Award Programs

WiCS Award Winners

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New WiCS Travel Awards: Women in Cognitive Science Travel Awards to Initiate International Research Collaborations for Junior Scientists
 during 2016-7

Building a network is a particularly important investment for a woman’s career in academe because women often lack easy access to powerful contacts, have fewer mentors, face greater professional isolation, and are less likely than men to speak with other faculty daily about their research (e.g., Lyness & Thompson, 2000; Morrison & Von Glinow, 1990; Ragins & Sundstrom, 1989). At the same time, cross-disciplinary research is becoming more highly valued and crucial for success. Finally, with progressive globalization of science it has become increasingly recognized that the next generation of cognitive scientists must expand their professional network beyond the US. An international professional network is one way to expand the opportunities to pair up with laboratories that have complementary theoretical frameworks and expertise in alternative, potentially informative techniques. Unlike the WiCS travel awards for conferences, the primary goal of these awards is to support travel that is likely to lead to a productive international research collaboration in the laboratory of a senior scholar. WiCS will offer up to three Travel Awards to junior women scientists based in the US (up to $2200/person) to establish new collaborations with senior scholars abroad. A competitive application will document that the candidate has contacted a senior person and has begun to discuss details of collaborative research. Preference will be given to junior scientists who demonstrate preparation to initiate data collection and analysis away from their home institution. Projects should be of modest scope so that researchers can realistically collect and analyze data within the period of one year. Proposed topics of investigation should fall within the purview of the Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences at NSF.

Funds are available for up to 3 awards of up to $2200 each. Eligibility: Applicants must be: 1. A woman scientist. 2. A graduate student, postdoctoral fellow, or assistant professor. 3. A US citizen or permanent resident, to comply with NSF requirements. 4. Requesting to visit a laboratory where she has not worked previously, and outside of the institution at which the Master’s and/or PhD were awarded.

To apply, submit the following to the Travel Awards Committee: 1. Evidence of an invitation from abroad to visit for the purpose of collecting data and documentation of the resources that will be available to the junior scientist in that laboratory. 2. A collaboration plan. This plan should demonstrate buy-in from a senior (or mid career) scientist who will be the applicant’s primary host. Although only women scientists are eligible for this award, the targeted senior scientist(s) can be of any gender. The plan should specify the general research question and methodology including the methods of collecting data and subject pool that will be available to the junior scientist. Also it should describe the relevance of this project to the applicant's research program. The plan should be approximately 2 pages long (single-spaced, using a 12-point font). 3. Provide evidence of any pilot work that increases the chances of success. 4. A current CV

Winners are required to submit a report on the meeting and networking experience. The deadline for submitting the final report is March 15, 2018. Reports should be submitted to [email protected].

Relevant Dates: Applications for this funding schema are currently closed.

Decisions will be made by the WICS Travel Awards Committee chaired by Dr. Laurie Feldman (University at Albany, State University of New York). Funding for this program comes from the Perception, Action, and Cognition Program and the Office of International Science and Engineering at the National Science Foundation.

New WiCS Award Partnership with the Psychonomic Society

Click to go to funding announcement!

Women in Cognitive Science and The Psychonomic Society are pleased to announce a three year partnership on The Psychonomic Society and Women in Cognitive Science Travel and Networking Award for Junior Scientists. Two awards will be given to qualified candidates from any area of the Psychonomic Society who have had a presentation accepted at the annual meeting, to facilitate networking with two senior scientists at the annual meeting. Awards offset travel costs up to $1,000. Two additional awards are given by Women in Cognitive Science each year (funded by the National Science Foundation).

WiCS Travel and Networking Awards

Presenting at professional meetings such as the Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society is an important way for individuals to become known in the professional community and to develop collaborative relationships with other professionals in the field. Given the relatively short time frame of the tenure period, it is essential that individuals begin to appear at professional meetings early in their careers. Therefore, the purpose of this award is to provide funds for graduate students, postdocs, and assistant professors to participate in the Annunal Meeting of the Psychonomic Society. Applications for these awards will re-open in 2015.

WICS Mentorship Awards

Click to go to funding announcement! The WICS Mentorship Awards are designed to encourage established scientists, both male and female, to develop the research and publication skills of female graduate and undergraduate students in cognitive science. Annually through 2016, we will make two awards of up to $1,000 to scientists who have demonstrated sustained, effective mentorship of female students and who have also served as a research advisor or supervisor to one or more female students during the academic year immediately preceding the nomination. Winners will be honored at the Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society. Nominations for these awards will re-open in 2015.

Molly Potter Awardees

Women in Cognitive Science is pleased to announce that the Potter Award for 2009 was given to two investigators at different points of their early careers. Ingrid Olson (PhD 2000) received an award for her groundbreaking work on visual processing and memory functions, using methods that include fMRI, TMS, neuropsychology, psychophysics, and eye tracking. Tania Lombrozo (PhD 2006) received an award for her invention of a new field of research - the cognitive science of explanation. Both presented a short description of their work at the WICS meeting on 19 November 2009, just before the start of the Psychonomic Society meeting in Boston.

WICS would like to acknowledge the outstanding work of the Potter Award Committee (Virginia Valian, Chair, Marvin Chun, Helene Intraub, and Nancy Kanwisher) and the generous support of a grant from the National Science Foundation for Women in Cognitive Science that made this award possible.

The Mary C. Potter Award

To honor the contributions of Mary C. Potter to cognitive psychology and in anticipation of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Psychonomic Society, Women in Cognitive Science (WICS) is delighted to announce the Mary C. Potter Award to recognize an outstanding junior scientist. The award, made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation, is open to any individual in cognitive psychology who has received the PhD and has not received tenure before the time of application. The award will cover travel expenses to Boston for the Psychonomic Society meeting. The award will go to the person who best exemplifies the three hallmarks of Potter's research: creativity of approach, experimental rigor, and a focus on basic questions in cognition.

Throughout her career, Mary C. Potter has used ingenious new methods to address fundamental questions about the first few fleeting moments of cognition. How quickly are representations accessed? How do people identify and categorize new stimuli? What is remembered and what is lost? How abstract are representations? How is information from long-term memory recruited to subserve the everyday miracles of perceptual cognition and categorization?

Potter's laboratory investigates questions about perception, attention, memory, and language processing, including the attentional blink, repetition blindness, the creative misperception of a nonword as influenced by semantic context, cross-modal (visual-auditory) processing of sentences, the abstract perception of pictures of objects, and the conceptual basis of "verbatim" recall of sentences. Through her peerless experiments, Potter has contributed to our understanding of how a stimulus such as a word, sentence, or picture generates an interpretation and a fleeting or stable memory. In Potter's research program, meaning does not come along slowly once other processes are complete, but guides even the earliest stages of perceptual experience. A key discovery is that comprehension of the meaning of a pictured scene or written word happens in a fraction of a second, much faster than the time required for stabilizing even a brief memory of that stimulus. The viewer may not even become conscious of the stimulus unless it fits in with the context.

Potter received her BA from Swarthmore College and her PhD from Harvard University. She has spent her career as a faculty member at MIT. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Psychological Association, and the Association for Psychological Science; she is also a member of the Society of Experimental Psychologists. Her research has been supported by NIH and NSF.

Potter's clear-sighted judgment is sought by her peers: she has served as chair of the faculty at MIT, as chair of the committee on women faculty in the School of Science at MIT, as member and chair of the governing board of the Psychonomic Society, and as member and chair of numerous site visit teams.