Varda Shoham Clinical Science Training Initiative: Application Guidelines

The Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology (SSCP) announces its annual Clinical Science Training Initiative grant program.  The initiative operates in memory of clinical scientist Varda Shoham, who passed away in March 2014. A former president of SSCP, Varda was a leading force in the world of clinical psychological science.

SSCP invites applications for small (up to $1500), non-renewable grants for training programs at the predoctoral, internship, or postdoctoral levels to launch new projects or support ongoing initiatives that are designed to strengthen scientifically-grounded clinical training and/or engage students in clinical science activities related to the development, evaluation, or dissemination of evidence-based practices (e.g., rating treatment fidelity, evaluating skill acquisition by community professionals). Practicum sites may also apply.

We will offer up to 4 awards per year to help programs pursue such goals and promote better integration of science and practice.

Applicants are required to identify one of four Tracks for this award, indicating the feature that best represents their application’s unique strengths: 1) Conducting science in/on applied settings, 2) Innovation in clinical science training or resources, 3) Value-added to the program, or 4) Diversity and inclusion. More detailed descriptions of these tracks can be found below.

Sample applications of grant funds to start new projects or augment existing projects include (but are not limited to):

(a)     Purchasing outcome assessments, recording equipment, software to monitor/measure treatment change, training manuals, or other materials for clinical training purposes at your site.2,3

(b)     Supporting travel and training expenses to have a clinic director/clinical team leader receive training in an evidence-based practice not currently offered at your site, or bringing an expert (or experts to teach evidence-based practices at your site).3

(c)     Creating an online database of evidence-based assessment tools to address specific topics or disorders, which are maintained and updated by students in the course of their training.2,3

(d)    Supporting activities that engage students in a clinical scientist role, such as rating treatment fidelity, evaluating clinical outcomes, or documenting mechanisms by which interventions have their effect.1

(e)     Providing access to evidence-based treatments to underserved populations.2,3,4

(f)     Creating a mechanism for ongoing collaboration between two or more training sites in a way that enhances the use of evidence-based treatments at one or both sites, or allows for more effective evaluation of effectiveness and elements of practice across sites.1,3

1. Application could be applicable to 1) Conducting science in/on applied settings track.
2. Application could be applicable to 2) Innovation in clinical science training or resources track.
3. Application could be applicable to 3) Value-added to the program track.
4. Application could be applicable to 4) Diversity and inclusion track.


The page limit is 2 pages for all materials (minimum Arial 11 pt font and 1 inch margins).  No reference section is needed.  Letters of support are allowable as a supporting document, but no other supplementary materials will be considered.  Applications that are longer than 2 pages will not be considered.  Please e-mail applications to with the following:

    1.     Project title

    2.     Identification of selected “Track.” (see below)

    3.     Institution requesting funds (only one application per department) and contact person for the application.

    4.     Narrative description of project - please describe the project goals and the way those goals will be met.  Be specific about what the benefits of the project will be in terms of enhancing the integration of clinical science and practice, for the field and/or for your program.

    5.     Budget - provide an itemized budget indicating how grant funds will be used (up to $1500 maximum).

    6.     Timeframe - describe the anticipated time course of the project (we would like a summary of progress on the project a year after the grant funds are received).

    7.     Additional funding - please note if seeking or anticipating funding from other sources, and whether this additional funding is necessary for implementation of the project.

    8.     Sustainability - if appropriate, describe how this project will be sustained following the end of the award period.

    9.     Outcome evaluation - describe how you will determine if the project meets its goals (i.e., how will you measure the project’s effectiveness?).

    10.  Please indicate clearly on your proposal if you have applied previously and the result of that application (i.e., funded/not funded). We encourage applicant programs that applied previously but were not funded to reapply.

    Application Tracks

    Applications for this award evince a range of strengths. Over time, four categories of strengths have emerged, for which SSCP aims to ensure coverage in terms of this award. Thus, applicants must choose the Track that best represents the most notable strength of their application. Applications will then compete only among others that have designated the given “Track.” The Award Committee reserves the right to assign the application to a different Track, pending contact with and approval from the applicant. The four Tracks are:

    1. Conducting science in/on applied settings. Applicants choosing this Track should offer applications that are especially strong in terms of promoting scientific activities that are integrated into clinical work. For instance, programs that provide training in systematic, data-driven assessment to trainees (e.g. using a quantitative outcome measure to track best practices in a training clinic), or that offer opportunities to engage in empirical program evaluation on behalf of a community partner should apply to this Track.

    2. Innovation in clinical science training or resources. Applicants choosing this Track should present projects that are especially novel or unique in their conception, implementation, or outcomes. Such projects may be “higher risk” than in the other categories, but may also present the capacity for more transformative change, either to the specific training program or the field more broadly.

    3. Value-added to the program.
     Applicants choosing this Track should demonstrate that their projects will provide an especially substantial increment to their program in terms of implementation of clinical science training. Such an increment may emerge, for instance, in the context of a new program with an explicit focus on clinical science, an existing program that has recently demonstrated a plan or initiative to increase integration of clinical science into its training, or an existing program that is explicitly reframing its training mission to promote training in contemporary scientific methods and approaches. This may be the most appropriate track if these funds would substantially alter the program’s ability to offer clinical science training – even if the project is not highly novel – so long as the case is made that it would add considerable value to the program.

    4. Diversity and inclusion. Applicants choosing this Track should demonstrate that their projects contribute to diversity and inclusion in clinical science. For instance, projects may address gaps in knowledge on equity, diversity, and inclusion or projects may benefit diverse communities. Alternately, these projects may be led by a member of a diverse group (broadly defined).

    Criteria for evaluation

    1.     Feasibility of proposal, including the incremental value of the funds received (i.e. how will this funding, specifically, ensure that the proposed project can and will be accomplished).
    2.     Likelihood that if the project is completed, clinical science will be enhanced, either for the program, the field at large, or both.
    3.     Availability of resources, including clinical scientist faculty members, who can support and/or sustain the project after completion of the award period.
    4.     Innovation or novelty of project idea in terms of both the ways in which funds are used, and the impact of the project on either trainees, populations served, or both.
    5.     Impact of program on underrepresented populations (including programs with diverse trainees, or those that provide services to diverse or rural clients).
    6.     Track specificity – to what degree does the application adhere to the aims of the specific selected “Track.”

    Please note that applications within all Tracks will be evaluated based on these criteria. Ratings of these dimensions will be used to determine relative rankings of applications within each Track.
    SSCP does not pay indirect costs on this grant program. As well, ordinary institutional infrastructure costs, such as office rent, administrative and accounting expenses, and office expenses are not allowed as direct costs.

    The winners of the Clinical Science Training Initiative grants will be publicized on the SSCP listserv (SSCPnet) and newsletter (Clinical Science).  In addition, a summary of the project (written by the winning program) will be due to the Editor of the SSCP newsletter approximately one year after receiving the funds and will be published in the SSCP newsletter.  

    This grant program is designed to be consistent with both the SSCP goal of enhancing clinical science training, and the accreditation requirements laid out by APA and PCSAS concerning the clear articulation of program goals and assessment of progress on meeting those goals.  Thus, winning programs receive funds to improve their training and have an opportunity to publicize that SSCP has selected the program as a winner of a Clinical Science Training Initiative.  In addition, the initiative may also assist with preparation of a self-study and other materials required to demonstrate adherence to a clinical science training mission.


    Applications are due by March 31 each year.  Please e-mail applications to  We will distribute funds during the summer of each year.