Fellowship in Div. 31

The requirements for fellow status are explained.

By Donald McAleer, PsyD

As many of you know, APA has several categories of membership including associate, member and fellow. To quote from the APA website, the category of fellow “is an honor bestowed upon APA members who have shown evidence of unusual and outstanding contributions or performance in the field of psychology. Fellow status requires that a person's work has had a national impact on the field of psychology beyond a local, state or regional level.”

Although reviewed by the APA Fellows Committee, nominations for fellow status are made through the various APA divisions who generally set their own nominating criteria. For example, Div. 31 encourages applications from its members who have made unusual and outstanding contributions in one or more of the following areas:

  • Development of exemplary programs.
  • Leadership in organized psychology.
  • Publication or dissemination of information.
  • National policy development or political action.

Contributions in each of the four areas are not necessary. Read more details on Div. 31’s specific criteria on the division’s applying for fellowship status page. Applications are accepted from August through the end of November. Once the application is completed, it is initially reviewed by the division Fellows Committee who assess the contributions relative to division criteria. The committee then either does not recommend or endorses the submission. If accepted, the application is then forwarded to the APA Fellows Committee, which reviews the application against APA criteria and confirms whether clear evidence of those criteria have been demonstrated and clearly articulated in the application. In either case, both fellows committees provide feedback in those circumstances in which the criteria either have not been demonstrated or clearly articulated.

Applications are reviewed by the APA Fellows Committee in March of each year and, if all criteria are met, the committee recommends fellow status to the board of directors and the APA Council of Representatives for approval.

So what do you need? The process has been streamlined now that the application is available and submitted online, but, in essence, requires the following:

  • A completed fellow application.
  • A statement of your accomplishments.
  • A copy of your updated vita.
  • Support letters from three fellows, two of whom must be fellows of Div. 31. 

In drafting the personal statement, I encourage people not to be shy and to feel free to sing their own praises and accomplishments. This is often hard for people to do, but it is the only way we can fully understand how their life’s work reflects outstanding professional contributions worthy of fellow status.

The portal below will again open in August 2016, and there will be further reminders along the way. Please consider becoming a fellow of Div. 31. Please visit the APA fellows page for more information on the process or feel free to email me.