UC Berkeley Institute of Personality and Social Research


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IPSR Launches a new Mini Grant Program

To help graduate students and postdocs with their research, IPSR has launched a mini grant program awarding research proposals requesting up to $1,000. Higher amounts may also be considered.

Proposals are evaluated on: (a) timeline appropriateness (we want to give money to projects that will happen now), (b) faculty advisor support (does the faculty member strongly support the idea), and (c) methodological soundness. Interdisciplinary research is given a slightly higher priority. Interdisciplinary in this context means multiple disciplines are bridged (e.g., psychology and law; computer science and personality; economics and social psychology; decision science and developmental psychology; clinical psychology and sociology). Interdisciplinary could also mean the use of cutting edge methods to address existing datasets or old questions such as use of machine learning paradigms. Student/postdoc applicants must be IPSR affiliates (old or new!)—from any department on campus.

Our first mini grant has been awarded to Emily Willroth, a fourth-year PhD student in social-personality psychology. The IPSR mini grant will support her interdisciplinary research collaboration with 5th year clinical PhD student Hannah Bosley, and their advisors Dr. Iris Mauss and Dr. Aaron Fisher. Their research project focuses on a key feature of emotions: they are dynamically changing phenomena. Some people’s emotions are relatively stable from one moment to the next. Other people experience extreme emotional highs and extreme emotional lows. In the present study, participants will record their emotional experiences several times per day for two weeks using their smartphones. This dynamic, real-world data will allow the researchers to examine individual differences in emotion dynamics, and how those individual differences contribute to mood and anxiety disorders. This research stands to improve our understanding of core features and treatment targets of several common disorders, thus, benefiting a large patient population and society as whole.

Congratulations, Emily!