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Summer Institute for Social and Personality Psychology (SISPP)

Image of past SISPP attendees at the 2018 Annual Convention

What is SISPP?

With National Science Foundation funding, the Society for Personality and Social Psychology offers bi-annually (in odd-numbered years) a two-week intensive summer experience for up to 100 pre-doctoral students in social and personality psychology.

SISPP typically offers five courses, in dual-instructor format, led by top researchers and teachers in the field. The program also offers two unique workshops, exposing you to current and important data analytic techniques and research methodologies.

  • Selected attendees of SISPP can look forward to:
  • Engaging with distinguished instructors on topics of cutting edge theories and research.Attending methodological workshops exploring innovative research methods and data analytic tools.
  • Networking with pioneers in their fields to develop partnerships for future collaboration, funding, and support of our science.
  • Immersing in an environment of their peers rich in diversity across race, discipline, gender, and department size designed to support interactive and unique collaborative opportunities.


  •  "SISPP was one of the best professional (and personal) experiences of my academic career. I was able to spend two full weeks with faculty that were experts in an area that I would have otherwise had little to no other opportunities to be trained in. Further, I was able to spend an extended period of time with eighty of the best and the brightest, not to mention most fun, social psychology graduate students from across the country and the globe. I formed several relationships that I know will be both life-long friendships and career-long collaborations. If I could recommend one experience to fellow graduate students, it would undoubtedly be SISPP." 

    -Liz Keneski, The University of Texas at Austin
  • "The best parts of SISPP: The chance to interact with fantastic people in the field without the usual performance pressure of conferences, presentations, etc. Being reminded (in so many ways) of why I love psychology and how lucky I am to have an opportunity to do this work. It was awesome to connect with people on a deeper level, and I came away feeling inspired and excited to get back to work!"

    -Sara Andrews Ruiz, University of California at Riverside
  • "SISPP was an invaluable resource for networking, expanding my perspective, and discussing research interests in depth with mentors and colleagues that I would have likely never met otherwise. Upon completing the two weeks of research training, I returned home with new insights on how to approach my data and new opportunities for collaboration with colleagues. Furthermore, the Davis cohort was such a wonderful group of researchers, the majority of whom I am still in regular contact with. I would recommend SISPP to any graduate student looking for an opportunity to network, get connected, and grow as a scientist."

    -Arezou Ghane, University of California at Riverside
  • "I will start by saying that every Social Psychology graduate student should make an active effort to attend SISPP. SISPP is one of the best experiences I have had so far as a graduate student. While at SISPP, I was able to interact and think with impressive graduate students and psychology faculty. During my time there, I learned a lot and was able to think more critically about some of my research ideas. Currently, I am starting a research project informed by the lessons in the Personality Development course taught by Drs. Rebecca Shiner and Brent Donnellan. SISSP also helped me solidify my commitment to academia/research, and my resolve to do good work.  Though a bit intense, I was still able to have fun and party (a lot) with my Boston SISPPers. I have also development several professional and personal friendships as a result of SISSP that I hope will last a lifetime."

    -Drexler James, University of Illinois at Chicago

SISPP Response

Over the last decade, hundreds of attendees have experienced the Summer Institute in Social and Personality Psychology .  Over 240 of those attendees responded to our surveys to report just how useful their experiences were.  58% of respondents currently hold faculty positions, 4% are adjunct professors and 22% have post-doctoral fellowships.  Alumni of the SISPP program are productive and driven scientists in the field.  Those polled have over 1,100 publications, 130 grants, and 51 fellowships credited to their names.  Of those, 161 publications, 33 grants, and 27 fellowships were reported as direct results of the content learned and the networks formed at the Summer Institute in Social and Personality Psychology.