Spartan Psychological Association Research Conference (SPARC)

The Psi Chi International Honor Society and the Department of Psychology at San Jose State University are proud to sponsor the Spartan Psychological Association Research Conference (SPARC), held annually each spring (typically late April or early May).

SPARC began in 1957 as a unique opportunity for both undergraduate and graduate students in psychology to gain valuable experience in presenting their research, build relationships with other students and faculty, and broaden their knowledge of cutting-edge research from numerous areas of psychological science.

Through the years, SPARC has grown to become one of the preeminent regional forums for student presentations in psychology. What was once an afternoon's worth of talks in a classroom has evolved into a full 1 - 2 day program of events, including multiple oral presentations sessions, poster presentations, and invited presentations from distinguished scholars in psychology and related fields.

We look forward to having you join us this year as either a presenter or attendee!


All graduate and undergraduate students involved in psychological research or related fields are encouraged to apply. Each student presentation must have a faculty sponsor.

The Structure of the Conference

We host both oral and poster presentations.

  • Oral Presentations
    Each presentation will be 15 min in duration with an additional 5 min for questions and answers. Presenters are encouraged to develop their talks in PowerPoint, but accommodations for overheads will be made available upon advance request.

  • Poster Presentations
    Each presenter will be assigned a free-standing 3' high by 4' wide poster board. Poster sessions will be between 60 and 90 minutes long, during which time the presenting author is required to be present.

    The conference typically consists of morning and afternoon sessions, culminating with a keynote address from our invited speaker.

  • Lightning Talk Presentations
    New for SJSU Graduate Students in Psychology. Starting in 2023, we now include a new format of oral presentations dedicated to spotlighting graduate student research in the Psychology Department at SJSU. These "Lightning Talks" are bite-sized research presentations lasting no more than 5 minutes, with combined Q&A sessions after 2-4 lightning talks in succession.

Submission Information and Form submission site

SPARC 2024 Program

Presenter Resources page

Event Date: Monday, April 22, 2024
Event Location: SJSU Student Union Meeting Rooms 3 & 4 - 2nd Floor
Event Contact: Shinchieh (CJ) Duh, Ph.D. - 

The Spartan Psychological Association Research Conference (SPARC) has been providing undergraduate and graduate student researchers of psychology the experience of presenting their research since 1957. Through the years, SPARC has grown to become one of the preeminent regional forums for student presentations in psychology. Keynote Address “The Psychology of American Racism: Interpersonal and Contextual influences of Racism Across Contexts” Dr. Howard is the Director of the Psychology of Racism, Identity, Diversity, and Equity (PRIDE) research lab. Using experimental methods drawn from cognitive, perceptual, and social investigations, research in the PRIDE lab aims to understand and address contemporary racism that often falls under two broad themes. (1) Investigating interpersonal and contextual factors that influence historically advantaged (e.g., White people) and disadvantaged group members’ (e.g., Black people) perception, attitudes, judgments, and behavior. (2) Exploring the relationship between vicarious experience of racism and mental and physical health for members of racially stigmatized groups.  Dr. Howard earned his B.A. at SJSU, and his Ph.D. at Tufts University. Agenda 9:00-9:10 a.m. Welcoming Remarks 9:10-10:30 a.m. Oral Presentations I-4 10:30-11:45 a.m. Lightning Talks 11:45 -12:45 p.m. Poster Session I 12:50-2:10 p.m. Oral Presentations 5-8 2:10-3:10 p.m. Poster Session II 3:20-4:20 p.m. Keynote Address 4:20-4:30 p.m. Keynote Speakers Q&A