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APNA Research Grants

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association Research Grants program provides funding to enhance scientific contributions that advance the knowledge and practice of psychiatric-mental health nursing. APNA is accepting proposals in two categories:

  • Research studies to generate new knowledge to advance psychiatric mental health nursing
  • Evidence-based practice (EBP) change or quality improvement (QI) projects to apply evidence to practice

These awards are to assist psychiatric nurse investigators in their scholarly careers and vary from $1,000 – $10,000 per award. Awards are intended for investigators who are early in their careers and who have not previously had major intra- or extramural funding.

This year’s call for proposals is now open!

Submit Your Proposal

The submission deadline is May 16.


Key Dates

April 21: Preliminary Review Request Deadline
May 5: Preliminary Review Deadline
May 16: Application Deadline

Applicant Eligibility

  • Applicants must be current members of APNA.
  • Applicants must be within the early stages of their scholarly careers and/or individuals who have not previously had major intra- or extramural funding.
  • Each grant applicant must be licensed as a registered nurse who focuses on psychiatric-mental health.
  • APNA will accept applications for master’s thesis or doctoral dissertations with approval by the grant applicant’s thesis, dissertation, or DNP project committee.
  • Grant recipients are eligible to apply again to the APNA grant program after 5 years.

Application & Review Process


Applicants are required to submit a complete application form via the online submission site. (Here is a quick walkthrough.) You will need to log in with your APNA account in order to begin your submission.

Only complete applications will be considered; incomplete materials will not be reviewed. Each submission includes:

  • Application Form
  • Proposal (Refer to this checklist for detailed proposal guidelines.)
  • Institutional review board (IRB) approval documentation for research and EBP/QI projects
  • Budget justification
  • Letter of approval from thesis/dissertation/DNP chair via online form (if appropriate)
  • If possible, include letter of approval from facility and/or employer if serving as the data collection site
  • Curriculum vitae or biosketch with research activities. Funding history should include the year, funding agency, amount, and purpose.


Applications will undergo an anonymized review by a Research Review Committee Panel.  Please organize your proposal according to the review criteria:

Applicants are encouraged to take advantage of the preliminary reviews offered through the APNA Research Council in order to help ensure that their proposals meet the review criteria (see next section).

Applications are treated as privileged communication and are restricted to Research Review Committee members, APNA Board of Directors, and staff.

Preliminary Review Opportunity!

Have a draft of your proposal reviewed by the Research Council and receive constructive feedback to incorporate into your final proposal! To take advantage of this preliminary review feature:

  • Email your draft research proposal (as a Word document) to by April 21, 2023. Be sure to indicate which category you are submitting for (research study or EBP/QI project)
  • Receive feedback on your proposal from a member of the APNA Research Council


1. Grant Recipients will be notified in late July with funding to commence in August.

  • For grants $5,000 and above, funds will be dispensed under the following agreement:
    • 25% of the award will be sent in the initial payment (August 2023). An additional 50% will be dispensed at 6 months (January 2024) after receipt of a progress report including expenditures to date. The final 25% of the award will be sent after submission of the final report with full budget reconciliation (August 2024).
  • For grants below $5,000, funds will be dispensed under the following agreement:
    • 50% of the award will be sent in the initial payment (August 2023). The remaining 50% of the award will be sent after submission of the final report with full budget reconciliation (August 2024).
  • A change in the disbursement schedule can be requested in writing; changes must be justified and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Release of funds will be contingent upon required itemized budget reconciliation. If expenditure reports are not received in a timely fashion, funding is not guaranteed.

2. Priority for funding is based upon scientific merit, potential for knowledge development, and relevance to the advancement of the knowledge and practice of psychiatric-mental health nursing. Preference is given to proposals that fit one of the following areas. Include in your application which priority area your proposal addresses:

  • Strategies and models for shared decision-making/partnering to accomplish positive mental health treatment outcomes
  • Strategies to address disparities and promote and/or increase diversity, equity, and inclusion within mental health care, including access to care, the psychiatric-mental health nursing workforce, etc.
  • Integrated mental health care that considers developmental and holistic (biological, social, emotional, psychological, and spiritual) dimensions across the lifespan
  • Innovative adaptations to psychiatric nursing practice and/or psychiatric nursing interventions in response to the pandemic and the impact on mental health, recovery, and healing

3. All proposals must be reviewed by an Institutional Review Board. An application may be submitted prior to IRB review but release of funds will be contingent upon APNA receiving a written copy of IRB approval. The time period allotted to attain IRB approval is within 60 days from announcement of grant recipients.

4. Budget: Only expenses essential to the conduct of the proposed project (direct costs only) will be considered for funding. Support for salary, travel, or conference registration is not allowed. Indirect costs are not allowed. Research assistant/data entry/statistician costs will be considered as a portion of funding.

2022 APNA Research Grant Recipient

Polyvictimization and Associated Substance Use in College Students  

Alicia Holod, BSN, RN
PhD in Nursing Candidate at The Ohio State University College of Nursing

Alicia Holod, BSN, RN is a PhD in Nursing Candidate at The Ohio State University College of Nursing. She is a registered nurse who has spent several years working with survivors of trauma. Her research interests include victimization, substance use, and trauma-informed care. She has been working with her doctoral advisor, Dr. Bernadette Melnyk, on her dissertation, which is focused on use of substances to cope with polyvictimization during college. With the funding awarded from the APNA Research Grant, Alicia will be conducting a latent class analysis of nearly 200,000 college and university students across the United States – identifying typologies of victimization and associated mental health outcomes for students of differing race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability status. Upon graduation, Alicia aims to further build upon her program of research, and work towards the development of trauma-informed interventions for those who have experienced polyvictimization and cumulative trauma.

2022 APNA Research Grant Recipient

Examining Shame as a Barrier to Seeking Care in Patients with Substance Use Disorder  

Valerie Seney, PhD, MA, LMHC, PMHNP-BC
Assistant Professor, College of Nursing and Health Sciences University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Valerie Seney, PhD, MA, LMHC, PMHNP-BC has over 20 years’ experience in working in mental health. First working as a mental counselor, then as a psychiatric-mental health nurse on both pediatric and adult inpatient units, and currently as psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner working in recovery. Dr. Seney also has over eight years’ experience as a nurse educator teaching at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, currently as an assistant professor. Dr. Seney’s area of research expertise focuses on psychiatric-mental health nursing, specifically substance abuse disorder (SUD), and caregiving engagement, both align with her dissertation work on acute care nurses working with those with mental illness and/or SUD and how these factors may be a barrier to timely care, leading to poor health outcomes.