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Student Scholarship Contest

The 2018 Meaning Conference student scholarship contest is now closed.


Congratulations to the following students for their achievement.


Arthur Braaten, University of Ottawa, “How a History of Negative and Positive Life Events Relate to Eudaimonic, Hedonic, and Extrinsic Pursuits”


David Carreno, University of Almería, “Learning to Live through Death”


Paul Lutz, University of British Columbia, “From Moral Identity to Eudaimonic Well-Being: A Pathway of Self-Transcendence and Meaning in Life”


  • J. Tyler Rogols, The Ohio State University, “Finding Meaning: Existential Counseling Considerations for Cancer Patients”
  • Serena Wong, Bowling Green State University, “Carpe Momentum: Sacred Moments as a Predictor of Wellbeing for Family Caregivers”
  • Lilian Jans-Beken, Open University of the Netherlands, “Gratitude’s Place in Second Wave Positive Psychology”

The concept of second wave positive psychology (PP 2.0) has been in the literature since Wong (2011). Recently, empirical support for the importance of integrating negatives and positives has been reported (Ivtzan, Lomas, Hefferon, & Worth, 2015; Lomas & Ivtzan, 2015; Kashdan & Biswas-Diener, 2014; Wong & Roy, 2018).
One of the aims of the second PP 2.0 Summit at the International Meaning Conference 2018 is to explore the nature of happiness or wellbeing in times of suffering and effective interventions to achieve mature happiness in spite of adversity. PP 2.0 incorporates existential positive psychology and indigenous psychology. This scholarship contest is to encourage graduate students to get involved in this exciting and ongoing development of positive psychology.


As judged by a panel of adjudicators consisting of Veronika Huta, Ph.D., Roger Tweed, Ph.D., Piers Worth, Ph.D., and Paul T. P. Wong, Ph.D., the winners will receive the following scholarships to present at the International Meaning Conference 2018 in Vancouver in addition to waived conference registration.

  • First Prize: CAD $1,000
  • Second Prize: CAD $800
  • Third Prize: CAD $500

As well, three honourable mentions will receive waived conference registration for the all-inclusive package (valued at over CAD $500 for students). All six winners will have the opportunity for oral presentations at the conference and subsequent publication in our journal or proceedings.

Winners must become Student Members of the INPM in order to receive the prize at the conference. Click here for membership registration.

Winners will be notified before May 20, 2018.

Submission Guidelines

All graduate students are invited to submit their papers to no later than 11:59 PM on April 30, 2018:


  • The email subject line should be “Meaning Conference 2018 Scholarship | [Author Name(s)]”
  • The attached file(s) should be .docx or .doc (or .rtf for those without Microsoft Word)
  • Text should be single-spaced, Times New Roman, 12-pt font
  • The paper should be 1000 words with a 200-word abstract
  • The submission should be authored by either (a) one graduate student OR (b) one graduate student as the first author and a supervisor as the second author

Possible Topics

For the time being, the following principles of PP 2.0 should be sufficient as a guide for graduate students to submit an entry. Submissions may be based on empirical research, theoretical formulation, or clinical case studies, as long as they are related to any of the following principles, which are informed by humanistic values, existential insights, and ancient cultural wisdom:

  • PP 2.0 advocates a humble science that recognizes the validity of different paradigms of truth claims to understand the complexity and paradoxes of human existence. Thus, PP 2.0 emphasizes the importance of not just quantitative methods but also qualitative methods.
  • PP 2.0 advocates the Taoist dialectic Yin-Yang principle, which recognizes the bright side of the dark side, as well as the dark side of the bright side. That is, PP 2.0 highlights the importance of the dark side of human experience in building resilience and flourishing.
  • PP 2.0 asserts that much can be learned about well-being by incorporating insights from indigenous cultures.
  • PP 2.0 hypothesizes that the universal human capacity for meaning-seeking and meaning-making offers us a double blessing—a buffer against stress and adversity and a road to authentic happiness and spiritual wellbeing.
  • PP 2.0 proposes that it is not only important to identify one’s signature character strengths but also to further develop character strengths, and that certain strengths are important for all people, such as human dignity, courage, and compassion.
  • PP 2.0 hypothesizes that personal and cultural contexts matter in well-being research. Thus, the same rating score of 5 on a 7-point scale of life satisfaction is qualitatively different for those whose lives are going well and those who are facing adversities.

Submissions do not have to specifically fall into one of the above six areas, as long as students can make a case that their submissions are related to the broad mandate of PP 2.0.


  1. Ivtzan, I., Lomas, T., Hefferon, K., & Worth, P. (2015). Second wave positive psychology: Embracing the dark side of life. New York, NY: Routledge.
  2. Kashdan, T., & Biswas-Diener, R. (2014). The upside of your dark side. New York, NY: Plume.
  3. Lomas, T., & Ivtzan, I. (2015). Second wave positive psychology: Exploring the positive-negative dialectics of wellbeingJournal of Happiness Studies. doi: 10.1007/s10902-015-9668-y
  4. Wong, P. T. P. (2011). Positive psychology 2.0: Towards a balanced interactive model of the good lifeCanadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne, 52(2), 69. doi:10.1037/a0022511
  5. Wong, P. T. P., & Roy, S. (2018). Critique of positive psychology and positive interventions. In N. J. L. Brown, T. Lomas, & F. J. Eiroa-Orosa (Eds.), The Routledge international handbook of critical positive psychology. London, UK: Routledge.