The Wayne F. Placek Award (1995-2007)

The Wayne F. Placek Award is intended to encourage scientific research to increase the general public's understanding of homosexuality and to alleviate the stress that gay men and lesbians experience in this and future civilizations.

The award is administered by the American Psychological Foundation. It is funded by proceeds from a bequest that Wayne Placek left to Dr. Evelyn Hooker, the visionary psychologist whose pioneering research in the 1950s paved the way for the modern view that homosexuality is not a form of psychopathology.

Dr. Gregory Herek served as chairperson of the Scientific Review Committee from its inception in 1995 until 2007. During that time, another 12 researchers served at various times on the core Committee, and approximately 140 researchers and professionals served as ad hoc expert reviewers for one or more large grant applications.

During Dr. Herek's tenure as chairperson:

  • More than 225 proposals were submitted, an average of 17 per year. Of these applications, 32 (about 14%) were funded.
  • In 1995, the first year of the program, applicants were allowed to request up to $12,000. This amount could be increased by as much as $3,000 if matching funds were provided by their home institution (yielding a total award of up to $18,000). By 2007, applicants could request as much as $55,000, plus another $10,000 if matching funds were obtained (yielding a total award of up to $75,000).
  • At Dr. Herek's suggestion, the Small Grant mechanism was introduced in 1999. Between 1999 and 2007, a total of 90 applications were reviewed, an average of 10 per year. Of these, 33 applications were funded (37% of those submitted).
  • For all of the Placek Awards combined, more than $1.2 million in research funding was distributed directly to applicants between 1995 and 2007. In addition to funds awarded directly in Placek grants, applicants' universities contributed more than $175,000 in matching funds and in-kind services. Combining direct grants and matching funds, the Placek Awards program generated more than $1.4 million in support for research on sexual minority issues during Dr. Herek's chairmanship.

In 2005, the American Psychological Foundation celebrated the Placek Awards program by publishing a retrospective report on the projects and investigators funded in the program's first decade. The report can be downloaded here.

  Recipients of the Placek Award 1995-2007
  Members of the 2007 Placek Scientific Review Committee
  Members of the Placek Scientific Review Committee 1995-2007
  American Psychological Foundation Awards
  Other funding sources
  Return to Dr. Herek's biographical sketch


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