Society for the Teaching of Psychology

Division 2 of the American Psychological Association

Instructional Resource Awards

View Previous Awards and Winners

2015 Winners Announced

Our grantees this year are:

  • Eve Sledjeski, Ph.D., Rowan University:  Poker chip people: Using manipulatives in a college level statistics course.
  • Jacklyn Spivey, Ph.D., York College.  Game-based experiential learning in Introductory Psychology.
  • Jana Hackathorn, Ph.D. (contact), Murray State University, Brien Ashdown (Hobart & William Smith), and Sean Rife (Murray State):  Statistics that stick: Embedding humor in statistics related teaching materials.



Up to five awards of $1,500 each will be presented annually to enable recipients to complete substantive instructional research projects related to the teaching of psychology that will create resources suitable for distribution by the Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology and for posting on OTRP-Online. Proposals may be general in focus or specific to a particular psychology course or student population. Research may be empirical (e.g., an investigation to determine which strategies are most successful in preventing cheating), experiential (e.g. a critical summary and evaluation of time-tested methods of assessing learning in child development courses), or reviews of the literature on new topics in psychology  (e.g., producing an annotated bibliography of readings or Internet resources in cross-cultural psychology). Proposals to create internet sites will not be funded unless the posted resource captures the same information in a print-friendly file (.doc, .pdf, .rtf); given its mission to provide readers with high quality, peer-reviewed materials, OTRP will not link to outside Internet sources because they cannot be monitored continuously. The average IRA funding rate since tracking began in 2012 is 33 percent.


The purpose of the Instructional Resource Awards is twofold: (1) to stimulate the development of teaching resource materials that can be subsequently duplicated and distributed to interested teachers of psychology by the Society’s Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology, and (2) to encourage instructional research relevant to the teaching of psychology at the university, college, community college, or high school level that can be distributed through the Society’s Office of Teaching Resources for Psychology.


Any member of APA Division 2: Society for the Teaching of Psychology is eligible to apply for an OTRP Instructional Resource Award, except that current members of the Society’s Executive Committee and the IRA Committee are ineligible to apply.


All proposals must be electronically submitted by February 1, 2016 to Elizabeth Mazur, Chair of the Instructional Resources Award committee, at   Proposals will be reviewed by IRA subcommittee members appointed by the STP Grants Committee. Proposals are scored on the following six qualities: Pedagogical Value, Potential Value, Originality, Feasibility, Generalizability, and Adherence to Guidelines. Decisions will be announced by March 31, and projects may commence immediately thereafter. Each award will comprise one $1500 check from the Society, payable to the principal investigator (or nonprofit foundation designated by the principal investigator), who is responsible for all expenses of the project. By July 15 of the same year, the investigator will provide the OTRP Director with a progress report.  By December 31 of the same year, the investigator will provide the OTRP Director with the project results as well as a copy of a teaching resource suitable for duplication and distribution by the Society’s OTRP.

Award-winning proposals will be considered to have been accepted “in principle” for distribution by the Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology, but may require editorial changes in order to bring them into compliance with format requirements and to facilitate posting to the Internet. Manuscripts of completed projects typically undergo an expedited review. As a condition for the award, recipients of Instructional Resource Awards will be asked to sign a publication agreement that grants authors the copyright and the OTRP a license to distribute authors’ documents in both paper and electronic versions for four years. After four years, the OTRP will continue, at its discretion, to distribute the resource unless the author(s) request that the manuscript be withdrawn.


Submit a proposal that includes:

  1. A brief cover letter with name and contact information
  2. A summary of the proposed project (up to 200 words)
  3. A statement of the project purposes and the specific procedures to be used (up to two pages)
  4. The relevance, general or course-specific, of the project to the teaching of psychology (up to one page)
  5. A description of the teaching resource that will be produced at the conclusion of the project (one page)
  6. A resume of the principal investigator (one page), including information about any accomplishments relevant to instructional research

The entire proposal should be approximately six double-spaced, typed pages.

Submit your proposal electronically to with the heading "STP IRA" by February 1, 2016.

F. Acceptance of Award conditions

If an OTRP Instructional Resource Award is granted for this project, you hereby agree to its conditions, which are: (a) to complete the project; (b) to submit a report of the results to the OTRP; (c) to create a teaching resource suitable for duplication and distribution by the Society’s OTRP; and (d) to grant permission to the OTRP to distribute the teaching resource in print and/or electronic format by the relevant deadlines listed above.

If you have any questions or need further clarification, contact Elizabeth Mazur, IRA Committee Chair, at or by phone: 412.675.9186.

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