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Call for Essays on ‘Decolonial Perspectives in Psychology’:
An Essay Writing Competition for Students. 

Contest closed July 15th, 2021.

The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) Graduate Student Committee (GSC) invites graduate and undergraduate students to participate in the essay competition on ‘Decolonial Perspectives in Psychology’. This essay writing competition is organized to inspire students to explore psychology’s colonial legacies. Scholarly efforts have increasingly begun to interrogate how the prevailing knowledge and practice of psychology reflect and promote the interests of a privileged minority of people in Western, Educated, Industrial, Rich, Democratic settings (Henrich, Heine & Norenzayan, 2010; Adams, Dobles, Gómez, Kurti?, & Molina, 2015). We encourage student perspectives that examine how dominant psychology theories are interwoven with Euromerican assumptions of thinking, feeling and being, and shape everyday realities of people in the Global South.

These submissions can be in the form of critical, analytical, or reflective essays. The essays will be limited to 800-1000 words, excluding references. Essays must be written in APA style. Potential topics might include but are not limited to applications of decolonial perspectives to social issues such as:

  • International development and human rights
  • Anti-imperialist approaches to gender and sexuality
  • Racialized violence
  • Social justice, empowerment and liberation
  • Unsustainable development and environmental justice
  • Poverty and migration
  • Mental health and wellbeing

We welcome submissions from:

  • International members studying in the Global South (e.g., Africa, Latin America, Asia, and southern and eastern Europe)
  • Students from underrepresented groups including ethnic and racial minorities; first-generation college students; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered students; and students with a physical disability in the US and outside of North America.

We encourage applications from international students from underrepresented groups.


  1. All applicants must be a student currently enrolled in either an undergraduate, master’s or Ph.D. program.
  2. Applicants may submit only one application at a time.
  3. Co-authored entries with other students are eligible.
  4. Applicants do not need to be SPSSI members to apply.


The graduate student winner will be awarded $500 and the undergraduate winner will be awarded $250. Winning essays may also be recommended for publication to SPSSI's student newsletter: Social Issues from Student Perspectives. Co-authored entries with other students are eligible and if selected, student co-authors will share the prize.


The prospective entries will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. Review and critical analysis of research
  2. Style and organization
  3. Potential impact with respect to social issues


  1. Please use this online portal to submit your essays, which must be in a Word document file. You must select the "GSC Essay Contest" radio button on the online application form.
  2. Author name, institutional affiliation, contact information must be mentioned on the title page.