The NextGen Psych Scholars Program (NPSP) is a virtual graduate student-led mentorship program for underrepresented (e.g., BIPOC, low-income, first-gen, LGBTQIA+) undergraduates and post-baccalaureates interested in applying to psychology PhD programs. It was founded by University of Minnesota PhD students Meriah DeJoseph and Kate Carosella in 2020.
The goal of NPSP is to cultivate long-term support structures between current underrepresented graduate students and diverse undergrad or post-baccalaureate mentees to (1) embrace and celebrate the unique journeys that have led current graduate students to pursue a PhD and (2) inspire and empower the next generation of scholars while enhancing feelings of belonging in academia.
For more information on how NPSP was created, see this blog post.
Sponsors & Funding
UMN Tri Psych Award to MD & KC ($1,000)
UMN Ruth Winifred Howard Diversity Scholars Award to MD ($1,200)
UMN Tri Psych yearly funding ($10,000 supports Directors, lead mentors, speaker honorariums, and end of year celebration)
Penn State University BRIDGE (supports TAship and 4 PSU lead mentor payments)
Indiana University (supports IU mentor payments)
How it works
Mentees are paired with a mentor by program area or shared identity based on mentees’ preference and mentor availability. This one-on-one mentorship occurs through one-hour Zoom calls every month, where mentee-mentor pairs discuss grad school plans, workshop any application materials, and provide individual-level support needed. Throughout the year, there is also ongoing communication and connection over Slack where mentees can ask the larger group of mentors questions about grad school or the application process and connect with other mentees with shared identities and experiences.
Each month, lead mentors at UMN lead 1-2 panels or workshops that focus on a range of topics from individual aspects of the grad application to fellowships and miscellaneous professional development topics. Lead mentors also moderate a smaller series called the #nextgenStories series, where a panel of 5-7 mentors with a shared identity discuss their individual journeys to grad school. In the fall, mentors across various programs sign up to host application material workshops for mentees to get peer-to-peer feedback.
As a show of appreciation for graduate students’ time and to honor the diverse perspectives they share with mentees, graduate students at the UMN are paid as consultants (see funding section). We are actively working to foster cross-program collaborations to pay mentors outside of UMN and grow the program. Currently, we partner with Penn State University (PSU) who is sponsoring a graduate TAship and four lead PSU mentors, and Indiana University, who is sponsoring IU mentors. Additional efforts are underway to partner with psychological societies to provide our members with research and conference opportunities.
Interested in getting involved? See our Contact page.