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2022 TLC Travel Award for Underrepresented Scholars

The Love Consortium is pleased to offer a travel award for junior scholars who identify as belonging to a group that is underrepresented in the research community studying love and social connection. Join us in Durham, North Carolina this September to learn more about the science of love and meet prominent researchers in the field! 


The award will cover airfare, hotel, and per diem for those interested in traveling to the 2022 TLC Love Conference in Durham, North Carolina, USA from Wednesday, September 28th through Friday, September 30th.


This small conference of 60 - 80 people will be structured to maximize opportunities for discussion and networking, making it a great opportunity to get to know different researchers in the field. Award recipients will interact with current and former graduate students conducting TLC projects (i.e., TLC Love Fellows), TLC board members, and other prominent scholars. Additional mentorship opportunities will be offered in the months following the conference. 

About the Award



For the applicant

To be considered, applicants must:
  1. Identify as belonging to a group that is underrepresented in the research community studying love and social connection.
  2. Intend to apply to a doctoral (Ph.D.) program in the next 3 years to conduct research on topics pertaining to love or social connection. This includes people currently enrolled in undergraduate study, people enrolled in terminal master's programs, as well as people who have recently graduated with an undergraduate or master's degree.
  3. Be able to attend the 2022 TLC Love Conference in Durham from Wednesday evening (9/28) through Friday (9/30). Awardees must have all necessary documents (e.g., passport, visa) on hand by the date of travel.

What qualifies as "underrepresented"

The research community studying love includes scholars from multiple disciplines, career stages, and geographies, but there are groups whose perspectives remain underrepresented. These include, but are not limited to, individuals who identify as belonging to a racially or ethnically underrepresented group, first-generation college students, individuals who have experienced financial hardship, individuals who identify as sexual or gender minorities, and individuals who have disabilities.

What we mean by "love"

The Love Consortium is focused on advancing the scientific study of all processes related to love and social connection. The science of love spans many domains of research including affective science, personality psychology, social psychology, close relationships, developmental science, the psychology of religion, neuroscience, organizational behavior, communication studies, family studies, sociology, anthropology, and more. Across these literatures, the construct of love goes by many names and is studied in many different contexts. For example, researchers study parent-child love, dispositional compassionate love for humanity, love in friendships, and so on. Here are just some examples of research questions in the domain of love. 
  • How does love develop?
  • How can love best be cultivated or enhanced?
  • How does cultural context shape the expression of love?
  • How is love best measured (e.g., love of humanity scales, observer reports of responsive behavior, compassionate goals scales, compassionate love scales, observed behavior of sympathetic joy, facial expression, vocal pitch, touch)?
  • What are the various ways that love manifests (e.g., other-focused attention, kindness, forgiveness, generosity, approach-related sacrifice, expressed gratitude, compassion, communal orientation, sympathetic joy)?
  • Do children whose parents demonstrate love toward one another become more loving themselves? Do they show developmental benefits?
  • What are the consequences of / benefits from being a loving person e.g., health consequences, character development, meaning in life)?
  • How does love influence those around us? Does it influence the health and well-being of our loved ones?
  • Does the capacity to love one person relate to love for all persons? Is love contagious? Does love flow through a friend group or social network?
  • What are the biological underpinnings or neural correlates of love?
  • Is love stable over time? If it changes, how can that change be described and understood?
  • What is the role of love in partner selection and romantic relationship initiation? How does it influence the trajectory of a relationship?
  • What can we learn about love from studying it in its least conditional form - toward infants, new lovers, and persons at the end of life?
Note: Applicants do not need to be doing research on these types of questions, but they represent the types of research on interpersonal connection that may be represented at the conference. If you are curious about the research and want to meet people doing this kind of work, please apply!


How to Apply

Application process

The button below will take you to an application survey that includes:
  • A set of questions to better understand your background and experience to-date, as well as your research interests and academic aspirations;
  • A place for you to upload a copy of your CV or resume;
  • ​A place for you to upload a copy of your academic transcript (unofficial or official); and
  • A place for you to indicate the name and contact information (i.e., institutional affiliation and email address) of someone willing to provide a mentor endorsement on your behalf. This designated mentor can be anyone who is not related to you (e.g., a course professor or research supervisor) that can speak to your unique skills, experience, and academic aspirations. When you submit your application, we will send your mentor an email with a link to a brief confidential survey.

You may preview the full list of questions asked in the application survey and mentor endorsement form in the PDF documents below.
Application survey questions
Mentor endorsement questions
We encourage you to reach out to your listed mentor in advance of your submission to confirm they are able and willing to provide their endorsement prior to the posted deadline. Consider sharing the list of mentor endorsement questions so they know exactly what will be asked of them.

Applications must be submitted by May 1, 2022. Mentor endorsements must be completed by May 15, 2022.

Final award decisions will be announced via the email address you provide by June 10, 2022.

If you have any questions while preparing or sub
mitting your application, please feel free to contact us at
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