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Department of Psychology

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Research and Funding

Several forms of financial support are available for graduate students in Clinical-Community Psychology at the University of South Carolina.

In your first year, you typically begin a nine-month assistantship with a base stipend. These positions involve being a research assistant for a faculty member, an instructional assistant for courses, or a clinical assistant at the Psychological Services Center. The base stipend may be supplemented by graduate school scholarships for the nine-month period and summer funding from research grants. 

After the First Year

Following the first year students are supported through a range of sources including department-funded teaching, instructional, or research assistantships, grant-funded assistantships, and graduate assistantships in community placements through psychology department contracts. Many students also teach courses during the academic year or summer as additional means of support. The amount of funding after the first academic year varies with the source, but typically ranges from $18,250 to $23,250 per calendar year depending on the position. Students with assistantships also pay in-state tuition rates. Tuition grants are also awarded to students in good standing that cover approximately 90-100% of in-state tuition costs. Health insurance is also available through the University.

The Clinical-Community Program has been quite successful in maintaining financial support throughout a student's academic career. We have offered assistantships to students in the first 4 or 5 years in the program for the past 30 years. Similar funding is anticipated for future years.

A student who is not maintaining a "B" average or is not considered in good standing by the faculty is not eligible for Department administered assistantships.

Funding Sources

The department has some funds available for the support of graduate student research. Most students use a combination of support from faculty and awards to help offset research costs, such as the dissertation.

The department has a student development fund established in honor of a prior student. The purpose of this fund is to help support the following: research conducted by the students; student's travel when presenting the student's own research at conferences; special educational opportunities; and publication costs for the student's published articles. The awards committee for this fund has prioritized the money to support the costs of student research projects. An application form is now available on-line.

The Graduate School awards a limited number of Summer Dissertation Fellowships to students in the final phases of completion of the dissertation, but the student must have no other support for that period of time to be eligible.

The Graduate School also awards several types of Trustee Fellowships to graduate students who exhibit excellence in graduate study. These awards typically range from $750 - $5000. 

The department has an endowed award used to support students over the summer while working to complete the dissertation. An announcement calling for applications for the award is made by e-mail each spring via the department's graduate student listserve.

The purpose of this fellowship is to support women in the Department's Clinical-Community Program. The faculty select an outstanding student who is a resident of South Carolina or intends to work in the state of South Carolina with a training concentration on children and families.

The purpose of this fellowship is to acknowledge the best overall performance in the first year of the Clinical-Community Program. The award is given in the second year of the program to the student judged as the most outstanding first year student as evidenced by grades in coursework, evaluation of clinical-community psychology skills, and achievement in research and service.

The APA continues to sponsor a Minority Fellows Program for graduate students in psychology. These fellowships are multi-year stipends and are awarded competitively. The APA awards approximately 100 Student Travel Awards to enable students to travel to professional meetings to present their research. The deadline for application is early spring. The APA also makes Dissertation Research Awards of $500. Students make application at the time the prospectus is approved.

The department currently is receiving regular anonymous donations earmarked specifically for emergency loans to graduate student. Two loan categories have been established. "Short-term" loans will be made to students for a period not to exceed 60 days. "Long-term" loans will be made for periods exceeding 60 days. These loans will be made at a yearly interest rate of 4%. 

Several federal agencies maintain pre-doctoral fellowship programs to provide up to three years of support for students in training. The National Institute of Mental Health, National Science Foundation, and National Research Council have programs relevant to the interests of students in the Clinical-Community Program. Application for these funds involves the preparation of a training plan and research proposal.

 Clinical-Community Mentors for 2022-2023

The following faculty members in the Clinical-Community program are interested in mentoring incoming students for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Michigan State University, Assistant Professor

Dr. Banerjee’s research examines the interaction between ecological contexts (e.g., schools, families, neighborhoods, communities and racial discrimination) and parenting practices and how these processes directly and indirectly influence psychosocial and educational outcomes. She is particularly interested how race-related processes in the family (e.g., parental ethnic-racial socialization, parents’ racial identities) influence adjustment in ethnic minority youth. 

Faculty Profile

University of Arizona, Associate Professor

Dr. Becker's research focuses on extending the reach of effective psychosocial interventions for children and adolescents. To this end, her work reflects four interrelated pursuits: (1) enhancing provider training, using strategies such as coaching and tailored training opportunities, (2) expanding the mental health workforce to include care extenders (e.g., teachers, school nurses, paraprofessionals) to meet the growing demand for effective interventions, (3) exploring the unique considerations as psychosocial interventions move into new contexts such as primary care, child welfare, and education settings, and (4) improving treatment engagement to help youth and families connect with and stay in treatment.

Faculty Profile

University of Minnesota, Assistant Professor

Dr. Desir's work focuses on: (1) understanding how interpersonal relationships influence victimized children’s risk for developing adverse socioemotional outcomes with a particular emphasis on how maltreated adolescents’ friendship experiences influence their risk for later psychopathology and revictimization, (2)  elucidating biopsychosocial factors (e.g., psychophysiological dysregulation, caregiver trauma history) that influence treatment outcomes for victimized children who are engaged in evidence-based interventions such as Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and (3) investigating the trauma conferring impact of adverse police interactions on Black youth and the culturally relevant processes that may modulate how youth negotiate these adverse experiences.

Faculty Profile

University of Minnesota, Assistant Professor

Dr. Cooper's program of research focuses on (a) identifying risk and protective factors associated with positive adaptations to adversity using secondary data analysis and (b) evaluating the implementation of family-based prevention programs for minoritized children exposed to adversity. He is also beginning a new line of research that will focus on creating integrated prevention programs to jointly prevent child physical and mental health problems.

Faculty Profile

Georgia State University, Assistant Professor

Dr. Goodrum’s research investigates family- and community-level risk and protective factors for youth adjustment among families affected by major stressors. Her work currently centers on the impact of family stressors, such as trauma, HIV, and parental substance use, on child health and parent-child relationships. She is interested in parents’ role in promoting child and adolescent health and preventing the intergenerational transmission of risk. The goal of her research is to eliminate health disparities by using knowledge about risk and protective factors to guide the development of family-based, trauma-informed prevention and intervention efforts.

Faculty Profile

Michigan State Univeristy, Professor

Dr. Martin's research agenda examines African American church-based health interventions that support a continuum of health services from prevention to linkage to care with church members and community members using church outreach services. She has established three areas of exploration: 1) theological orientations and behavioral outcomes, 2) development of a theological orientation church climate scale, and 3) religious socialization and health outcomes among African Americans.

Faculty Profile

Washington University in St. Louis, Professor 

Dr. Schatz's research work involves multi-level models of children's developmental outcomes including social/environmental, behavioral, and biological factors. Outcomes are often measured with psychological testing, cognitive science techniques, and functional measures from classroom performance.

Faculty Profile

University of Illinois, Professor

Dr. Swan's research focuses on using social psychological theories to understand the factors that predict interpersonal violence, as well as the outcomes of violence for those who experience it. The ultimate goal of this research is to create knowledge that will illuminate solutions for the problem of interpersonal violence and the suffering that it causes.

Faculty Profile

Vanderbilt University, Professor

Dr. Wilson's research focuses on understanding family dynamics/interactions in promoting healthy diet and physical activity in underserved adolescents; ecological and social cognitive theoretical models for understanding family connectedness, social support and role modeling in promoting health behavior change in youth; and family-based interventions for promoting healthy diet and physical activity among underserved adolescents.

Faculty Profile

University of Michigan, Associate Professor

Dr. Zarrett's work focuses on understanding positive adolescent development in relation to the complex interactions between youth and their environments over time. This research involves adequately addressing the needs and interests of underrepresented groups, with the goal of generating sound theoretical inferences and practical applications that will be useful to researchers, policy makers and other youth advocates.

Faculty Profile


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