Psychology and technology for humanity


Deadline: 19 May 2020 at 23:59 EST
Priority Focus: Public health behavior change
Scholarships: 10

We are proud to announce the launch of our 5th scholarship program that’s dedicated to tackling the global COVID-19 pandemic. 

Our scholarship program covers the tuition fee for our full training system, which includes over 25-hours of online lessons, 12-hours of LIVE tutorials on the digital behavioral design process, certification and training resources. The scholarships are for our 9 week summer term, from Jun 25 to Aug 20. Dr. Cugelman will also provide additional coaching, feedback, and advisory support to anyone working specifically on COVID-19 applications. 

This scholarship round is focused on online behavioral interventions that can help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. With no vaccine to prevent its spread, and no cure to save the worst infected, all of humanity is in a dilemma.

Though the death rate may not scare the average person, the death rate for vulnerable populations is terrifying for anyone in those populations. Older persons, those with diabetes, heart conditions, males, and anyone with a chronic condition is at a far higher risk of experiencing extreme symptoms, permanent damage, and death. 

The strategy employed by most nations is to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the point where medical staff can treat those who need critical care. When the virus spreads within hospital capacity, deaths are minimized. However, the moment COVID-19 spreads to a wide portion of any population, hospitals become overrun and the death rate soars. 

Digital behavioral science has a key role to play in our global response. Getting people to respect quarantine, keep space, minimize contact, and many other behaviors can keep the spread at manageable levels. 

We do not want to be remembered by future generations as those who in their time as custodians of the world, sacrificed their elderly and frail for GDP.

Not many people know it, but in AlterSpark’s first 3-4 years of training it taught two courses: one on digital health behavior change and the other on commercial applications. In fact, Dr. Cugelman’s early research was published in the world’s top e-health scientific journal. 

However, for financial reasons, we were forced to focus on the commercial applications. We no longer offer digital health training at AlterSpark, however, Dr. Cugelman still teaches this subject in the Faculty of Health at York University. 

Through 10-years of teaching this subject, we’ve developed innovative training methods that we are glad to share with changemakers who are working to build a better world and make an impact on COVID-19.

To qualify, applicants must be pursuing activities that blend digital interventions with health behavior change that contribute to the current pandemic response. When applying for the scholarship, applicants must provide a plausible explanation on how their work contributes to the global COVID-19 response and how our training will help them increase their impact. 

The impact focus listed in this announcement supersedes “criteria 1” in our general scholarship criteria. All other criteria remain the same. 

These scholarships are open to students, academics, innovators, volunteers, anyone working in health promotion, its delivery, or the broader health sector.  

To apply, submit your application through the form listed on the AlterSpark website. The qualification criteria in this announcement supersedes criteria 1 of the general program.


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