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NCAA announces student research grant winners

Funds provide support to students in social and behavioral sciences

by Lydia Bell

The NCAA Research Committee has selected five research proposals to fund in the 2018 cycle of the NCAA Graduate Student Research Grant Program.

Now in its 13th year, the program is aimed at stimulating research on college sports by providing financial support to graduate students in social and behavioral science fields.

Their work will help inform NCAA member schools and the public on key topics by introducing new studies to the field. Awards for these one-time grants are set at a maximum of $7,500. Recipients are expected to culminate their project in an article suitable for publication in a scholarly journal or in a completed thesis or dissertation. They will be invited to present their findings to the NCAA Research Committee members in fall 2019.

Grants were awarded to the following graduate students:

  • Anna Baeth (Minnesota). Analyzing the Pathways of Women Head Coaches With a 20+ Year Career Longevity in NCAA D-I Sport.
  • Jacob English (Georgia State). Removing Barriers to Academic Success Among Male Division I Student-Athletes: A Mixed-Method Investigation of Social Identity Complexity as a Stereotype Threat Mitigation Strategy.
  • Robert Hilliard (West Virginia). Stigma, Attitudes, and Intentions To Seek Mental Health Services in Student-Athletes.
  • Lorin Mordecai (UConn). Breaking the Silence on Reporting Sexual Assault: Exploring Areas for Prevention and Intervention With Student-Athletes.
  • Elodie Wendling (Florida). Career Identity Reformation in the Transition to Life After Sport: An Assessment of Identity Statuses, Psychosocial Functioning and Transition Experienced of Former College Athletes.

Additionally, the committee awarded three NCAA Research Committee Scholar Awards, which are $1,000 scholarships intended to recognize outstanding topics and research. These were given to graduate students Nikola Grafnetterova of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Bethany Neeley of NC State and Christian Suero of George Mason. While the committee was unable to fund these projects through a research grant, they wanted to recognize these junior scholars for the contributions they are making in intercollegiate athletics research.

“The Research Committee was very impressed with the quality of the proposals submitted for these grants,” said Research Committee chair Kurt Beron, an economics professor at Texas-Dallas and the school’s faculty athletics representative. “Each year we get an increase in excellence, which just makes the decisions that much harder.” 

The 2019 call for proposals will be released in February, with proposals due in May 2019. The NCAA Research Committee invites research proposals within the general topic areas of student-athlete well-being and college athletics participation.

Topics may include but are not limited to the impact of participation in athletics on the academic or social experiences of student-athletes; best practices for academic advisement of student-athletes; the relationship between athletics’ time demands and academic success; student-athlete integration into the campus community; the relationship between athletics department finances and on-field success; student-athlete satisfaction with the college experience; and student-athlete mental health and well-being.