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NCAA to fund research grants

In its third year, program targets proposals that would help college athletes’ career development

The NCAA is seeking proposals for its Innovations in Research and Practice Grant Program, which awards $100,000 to research and data-driven projects designed to help college athletes.

This year the program is targeting funds to support at least one project aimed at helping student-athletes with career development. This decision was determined in consultation with the three divisions’ national Student-Athlete Advisory Committees, which all requested a focus on this area. Proposals designed to enhance student-athlete psychosocial well-being and mental health in other areas will also be considered. 

Proposals are due at 4 p.m. Eastern, Dec. 1, 2015. Grant recipients will be invited to present their results at the 2017 NCAA Convention in Nashville, Tennessee.

“We are pleased to see that this grant program creating tangible benefits to the lives of college athletes,” said Todd Petr, managing director of research. “That’s the outcome we had hoped to see all along. A focus on career development for these students is a logical next step as this resource adapts to meet current needs.”

The NCAA Innovations in Research and Practice Grant Program, now in its third year, has so far awarded $200,000. The money has funded projects ranging from an interactive online tool that helps college athletes open a dialogue about depression and other mental health issues to a study about hazing on college sports teams.

The amounts awarded typically range from $10,000 to $30,000.

The second year’s recipients, announced in spring 2015, will present their findings at the 2016 NCAA Convention in January in San Antonio, Texas.

The grant process has several key milestones:

  • Dec. 1 (4 p.m. Eastern) : Deadline for proposals
  • Feb. 16: Announcement of winners
  • July 22: Interim reports due
  • Jan. 9, 2017: 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 college athletes will evaluate proposals and allocate the funding. The call for proposals is available here.