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Honoring Early Career Contributions



SIOP Member Adam Grant Receives APA Distinguished Scientific Award for Contribution to Psychology
This June, the American Psychological Association (APA) named SIOP Member Adam Grant recipient of a 2011 APA Distinguished Scientific Awardfor his early career contributions to psychology. The awards recognize both senior and early career researchers for major contributions to psychological science.
APA awarded Grant the Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology, which honors early career scientists for contributions in the first 9 years post-PhD. The APA distributes this honor to psychologists whose work and research fall under one of 10 categories: animal learning and behavior, comparative; developmental; health; cognition/human learning; psychopathology; behavioral and cognitive neuroscience; perception/motor performance; social; applied research (e.g., treatment and prevention research, industrial/organizational research, educational research); and individual differences (e.g., personality, psychometrics, mental ability, behavioral genetics). Five areas are considered each year, with areas rotated in 2-year cycles. 
Grant, an associate professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, received the award for his contributions in the category of applied research “for extensive, elegant, and programmatic research on the power of relational job design in enhancing employee motivation, productivity, and satisfaction; for creative and rigorous studies documenting the profound and surprising effects of connecting employees to their impact on others; for highlighting prosocial motivation, not only extrinsic and intrinsic motivations, as a key force behind employee behavior; and for demonstrating by example the feasibility and benefits of conducting field experiments, yielding studies rich in internal validity, external validity, and practical impact,” according to APA.
Grant was also noted for his “generosity as a scholar, teacher, and colleague.”
The APA Distinguished Scientific awards, which are among the highest honors for scientific achievement by psychologists, are made in three categories:
  • The Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award recognizes senior scientists for distinguished theoretical or empirical contributions to basic research in psychology.  This award, which was first made in 1956, is typically given to three scientists each year. 
  • The Award for Distinguished Scientific Applications of Psychology recognizes psychologists who have made distinguished theoretical or empirical advances in psychology leading to the understanding or amelioration of important practical problems.  This award, which was first made in 1973, is typically given to one scientist each year. 
  • The Award for Distinguished Early Career Scientific Contribution to Psychology recognizes excellent psychologists who are at early stages of their research careers (up to 10 years after receiving their doctorates).  The award, which was first made in 1974, is currently given to scientists in five specific research areas each year.  (A total of 10 research areas are considered, with each area covered in alternating years.)
The APA Committeeon Scientific Awards, which is overseen by the APA Board of Scientific Affairs and staffed by the APA Science Directorate, selects the recipients of these awards on the basis of nominations submitted by a wide range of scientists and institutions. Reviewers with expertise in particular areas of research provide further advice to the committee. 
Grant joins a distinguished list of other SIOP members to win in recent years, including SIOP fellows Robert E. Ployhart (2009) and Frederick P. Morgeson (2005).
The recipients will accept their awards at a ceremony at the 2011 APA Convention in Washington, D.C. and will be guests of honor at the Science Directorate’s reception at the convention.