NIRSA Research & Assessment Home

NIRSA Research Grant Program

Let NIRSA help you conduct important research

Research grants support original, scholarly research that advance the knowledge base and practices within the field of collegiate recreation.

Grant award amounts will be based on the needs of individual projects. It is NIRSA’s standard procedure to pay only the direct costs associated with conducting research and indirect costs up to 10%.

The NIRSA Foundation proudly supports the NIRSA Research Grant Program.

Learn more about the NIRSA Foundation »

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The NIRSA 2019 Research Grant Application Guidelines are now available!

If you have any questions, please contact Ruben Guzman, NIRSA Research Coordinator.

2019 NIRSA Research Grant Rubric
2019 NIRSA Research Grant RFP

Eligibility & Procedures

Grant Eligibility

All funded research projects must be conducted either at or for NIRSA member institutions. Applications from students must be supported by faculty or staff sponsors who have agreed to oversee the proposed research. Applicants do not need to be NIRSA members. Collaborative, multi-institutional projects and those involving historically underrepresented groups will be given special consideration. Proposals should focus on the priorities identified in the NIRSA Research Agenda.

Application Procedures

Please refer to the Research Grant Application Guidelines prior to preparing a proposal. To apply for one of these prestigious grants, or for further information about the NIRSA Research Grant Program, please contact

Past Recipients

Dr. Jessica Kirby
University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

Project: Mountain lions on the move: Exploring basic psychological need satisfaction, motivational factors, and student wellbeing in the Fitness Buddies campus recreation physical activity program.
Funded by:

Dr. Kim Curtin
University of Alberta

Project: PAWS for Wellness: Examining a Physical Activity and Wellness Series for international student mental and physical wellness.
Funded by:

Gabriella Sciacchitano
Kennesaw State University

Project: An examination of the impact of integrating physical activity for students being treated for eating disorders/disordered eating behaviors.
Funded by:

Dr. Austin Anderson
University of Southern Indiana

Project: “Impact of LGBTQ Diversity Training on Attitudes and Competencies of Collegiate Recreation Employees”
Funded by:

Dianna Clauss
Rider University

Project: “The impact of a comprehensive student health and wellbeing program on the retention rate of residential first year students.”
Funded by:

Dr. Laura Morris
University of North Carolina Wilmington

Project: “Multi-institutional assessment of the relationship between campus recreation participation and psychological wellbeing.”
Funded by:

Erin Patchett
University of Northern Colorado

Project: “Campus recreation professionals’ engagement with social justice.”
Funded by:

Dr. Deborah Shapiro
Georgia State University

Project: “A Multi‐Institutional Comparison of Barriers and Facilitators of Campus Adapted and Inclusive Intramural Sports Programming for College Students with and without Disabilities”
Funded by:

Yvette Kell
University of Missouri – St. Louis

Project: “An Exploration of Emotionally Intelligent Leadership in Collegiate Recreation Student Employees and their own perceptions of their Emotional Intelligence and Emotionally Intelligent Leadership”
Funded by:

Dr. Benjamin P. Correia-Harker
Interfaith Youth Core

Project: “Campus Recreation and Leadership Development: Pathways for Student and Community Transformation.”
Funded by:

Dr. Leann Lower
Ball State University

Project: “The Collegiate Sport Club Model: Organization Structure, Management, and Outcomes”
Funded by:

Dr. Anthony Patterson
North Carolina Central University

Project: “The Value of Outdoor Recreation Programs for Students at an Historically Black University: An Exploration of Outdoor Recreation Experiences and Barriers to Participation.”
Funded by:

Dr. Amy Rundio
East Carolina University

Project: “Collegiate Sport Club Participation: Constraints, Motivations, and Student Outcomes”
Funded by:

Dr. James M. Pivarnik
Michigan State University

Project: “The Role of Recreational Sports in Student Academic Success and Overall Wellbeing.”
Funded by:

Dr. Keith Howard
North Carolina State University

Project: “Race, Identity, and Belonging: Examining College Students’ Preferences for Sport and Active Recreation.”

Dr. James Pivarnik
Michigan State University

Project: “Interrelationships Among College Student Physical Activity, Club and Intramural Sports Participation, and Academic Performance.”
Funded by:

Dr. Jacob Tingle
Trinity University

Project: “Exploring NIRSA Championship Series Professional Development Opportunities: Understanding Their Perceived Value to the Association.”
Funded by:

Dr. Scott Forrester
Brock University

Project: “Benefits of Campus Recreational Sports Participation: NASPA-NIRSA Consortium.”
 Recipient of the President’s Award for the Article of Distinction
Funded by:

Dr. John Dugan
Loyola University Chicago

Project: “Recreation Sports and Leadership: Examining Influences to Enhance Educational Impact.”
Funded by:

Dr. Jacqueline McDowell
University of Illinois at Urbana

Project: “Toward the Development of National Intramural and Club Sport Gender Equity Guidelines.”
 Recipient of the President’s Award for the Article of Distinction

For more information, contact NIRSA Research


Application Dates for a 2016 NIRSA Research Grant

The 2016 grant application period has closed.
Please check back soon for the 2017 application cycle.
June 1 – August 15, 2016 Grant applications accepted
October 1, 2016 Grantees notified of award status
October 2018 2016 Research Grant Program projects completed
Application Guidelines

Research Requirements & Selection Criteria

Grants will be awarded for research which will:

  • Focus on issue(s) related to campus recreation
  • Clearly articulate a strong research design. Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method studies will be considered. Methodology must be appropriate for the research question(s).
  • Be completed by October 2018. Results must be ready for presentation at the 2019 NIRSA Annual Conference and be submitted for consideration for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, such as NIRSA’s Recreational Sports Journal (RSJ).
  • Explore unique issues, subjects, analysis, participants and/or sample. Research must be original work of the investigators and may not have been reported elsewhere.
  • Have potential to have a broad impact on campus recreation initiatives.