Geis Memorial Award

This award offers $15,000 to fund dissertation research in the Psychology of Women by an advanced doctoral candidate.


Sponsor: Div. 35


Eligible research will demonstrate:

  1. Methodological soundness and sophistication.

  2. Contribution to the field of feminist psychology.

  3. Sophisticated research design in the social psychology tradition.

History and Purpose of Award

Florence L. Geis was a Social Psychologist with a strong commitment to research on the Psychology of Women and to the mentoring of women graduate students. In her will, she left an endowment to fund doctoral students conducting dissertation research in feminist psychology. To qualify for funding, the research must be 1) feminist, 2) address a feminist/womanist issue, 3) use social psychology research methods and 4) make a significant contribution to social psychology theory and research. Proposals will be judged on suitability, feasibility, merit of the research and the potential of the student to have a career as a feminist researcher in social psychology. Funding need not be used solely to fund the research project.


Advanced doctoral graduate students in psychology or a closely related field whose dissertation research focuses on the psychology of women. The research must demonstrate:

  • Methodological soundness and sophistication.

  • Potential to make a significant contribution to the fields of feminist psychology and social psychology.

How to Apply

Annual deadline:  April 15 

Please compile the following materials into an electronic zipped folder, named as the applicant's last name, and email the folder to the Geis Award chair: Elizabeth Haines, PhD

Use the formats designated below to name the files within the folder:

1. The proposal file should include the following:

a. A cover sheet that includes title of proposal, name of investigator, name of dissertation Advisor/Chair, name of institution/university, address, phone number, fax number and email address.

b. A 100 word abstract

c. A proposal of 1500 words or less including: i) the purpose of the research; ii) theoretical rationale with a brief reference to relevant literature; iii) research design; iv) procedures; and v) hypotheses or research questions.

d. A one page statement of the relevance of the project to feminist concerns. Specify any particular relevance to (or limitations in generalizing about) diverse groups of women in terms of race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability status, social class, age, etc.

e. A timeline and budget. The purpose of this funding is for student support and all of the funds do not have to be used to directly support your research. If not using the funding for direct research support, please elaborate on how the funding will enhance your research and career goals and objectives. The timeline must show reasonable completion during the term of the award.

f. Name this file (containing a to e above) < your last name > proposal

2. A one page description of: i) career goals and activities; ii) a description of previous research, if any; iii) how this funding would contribute to your career goals.

a. Name this file < your last name > career

3. Curriculum Vitae or resume

a. Name this file < your last name > CV

4. Two letters of recommendation supporting the quality of the project: i) one from the faculty sponsor which includes a statement confirming that the applicant has been advanced to doctoral candidacy and ii) a letter from a second faculty member.

a. Letters of recommendation must be submitted electronically. They can be included within the folder submitted by the applicant, or they can be emailed separately by the letter writers. The applicant is responsible for ensuring that letters of recommendation are received by the submission deadline.

b. Name these files < your last name > letter1 and < your last name > letter2


A panel of three psychologists will evaluate proposals on the basis of theoretical and methodological soundness, relevance to feminist goals and relevance of future goals to a career that furthers feminist social psychology and research. The award recipient will be announced by June 30, and the award and funding will be presented at the APA Annual Convention, Div. 35 Awards ceremony.

Past Recipients


Ciara Atkinson

Honorable Mention: Brittany Boyd


Alyssa Glace


Yanitsa Toneva

Honorable Mention: Daniela Ruzzante


Sarah Lamer and Rachel Trump-Steel


Andrea C. Vial

Honorable mention: Jacqueline Woerner


Alyssa Croft, “Life in the Balance: Are Women’s Career Goals Contingent upon Men’s Parenting Motivations?” 

Honorable mention: Janell Fetterolf, “Negative Reactions to Sexually Agentic Women as a Form of Backlash against Female Power”


Tara C. Dennehy of the University of Massachusetts for project entitled "Sexism and 'Making Nice': Unintended Consequences for Women in Professional Contexts"
Dissertation Advisor: Nilanjana (Buju) Dasgupta

The current proposal aims to examine (a) whether interacting with dominant/objectifying men would evoke communal behavior in women in professional contexts and (b) whether these behaviors would be magnified in a masculine (vs. neutral) professional domain (Study 1). The proposed research will furthermore examine (c) whether men versus women would interpret these nonverbal behaviors differently, especially with regard to perceptions of sexual intent versus friendliness, and (d) whether these perceptions would vary as a function of individual difference beliefs (e.g., benevolent sexism) (Study 2). Theoretical contributions to our understanding our self-stereotyping and status quo maintenance are briefly discussed.

Honorable mention: Amy Moors of the University of Michigan for project entitled "Sociocultural Explanations for Gender Differences in Attitudes Toward Consensual Non-monogamy"
Faculty Adviser: Terri D. Conley

Evolutionary theory posits that women desire fewer sexual partners and are more selective with regard to these partners than men. The current project intends to show that there are plausible alternative sociocultural explanations rooted in socially desirable responses and conformity to gender stereotypes that account for presumed difference that men favor consensual non-monogamous relationships (i.e., mutual concurrent partners) more than women do. Across two experimental studies that utilize novel methodology, The author expects to show that this presumed gender difference is an artifact of adhering to social norms rather than biologically rooted differences.


Lily Jampol of Cornell University for project entitled "The Glass Ceiling Stained with Lies: The Effect of Subtle Biases in Communication on Overt Gender Equality"

Honorable mentions: Patricia Gilbert of Tulane University for project entitled "The Impact of Role Model Identification: Does Reflecting on How One Identifies with a STEM Role Model Improve Women’s STEM Outcomes?" and Valerie Laws of Rutgers University for project entitled "An Experimental Manipulation of Negative Gender Self-Stereotyping: Effect on Women's Self esteem and Career Attitudes"

Last updated: October 2021Date created: October 2014