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Social-Personality Undergraduate Research (SPUR) Program

The Social-Personality Undergraduate Research (SPUR) Program was originally created as a summer research internship for students interested in pursuing a graduate degree in social-personality psychology. In 2021, the program will transition into a March to December model with a similar mission—to expand opportunities for research experience for students from historically underrepresented racial backgrounds. Notably, the new SPUR program will seek to foster training and community engagement through virtual interconnections with face-to-face interaction at the annual SPSP convention as a launch point.


It is the mission of the SPUR program to expand opportunities for training and mentorship to those students who our field has historically left behind. The program was originally conceived as an intensive summer internship in the methods of social and personality psychology for undergraduates from historically underrepresented racial groups. Participating students conducted research and research-related activities full-time for 8 weeks with a participating mentor and lab over the summer.

The new SPUR program will begin at the 2021 SPSP convention through a virtual convening of mentors and SPUR trainees. Following this gathering, SPUR trainees will work together with mentors and their labs to complete an independent project during the March to December SPUR experience. SPUR trainees will complete a poster at the close of the program summarizing the project.

In addition to this 1-on-1 research experience, trainees will virtually attend four professional development seminars to assist trainees in creating a strong skillset for promoting success in graduate school. These training modules will include (1) topical seminars from leading experts in social-personality psychology, (2) research methods and statistics training through the statistical package R, (3) application and general preparation for graduate school, and (4) basic academic skills training that includes survey design and literature search. The expectation of the SPUR program is that trainees will develop skills and experiences during SPUR that they will convert into applications to PhD programs in social-personality psychology programs.

Eligible trainees will be from historically underrepresented racial backgrounds who are either currently enrolled in college or recent graduates (within 2 years of college graduation) and intending to apply to PhD programs in social-personality psychology. Trainees in the program will receive a free SPSP membership, an SPSP convention registration award, and $1500 for their mentored research time for approximately 120 hours worked across the months of the SPUR program.

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Deadline to apply is November 1, 2020