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SSI Grants and Programs

The NCAA Sports Science Institute funds and supports several grants and programs to support substance abuse prevention, research the likelihood and cause of injuries, improve the safety of sports competitions and to broaden the understanding of health and safety issues.

SSI Grants


The CHOICES Grant program provides funding to NCAA institutions and conferences to implement campus-wide programs that integrate student-athletes and athletics into alcohol-education efforts. Funded programs are designed to work toward the elimination of high-risk consumption of alcohol on college campuses by promoting low-risk choices. $30,000 grants are awarded for a three-year project.   Grant guidelines, program evaluations and a “Best of CHOICES” compendium can be found on the site at


National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research

The National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research collects and disseminates data on sports injuries that lead to death or permanent disability from brain and/or spinal cord injuries. The research is funded by a grant from the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the American Football Coaches Association and the National Federation of State High School Associations. This research has been conducted at North Carolina since 1965. Three annual reports are compiled each year.


NCAA Graduate Student Research Program

The NCAA provides grants to promote and sponsor research to address relevant health and safety issues that are applicable to the student-athlete population. Research topics of specific interest to the NCAA and its membership are often communicated to the scientific community via a request for proposal process.  Researchers must demonstrate competencies necessary to successfully complete the proposed study.

Grant Story Links:

  • DIII presidents OK sickle cell testing allocation
  • NOCSAE awards grants for concussion-related studies
  • Alcohol education grants prompt better choices
  • NCAA grant funds concussion study


SSI Sponsored Programs

Drug Testing

The NCAA conducts drug testing as one part of a comprehensive approach to deter substance abuse, to protect the health and safety of student-athletes and to ensure the integrity of athletic competition.   The NCAA provides institutions and student-athletes with information on NCAA drug policies and procedures through the NCAA-produced Drug Education and Testing video, the NCAA Drug Policy brochure, the NCAA Drug Testing Program book, procedures for medical exceptions and drug-test appeals, and through a subscription to the Resource Exchange Center staff by the NCAA’s drug testing administrator, the National Center for Drug Free Sport.


APPLE Conferences

The APPLE Conferences, developed and coordinated by Virginia’s Gordie Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, and sponsored by the NCAA, are the leading national training symposiums dedicated to substance abuse prevention and health promotion for student athletes and athletics department administrators. The goal of the APPLE conference is to assist colleges in promoting student-athlete health and wellness by empowering teams of student-athletes and administrators to create an institution-specific action plan. “Coaches Assist” resources can be found on site.

Last Updated: Dec 3, 2013