Utility and Impact of Personality Assessment Letter of Intent Deadline

New Grant Funding up to $35,000

Monday, May 15, 2023
Submit a 1-page letter of intent to nvictoria@personality.org by May 15.

SPA is excited to announce $35,000 of grant funding for research projects that will evaluate the applied value of clinical personality assessment for clients, therapists, and referral sources. 


SPA is committed to examining the scientific foundation of personality assessment in its various forms. In contrast to testing, which emphasizes the scores obtained from individual test scales, assessment is a client-centered activity that focuses on the process of integrating multiple test scores, generally obtained from more than one assessment method, with information derived from history, referral sources, and observed behavior in order to understand the person being evaluated, answer referral questions, and communicate findings to the client, to his or her significant others, and to referral sources. Historically, most research in the field has addressed testing and has examined the reliability and validity of specific personality test scales. Test-focused research is vitally important because it documents the merits and limits of the tools that are used in the clinical practice of assessment. However, to date, there have been remarkably few studies that examine the assessment process more broadly. It is this research that SPA wishes to support. In essence, the question to be addressed is whether the applied clinical practice of personality assessment works. Does clinical assessment helpfully answer the questions that prompt a referral and benefit the client who receives it? Does the time and effort required to do a personality assessment pay off? 

Research Scope and Objectives

We envision three possible types of applications, but please note, these are just examples. The types of studies, contexts, and outcomes that could be considered are open, so long as the focus is on the utility and impact of personality assessment. 

  • The first would request seed money to conduct a feasibility study to attract funding for a larger project. An example might be a study that uses machine learning or computational modeling from experience sampling data to communicate personalized treatment plans to clinicians, to test whether personalizing treatments in this way improves outcomes. 
  • The second would use funding to enhance the capability of existing research projects or infrastructures to test hypotheses about the utility of personality assessment. An example might be a study in which a therapy trial is already being conducted, and the applicant wishes to randomize one group of clinicians to have access to personality assessment data and the other not to have access, to test whether having access to personality assessment data improves outcomes. Another example might involve the examination of a specific personality assessment tool administered at intake predicting important outcomes at discharge of services. 
  • The third would be a standalone project fully supported by this mechanism. An example might be a collaborative assessment trial with repeated single-case design, in which varying amounts of personality assessment data are collected and given to clinicians or patients, to determine how much additional information improves the client’s experience and changes as a function of the assessment. 

Budget and Timeline

The maximum budget for applications is $35,000, to be distributed one time. This mechanism does not support indirect costs to host institutions. It is expected that the research would be completed within two years, although extensions may be possible upon request. It is further expected that the results will be presented at the Annual Convention of the Society.

Submit Letter of Intent Here

Application Process

Applicants should submit a 1-page letter of intent to nvictoria@personality.org by May 15 with the following information:

  • Background of Problem
  • Aims and Hypotheses
  • Proposed Methods (Sample Design)
  • Brief Overview of the Budget Requested 

Letters will be reviewed by the Utility and Impact of Personality Assessment Taskforce and invitations will be sent for a full application by June 20. Full applications will be due August 21

Review Criteria

Applications will be judged based on the following criteria:

  • Thematic focus on examining the utility of clinical personality assessment
  • Use of a sound scientific approach
  • Likelihood of impact
  • Diversity of research team and participants

For More Information:

Nathan Victoria, Executive Director