Visionary Grants

Up to $20,000 to seed innovation through supporting research, education, and intervention projects and programs.


Sponsor: APF


The APF Visionary Grants seek to seed innovation through supporting research, education and intervention projects and programs that use psychology to solve social problems in the following priority areas:

  • Applying psychology to at-risk, vulnerable populations (e.g. serious mental illness, returning military, those who are incarcerated or economically disadvantaged)
  • Preventing violence
  • Understanding the connection between behavior and health (e.g. wellness, diabetes, obesity)
  • Understanding and eliminating stigma and prejudice (e.g. race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability and socioeconomic status)

Preference will be given to pilot projects that, if successful, would be strong candidates for support from major federal and foundation funding agencies, and “demonstration projects” that promise to generalize broadly to similar settings in other geographical areas and/or to other settings.

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated on:

  • Innovative and potential impact qualities (introduction of proven interventions in a similar setting , minor extensions of established theory or work that has little chance of replication or use beyond the proposed setting do not qualify as innovative or impactful)
  • Quality, viability and promise of proposed work 
  • Criticality of proposed funding for proposed work (mere contributions to larger funded efforts, or “add-ons” that could/should be carried out under that funding are discouraged)
  • Clear and comprehensive methodology

One-year grants are available in amounts of up to $20,000.

Support research in psychology: Donate to this fund.


Applicants must:

  • Be a graduate student or early career researcher (no more than 10 years postdoctoral).
  • Be affiliated with a nonprofit charitable, educational or scientific institution, or governmental entity operating exclusively for charitable and educational purposes.
  • Have demonstrated competence and capacity to execute the proposed work.

APF will not consider the following requests for grants to support:

  • Political or lobbying purposes.
  • Entertainment or fundraising expenses.
  • Anyone the Internal Revenue Service would regard as a disqualified group or individual.
  • Localized direct service.
  • Conference/workshop expenses.

IRB approval must be received from host institution before funding can be awarded if human participants are involved.

How to Apply
Proposal Requirements

Title and description of proposed project to include goal, relevant background, target population, methods, and anticipated outcomes. Please include the following (not to exceed five pages, 1-inch margins, 11-point Times New Roman/Garamond Font, single space):

  • Relevant background, literature review, specific aims, significance
  • Methods section (must be detailed enough so that the design, assessments and procedures can be evaluated)
  • Implications section

Timeline of proposed project and detailed budget and justification (not to exceed 1 page).

CV (10 page max).

Apply online now.

Past Recipients
  • Blake Allan, PhD, Purdue University
    “Underemployment and Mental Health: A Longitudinal Study”
  • Meagan Brem, University of Tennessee
    “Extending a Conceptual Model of Alcohol-Related Violence to Cyber Dating Violence using a Daily Diary Design with College Students”
  • Casey Gardiner, University of Colorado Boulder
    "Optimizing Incentive Interventions for Diet and Physical Activity: Roles of Cognition, Motivation and Weight Status.”
  • A. Zarina Kraal, University of Michigan
    “Psychosocial and physiological mechanisms of cognitive pefromance in Type 2 diabetes mellitus.”
  • Jennifer Silvers, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles
    “Neuroinflammatory markers of early stress during adolescence”
  • Amanda Sisselman-Borgia, PhD and Mia Budescu, PhD, CUNY Lehman College; Gina Torina, PhD, SUNY Empire State College
    “Understanding Microaggressions in Homeless Youth Through the Experiences of Youth and Service Providers”
  • Amanda Van Scoyoc, PhD and Amanda Lowell, PhD, Yale University
    “Understanding Stigma Surrounding Pregnant Women with Substance Use Disorders”
  • Rachel Wu, PhD, University of California, Riverside
    "Inducing Cognitive Development in Aging Adults"
  • Ana Julia Bridges, PhD, University of Arkansas
    "Group Treatment with Incarcerated Female Sexual Assault Victims: Is Exposure Critical to Successful Outcomes?"

  • Frances Chen, PhD, University of British Columbia
    "The Scent of a Good Night's Sleep"

  • Stephen Chen, PhD, Wellesley College
    "Grandparent Caregiving Practices and Obesity in Chinese Immigrant Children"

  • Andrea Glenn, PhD, University of Alabama
    "Effects of a Positive Psychology Based Intervention on Brain Functioning in Adolescents at Risk for Violence"

  • Evan Kleiman, PhD, Harvard University
    "A pilot study of a smartphone-based intervention for suicidal inpatients"

  • Natasha Schvey, PhD, Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine
    "Stigma, Health, and Psychosocial Functioning among Transgender Actice Duty Service Members"

  • Lindsay Sheehan, PhD, Illiniois Institute of Technology
    "Developing a Strategic Disclosure Program for Suicide Attempt Survivors"

  • Anna Van Meter, PhD, Yeshiva University
    "Harnessing the Circadian Rhythm: Identification and Intervention Prior to the Onset of Mood Disorder"

  • Joel Wong, PhD, Indiana University
    "A Sexual Assault Preventative Intervention for Male College Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial Based on the Self-Persuasion Paradigm"

  • Sachiko Donley, University of California, Irvine 
    "You're Stressing Me Out: Adolescent Stress Response to Evaluation from Same-Aged Peers and its Effect of Risky Decision-Making"

  • Jessica Lambert, PhD, California State University, Stanislaus, and Alyssa Banford, Alliant International University
    "Toward understanding the needs of widowed women after mass trauma: War and disaster in Sri Lanka"

  • Rebecca Mohr, Columbia University
    "An Exploration of the Behavioral and Physiological Consequences of Intersectional Invisibility Discrimination"

  • Lindsay Nagamatsu, PhD, University of Western Ontario
    "Uncovering Neural Signatures of Fall Risk in Older Adults"

  • Cynthia Najdowski, PhD, University of Albany
    "Effects of Race and Socioeconomics Status on Medical Misdiagnosis of Child Abuse"

  • Ryan Shorey, PhD, Ohio University
    "Examining the Efficacy of Three Interventions for Sexual Assault: A Preliminary Randomized Controlled Trial"

  • Erin Tully, PhD, Georgia State University
    "The Neurobiology of Sharing Others' Happiness: A Clue to Understanding Children's Aggression?"

  • Jay Van Bavel, PhD, New York University
    "The Role of Distance and Speed Perception in Police Shooting Decisions: From Exploration to Intervention"

  • Monnica Williams, PhD, University of Louisville
    "Reducing Microaggressions and Promoting Racial Harmony"

  • Dara Babinski, PhD, Penn State
    "A novel social skills intervention for adolescent girls with ADHD"

  • Naama de la Fontaine, PhD, Yale
    "Police Response to Children Expose to Violence: The Impact of Specialized Training on The Current State of Practice" 

  • Arpana Gupta, PhD, UCLA 
    "Mind Altering Microorganisms: Sex and Race Difference in the Influence of Gut Microbiota on Brain Structures in Obese Healthy Control Subjects" 

  • Ryan Hill, Florida International University
    "Pilot Trial of a Web-Based Program to Reduce Perceived Burdensomeness in Adolescents

  • Anne Krendl, PhD, Indiana University
    "The current proposal uses a neuroscience approach to identify how stigmas about mental illness affect attitudes towards mental health treatment, and how they can be reduced." 

  • Casey LaDuke, Drexel
    "A prospective incremental validity study in an incarcerated sample" 

  • Scott Ross, PhD, Utah State University
    "Stand for Courage: Preventing bullying and suicide in high schools using positive recognition of stand-up behavior" 

  • Laura Taylor, PhD, UNC Greensboro
    "Daily Stressors and Positive Development among Immigrant and Refugee Youth"

  • Nadav Antebi, Columbia University
    "From Minority Stress to Minority Growth: Stigmatized Identity and the Development of Positive Attributes and Growth in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Populations" 

  • Laura Kati Corlew, PhD, East-West Center
    "Relating the Psychological Recovery from Recent Disasters to Climate Change Risk Perception and Preparedness in Hawai'i and American Samoa" 

  • Farrah Jacquez, PhD, University of Cincinnati
    "Physical and Mental Aspects of Stress and Resilience in Vulnerable Youth" 

  • Bernhard Leidner, PhD, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
    "From the Laboratory to Field-Experimental Interventions: Understanding and Improving the Justice Discourse in Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Resolution" 

  • Timothy Nelson, PhD, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
    To understand the relationship between sleep and psychopathology in youth with significant mental health problems 

  • Kymberlee O'Brien, PhD, University of Massachusetts, Boston
    "Transmission of Discrimination-Related Stress Reactivity and Reduction from Mother to Infant" 

  • Jodi Quas, PhD, University of California, Irvine
    "Empathy and Altruism: Missing Pieces in the Peace Building Process" 

  • E. Scott Geller, PhD, Virginia Tech University 

  • Tamara L. Newton, PhD, University of Louisville 

  • David Vogel, PhD, Iowa State University 

  • Rezarta Bilali, PhD, University of Massachusetts-Boston

  • Thao N. Le, PhD, Colorado State University 

  • Johanna Ray Vollhardt, PhD, Clark University 

  • Lisa Kiang, PhD, Wake Forest University 

  • E. Mark Cummings, PhD, University of Notre Dame 

  • Rachel Barr, PhD, Georgetown University

  • Sarah Enos Watamura, PhD, University of Denver

  • Alisha Ali, PhD, New York University

  • Judith E. Carroll, University of Pittsburgh 

  • Lenny R. Vartanian, PhD, Syracuse University 

  • Shari Elizabeth Miles-Cohen, PhD, Women's Programs Office, American Psychological Association 

  • Michelle Billies, Graduate Center of the City University of New York 

  • Joni T. Howard, Washington State University

  • Population Media Center 

  • S. D. Shantinath, PhD, Woman to Woman International 

  • Melissa I. Gebbia, PhD, Molloy College

  • Beatrice Beebe, PhD, New York State Psychiatric Institute 

  • BraVada Garrett-Akinsanya, PhD, LP, National Multicultural Conference and Summit 

  • Douglas C. Kimmel, PhD, AIZHIXING Institute of Health Education

  • Laurie Young, PhD, Older Women's League

  • Population and Development International 

  • Advanced Research and Training Seminars (ARTS)

  • Middle East and North Africa Regional Conference of Psychology, Science Directorate, American Psychological Association 

  • Sam Walton, We Care Media Arts, Inc.