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SPSSI Innovative Teaching Award

The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) confers an annual award for innovative teaching in areas related to the psychological study of social issues. This award recognizes effective courses, assignments, or classroom activities addressing social issues.

Eligibility: Nominees should be SPSSI members who have developed innovative pedagogical products that aid in teaching the psychological study of social issues. Nominees may teach at graduate degree granting institutions, four-year undergraduate colleges and universities, or two-year and community colleges, or as contingent or adjunct faculty.


The materials should include the following:

1) Nominee’s statement (1-3 pages) describing an innovative course, an assignment, or a classroom activity that enhances learning about social issues, the theoretical framework guiding the pedagogy, and the goals of the innovative instruction and how it relates to learning about social issues.

2) Pedagogical Materials (depending on which of the three products you are submitting for this award):

  • Course(for example: syllabus, course materials, sample lectures or discussions that speak to the course design and implementation, website for the course, etc.)
  • Assignment (for example: handouts, assignment instructions, rubrics, sample project/assignment provided to students, and website links, etc.)
  • Activity (for example: instructions for facilitating the activity, student handouts, activity materials, activity discussion questions, website links, etc.)

3) Evidence of Pedagogical Effectiveness: For example, qualitative and quantitative student evaluations, student feedback and suggestions, student assignment outcomes (assignment products and activity outcomes)

Self-nominations are encouraged. The deadline to apply March 1st, annually.

Recipients receive $1000 and a plaque and will be recognized in the Teaching and Learning column in the SPSSI Forward newsletter. Honorable Mention awardees will receive one year of free SPSSI membership. In order to build an online teaching resource center, submitted materials may be included on the SPSSI website for public use. Please note that applications may be reconsidered by the committee in the review process for two award cycles following submission.  Recipients of the award might be invited to present during a SPSSI conference session sponsored by the Teaching and Mentoring Committee.


Apply online now! Online submissions are the preferred method. Please limit the number and size of files uploaded when applying online. 

For general questions and questions about submissions, please contact SPSSI Central Office.

Click here to view a list of previous Innovative Teaching Award Winners!