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Psychology alumnus Luke Stein ’23 receives distinguished UG Research Grant for groundbreaking study

Luke Stein '23The Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology recently announced the 2023-24 Fall Undergraduate Research Grant recipients, awarded to distinguished undergraduate researchers for their groundbreaking study. University of St. Thomas-Houston Alumnus Luke Stein ’23 was one of the recipients of this grant for his research proposal titled "Exploring Factors Related to Success in Law School" under the supervision of Dr. Crystal D. Tran from UST’s Psychology Department.

Stein graduated in the fall of 2023 with a triple major in psychology, music and history. He starts law school in the fall of 2024. Stein has been working with Dr. Tran on an independent study intersecting Psychology and Law since summer of 2023.

Dr Crystal Tran"Receiving this Psi Chi Undergraduate Research Grant is honestly surreal,” Stein said. “To see my proposal not only recognized but also awarded among a pool of competitive submissions is incredibly validating. It's a huge encouragement for the work ahead and a reminder of the potential impact this research can have on law school admissions practices. I'm grateful, excited, and more motivated than ever to dive deep into this study and hopefully bring about some meaningful insights."

Stein Receives Highest Possible Grant Monies including a Faculty Stipend

In a highly competitive round with $25,000 available for student research grants, this proposal secured the highest possible grant amount of $1,500 and earned an additional $1,500 faculty stipend, leading to a total grant award of $3,300, which also includes a cost-of-living stipend. This dual recognition is reserved for the highest-scoring proposals, underscoring the exceptional quality and potential impact of the research.

The Psi Chi Undergraduate Research Grants are meticulously designed to support Psi Chi student members who lead original, empirical research projects as first authors and project directors. These grants provide funding to cover the direct costs of such research endeavors, excluding stipends, salary, tuition, and research assistant expenses. The initiative is crucial in fostering practical experience in grant application and research project management, promoting adherence to the best practices in psychological research.

The awarded research delves into the role of non-cognitive factors like grit, motivation, and burnout in law school admissions, a topic of increasing importance in educational psychology. This study stands out for its innovative approach and commitment to enhancing the understanding of psychological factors in academic success, particularly in the demanding context of legal education.

The receipt of this grant and stipend by the undergraduate researcher and their faculty sponsor is a significant achievement, reflecting their dedication to advancing the field of psychology. The support from Psi Chi will enable the continuation and expansion of this valuable research, contributing to the broader discourse on effective and inclusive educational practices.