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Innovations grant proposals sought

NCAA program funds research aimed at improving student-athlete mental health and well-being.

Proposals are being sought for the second year of the NCAA Innovations in Research and Practice Grant Program. The program will award $100,000 to support research and data-driven projects aimed at improving the mental health and psychosocial well-being of student-athletes. 
Grant recipients will be invited to present their work at the 2016 NCAA Convention in San Antonio, Texas.

“We are thrilled to begin another round of funding for projects that have the potential to make a difference in the lives of student-athletes all over the country,” said Todd Petr, managing director of research. “The 2014 recipients are doing exciting work with their grants that we look forward to sharing with the membership at Convention, and we believe we will have more of the same with this next round of funding.”

The first year’s recipients, announced last spring, will present their findings at the 2015 NCAA Convention. One recipient, Tim Ryan of the University of Memphis, indicated that the grant program has been very valuable to him, his research team and the student-athletes in his pilot program. Eventually the applications of the research will be useful to future student-athletes at the University of Memphis and other NCAA member institutions as well, he said.

“I’m very grateful to the NCAA for helping us do this, and grateful to the rest of my research team for the work we’re doing together,” Ryan said.  He and his team are studying career readiness among student-athletes.

Two tiers of grants will be solicited in this process. One tier will be considered for funding up to $50,000, based on the quality of the proposal and the justifications in the proposed budgets. The second tier will receive awards of up to $10,000 based on the same criteria.
The grant process has several key milestones:

  • Dec. 1 (4 p.m. Eastern) : Deadline for proposals
  • Feb. 16: Announcement of winners
  • July 17: Interim reports due
  • Jan. 4, 2016: Final reports due

An external panel consisting of members of the NCAA Research Committee and independent scholars, clinicians, student affairs professionals and current and former student-athletes will evaluate proposals and allocate the funding. The call for proposals is available here.

Funding for the Innovations in Research grant program was made available when the NCAA Scholarly Colloquium was discontinued after the 2013 NCAA Convention. With the program, the NCAA supports external research intended to directly and positively impact the lives of student-athletes.


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