Access Path to Psychology and Law Experience (APPLE)

Do you know a promising student from an underrepresented group who is interested in psychology and law, but not currently involved in research? Recruit him or her into AP-LS’s APPLE program.
Description

The purpose of the Access Path to Psychology and Law Experience (APPLE) program is to increase diversity within psychology and law by increasing the pipeline of competitive graduate school applicants from groups that currently are underrepresented in the field, including racial and ethnic minorities, first-generation college students, LGBT individuals, and physically disabled students. APPLE is designed to encourage faculty members to recruit students from underrepresented groups into their research labs. It provides financial support for the students to obtain meaningful research experience and attend the AP-LS conference as well as other opportunities for mentoring and development. It is the intention of the Minority Affairs Committee (MAC) that many of the students in the APPLE program will apply for graduate training related to psychology and law and ultimately become professionals in the field.

Program Requirements

Students in the APPLE program are required to:

  • Work on research for approximately 10 hours per week for the duration of their research experience
  • Participate in GRE classes and/or other development opportunities
  • Attend an AP-LS conference
  • Submit a proposal to present their research at an AP-LS conference or in the Division 41 program of an APA conference
  • Submit a summary of their research experience to the MAC Chair within one month of its completion
  • Correspond with a secondary mentor from the MAC
  • Participate in the ongoing assessment of the APPLE program

Faculty mentors in the APPLE program are required to

  • Closely supervise their students to ensure that they have a meaningful research experience that will make them more competitive for graduate school
  • Help identify and facilitate opportunities for their students to participate in GRE classes and/or other development programs offered on their campuses (e.g., through the McNair program)
  • Assist their students in making a conference presentation about their research
  • Participate in the ongoing assessment of the APPLE program

Award Amounts

The APPLE program will award up to $3,000 per student, depending on the length of the research experience. Recipients will be given a stipend of $1200 per semester or $800 per quarter or summer for up to one year. In addition, they will receive $100 for research expenses and up to $500 to attend the AP-LS conference. Six awards of $3000 (i.e., for year-long experiences) or a larger number of smaller awards (i.e., for part-year experiences) will be given.

Eligibility

Faculty are encouraged to identify promising undergraduate students from underrepresented groups who are interested in psychology and law and have the potential to become competitive graduate applicants. Underrepresented groups include but are not limited to racial and ethnic minorities, first-generation college students, LGBT individuals, and physically disabled students. Because the APPLE program is intended to expand the pipeline of qualified students from underrepresented groups, students should not be working with the faculty member in the proposed capacity prior to initiating the application process. Students in the APPLE program must be primarily supervised by a faculty member, not graduate students or other lab members. Note that applicants will only be eligible to receive one MAC award per funding year.

How to Apply

Applications will be awarded on a competitive basis and selected based on the quality of the proposed research and mentoring experience as well as the potential for the student to become a successful graduate applicant. All proposals will be reviewed by members of the Minority Affairs Committee (MAC).

Award applications should contain the following:

  1. A cover letter which provides contact information for both the student and the mentor.
  2. A 3-5 page statement written by the student that addresses the following issues:
    • The student’s interest in the field of psychology and law, either in general or with respect to a particular issue in the field.
    • The student’s anticipated educational and career goals.
    • An assessment of the student’s current qualifications and experiences for achieving those goals. All students should provide their current overall and psychology-specific GPAs. In addition, they should discuss coursework, research experiences, volunteer experiences, internships, and other experiences would help them to be admitted to and succeed in graduate school. Students also may discuss any personal characteristics or life experiences that are relevant to this issue.
    • Description of the proposed research experience. Students should discuss the research activities they will engage in with their mentors. Please describe the topic of the proposed research, providing as much detail about specific hypotheses and methods as currently known. In addition, please discuss the specific research tasks in which the student will engage. It is not necessary for students to complete an independent project, but they need to obtain meaningful experience that will help them be competitive for graduate school.
  3. A letter of support from the faculty member discussing the applicant’s potential for graduate work, interest in psychology and law, and ability to complete the proposed research experience. In addition, the faculty member should discuss his or her anticipated strategy for mentoring the student (e.g., amount of contact, training methods, plans for monitoring progress).
  4. A completed W-9 (U.S. citizen) or W-8 (non citizen) tax form.

Submission Instructions and Deadline

Proposals for this award must be submitted electronically in either Microsoft Word or PDF format to the MAC APPLE Award Sub-committee Chair, Dr. Jorge G. Varela, Department of Psychology & Philosophy, Sam Houston State University. The deadline for submitting proposals for this funding cycle is Friday, Nov. 21, 2014 at 5:00 p.m., CST.

Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries about the APPLE program and/or specific proposals to the MAC APPLE Award Sub-committee Chair, Dr. Jorge G. Varela, Department of Psychology & Philosophy, Sam Houston State University.