Call for Proposals: ACPA Senior Scholars Grant Program

September 13, 2021

The American College Personnel Association (ACPA) and the Senior Scholars are committed to  making policy programmatic decisions based on quality research data about the experiences of  students, administrators, staff, and faculty at colleges and universities nationally and  internationally.

With this announcement, ACPA and the Senior Scholars continue a research grant initiative to  encourage practitioners and faculty to initiate original scholarship and research efforts designed  to study critical issues impacting student affairs and/or higher education systems. All grant proposal narratives must demonstrate specific connection/s to the ACPA Strategic Imperative on Racial Justice and Decolonization.

ACPA will award one grant up to $5,000 for the 2021-2022 calendar year to practitioners and/or faculty to conduct studies that benefit our understanding of the transformative nature of student  affairs and higher education in relation to the ACPA Strategic Imperative. Grant recipients are expected to submit a program proposal to present their research at the ACPA Convention in 2023.

Proposals will be judged on originality, feasibility, clarity, potential institutional impact and connection to the ACPA Strategic Imperative. The final work will belong to the  researchers/practitioners and they will be encouraged to submit for publication in an ACPA publication outlet. Only current members of ACPA are eligible to be Principal Investigator (PI) on a grant.

Proposal Format

Please merge the following components into one coherent document.

  1. Cover Page – The title of the proposal along with the name, title, address, email, and phone number of the PI and all researchers.
  2. Proposal Narrative – The proposal narrative should be detailed but concise (1,500 words or fewer are encouraged for this section), should include peer-reviewed sources where appropriate, and must include the following elements:
  3. Problem statement identifying the research question(s) or the transformative conditions that the research is designed to address.
  4. Indicate which topic on the research agenda this proposal addresses.
  5. Conceptual or Theoretical framework – Discuss and illustrate the theory underlying the project. The research must be grounded in the literature with a clear connection between theory and practice. There should be specific outcomes that will be measured / explored and a potential implications section for practitioners.
  6. Data, methodology, and/or methods section – Research studies can incorporate qualitative, quantitative, mixed and/or historical approaches. This section should include an explicit description of the methods for data collection (i.e., dataset(s), criteria for selecting data/participants, research instrument or design) and the methods for data analysis (congruent with the chosen design).
  7. Campus-level programming, policy and/or practice implications section – The proposal should clearly identify, create, and/or support potential specific programs, policies and/or practices at the institutional level that have the potential to be adopted or adapted at a range of institutions.
  8. References – Appropriately reference the works cited throughout the proposal narrative using APA 7th edition.
  9. Timeline for the various aspects of the proposed research that coordinates with the timeline below.
  10. Proposed budget and budget justification – Grants may be used for research travel, data collection, incentives for participants, transcription, equipment, and miscellaneous expenses such as software and books. Funds cannot be used for salaries, research assistants, tuition and fees, or institutional indirect costs. Funded projects will be required to submit records of expenses to ACPA as part of the final grant reports. The budget should include a justification not to exceed one page.
  11. Biosketch – Brief biographies of the PI and others directly working on the grant.
  12. Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval – The researchers are responsible for completing all institutional review board procedures from the PI’s university as well as for any other campuses included in the research process. The proposal must include a  brief description of the institution’s IRB process and the timeline for submitting the  research proposal for review.

Funding Disbursement

Grant funds will be provided to the PI in the full amount awarded. The PI will provide receipts for all expenditures, a mid-year report on the budget and research project (Monday, May 2, 2022 deadline), and a final report and budget at the end of the research funding year.


September 13, 2021 – Announcement of grant program

Monday, November 1, 2021 – Proposals due by Midnight EST

The week of November 29, 2021 – Announcement of ACPA Senior Scholar Grant Recipients

Monday, May 2, 2022 – Mid-Year Project Update to Senior Scholars

Thursday, December 1, 2022 – Research completed and report submitted to the Senior Scholars

Please submit completed proposals to: Penny A. Pasque ([email protected]). For questions, see any Senior Scholar Grant Committee member: Robert Palmer, D-L Stewart, and Matt Wawrzynski

Past Grant Recipients


Susan D. Longerbeam
University of Louisville
Contribution of Student Affairs Preparation Programs to Undergraduate Student Success: Influences of Mentoring on Campus Racial Climate and Sense of Belonging

Natesha L. Smith
University of Binghamton
Engaging Cross-Cultural Impressions: An Exploration of Student Affairs Practices in the Gulf Region


Sosanya Jones
Howard University
HBCU and PVI Diversity Professionals: Training, Roles, Challenges, and Strategies of Entry

Susana Muñoz
Colorado State University
Understanding Undocumented and DACA Community College Students’ Experiences during Turbulent Political Times


Robert Schwartz
Florida State University
George F. Zook and Higher Education in the United States: An Untold Story of Access and Inclusion

TJ Stewart
Iowa State University
Navigating Place and Space: Exploring the realities of fat-bodied students on campus through photovoice methodology

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