J. Elliot (individual differences)*, James J. Gross (individual differences)*, Paul A. S. Breslin (perception/motor performance)


Alan L. Christensen (health), Robert L. Goldstone (cognition/human learning), Thomas E. Joiner (psychopathology), Dario Maestripieri (animal learning and behavior, comparative), Jeffrey G. Parker (developmental), Karen Wynn (developmental)


Monica R. Biernat (social)*, C. Neil Macrae (social)*, Michael D'Zmura (perception/motor performance), Steven J. Luck (behavioral and cognitive neuroscience), Niels G. Waller (individual differences), Gretchen B. Chapman (applied research)


Seth C. Kalichman (health), Dare A. Baldwin (developmental), Mark S. Blumberg (animal learning/behavior/comparative), Thomas N. Bradbury (psychopathology), Michael J. Tarr (human learning/cognition)


Mark A. Gluck (behavioral neuroscience/animal learning and behavior), Lee Jussim (social/personality), David Lubinski (applied research/psychometrics), Caroline M. Palmer (perception/motor performance)


Avshalom Caspi (developmental), Fernanda Ferreira (human learning/cognition), Charles M. Morin (health), Christopher J. Patrick (psychopathology)


Patricia G. Devine (social/personality), Cheri Ostroff (applied research/psychometrics), Daniel J. Povinelli (biopsychology/animal behavior), Steven Yantis (perception/motor performance)


Patricia J. Bauer (developmental), Terrie E. Moffitt (psychopathology), Stephen T. Tiffany (health), Leda Cosmides (human learning/cognition), Robert M. Nosofsky (human learning/cognition)


Philip L. Ackerman (applied research/psychometrics), Martha J. Farah (perception/motor performance), Daniel T. Gilbert (social/personality), Martin F. Sarter (biopsychology/animal behavior)


Kent C. Berridge (animal learning/behavior), Susan A. Gelman (developmental), Randy J. Larsen (personality)


Rick E. Ingram (psychopathology), Dennis P. Phillips (physiological), Daniel L. Schacter (human learning/cognition)


Donald D. Hoffman (sensation/perception), Ruth Kanfer (applied research), John A. Bargh (social), Thomas K. Srull (social)


David M. Buss (personality), James P. Connell (developmental), Barbara Boardman Smuts (animal learning/behavior)


S. Marc Breedlove (physiological), Gary S. Dell (human learning/cognition), William G. Iacono (psychopathology)


Steven Penrod (applied research), Philip E. Tetlock (social), David R. Williams (sensation/perception)


Nancy E. Cantor (personality), Michael S. Fanselow (animal learning/behavior), Frank C. Keil (developmental), Linda B. Smith (developmental)


Kenneth A. Dodge (psychopathology), Marta Kutas (physiological), Steven Pinker (human learning/cognition)


Russell H. Fazio (social), Carol L. Krumhansl (sensation/perception), (No award given in methodological)


Richard Aslin (developmental), David S. Krantz (personality), Martha McClintock (animal learning/behavior)


Lyn Y. Abramson (psychopathology), Harvey Grill (physiological), Robert Sternberg (human learning/cognition)


Lynn Cooper (sensation/perception), Baruch Fischhoff (methodological), Shelley Taylor (social), Camille Wortman (social)


David Crews (animal learning/behavior), John Kihlstrom (personality), Michael Maratsos (developmental)


John Robert Anderson (human learning/cognition), Philip Groves (physiological), Gary E. Schwartz (psychopathology)


Randolph Blake (sensation/perception), Judith Rodin (social), J. Arthur Woodward (methodological)


Sandra Bem (personality), Rochel Gelman (developmental), Martin E. P. Seligman (animal learning/behavior)


Norman Adler (physiological), John Neale (psychopathology), Michael Turvey (human learning/cognition)

* The award was shared; this was not an award for collaboration