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Awards and Scholarships

The Department of Psychology sponsors several undergraduate awards, and scholarships are also available through the College of Arts and Sciences and the University.

Ost Research Award

A female psychology student with purple hair presenting her research. Each year the department hosts the John Ost Undergraduate Research Competition to honor the memory of Professor John W. P. Ost. He served as department chair (1973-1977) and continued as an active faculty member until his untimely death in 1988. The competition commemorates his dedication to undergraduate research training.

At the Ost competition, you present a poster representing research that you have conducted with a faculty mentor. The competition is public, and is always attended by faculty and other students. A panel of faculty judges picks the winner (and sometimes a second place). All students conducting research with a faculty member are highly encouraged to participate.

Win or lose, experience in presenting research is one of the most valuable experiences you can gain as a beginning researcher. This competition is an opportunity for you to consolidate material learned in classes and while conducting the research, receive useful feedback, and begin to build a vitae.

Eligibility and Prizes

Eligible presenters are undergraduates who are working on research under the supervision of a faculty member with a primary or secondary appointment in Psychology. Psychology majors conducting behavioral research with faculty outside of the Department of Psychology may also participate. Former UAB Psychology undergraduate students may participate within 10 months after their graduation. Winners receive a cash prize and their names are engraved on a plaque that is displayed prominently in the department.

Passey Prize/UAB Psychology Department Achievement Award

Student presenting his research. The Passey Prize for the Outstanding Student in Psychology at UAB is awarded to the student judged to have shown the best overall level of accomplishment in psychology — not just in terms of grades, but also in terms of participation in other opportunities offered by the department, especially research. The Passey Prize includes a cash award.

The UAB Psychology Department Achievement Award is awarded to the psychology major judged to have shown the most outstanding achievement during his or her years in college. This award emphasizes academic performance and accomplishments, but it also considers participation and leadership in department and university activities, service to the community, and hardships or adverse life situations that the student has overcome.

Winners of these awards are selected by a committee. In any given year, the committee may decline to name a winner of either award; give both awards to the same individual; or name more than one winner of either award.

Undergraduate Student Scholarship

Students presenting research at a conference, In an effort to encourage and reward our undergraduate students who are active in research, the department offers a tuition and research scholarship of up to $200 to undergraduate students who attend national or international psychology conferences to present their research that is mentored by a Department of Psychology primary faculty member. Presentations at undergraduate research conferences and state research conferences are not eligible. Scholarships are limited to one award for the academic year.


  • You must be currently enrolled and in good academic standing.
  • You must be a psychology major at UAB and /or conducting research in the lab of a primary Department of Psychology faculty member.
  • You are encouraged to present your work as a poster at the Ost competition.

UAB & College of Arts and Sciences Scholarships

The university and UAB's College of Arts and Sciences offer many scholarships to incoming and current students. You can explore these options and apply through the UAB BSMART scholarship system.