NSCA Foundation Grants

The NSCA Foundation awards hundreds of thousands in research grant dollars each year to outstanding individuals within the strength and conditioning community. The NSCA Foundation is one of the few foundations that fund research for master’s degree students and across all levels of education and experience up to senior investigators, as well as one of the few sources that funds work in the strength and conditioning field. Further your research, education and career through the support of the NSCA Foundation. Grants are supported in part by GNC.

Important Dates

Applications open November 1(11:59 am MTN) and close February 15 (11:59 am MTN) annually. There is no early access to start the application process, you must wait until November 1 at 11:59 am MTN. Late materials are not accepted. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure they complete the application on time. No paper copies or documents will be accepted, all materials must be submitted and completed via the application portal. 

Research Grant applications will require the following documentation for submission: Cover Letter, Proposal Structure (Rationale, Specific Aims, Experimental Design and Methodology, Reference List), Itemized Budget, and Budget Justification and current available resources. *Salaries may not be included in your proposal. This includes outsourcing technical support (nurses, techs, Coaches, trainers, etc.) 

Grant application review process
-
Applications close February 15 (11:59 am MTN)
-Applications assigned to Grant Reviewers by Grant Committee (~1-2 weeks)
-Applications reviewed by Grant Reviewers (~3-5 weeks)
-Applications move forward to Grant Panel for final review (~2-4 weeks)
-Final applicants move forward to NSCA Foundation Board for review/approval at the annual Spring meeting
-Applicants notified of award status

GNC Nutritional Research Grant

GNC® sponsors this nutrition-based research grant in the amount of $10,000 (indirect, overhead, travel, or salary costs are not supported). One grant will be awarded. The GNC Nutritional Research Grant is for a 24-month time period with the possibility of a 6-month extension with NSCA Foundation Board approval. *Salaries may not be included in your proposal. This includes outsourcing technical support (nurses, techs, coaches, trainers, etc.).

Specific Requirements: 

1. Completed application. 
2. The research topic must be related to sports nutrition.  
3. Purpose and scope must fall within the mission of the NSCA. 
4. Faculty members applying for this grant as Principal Investigator must have concurrent NSCA membership for one year prior to the date of application submission.
5. Students must be full-time status.
6. Students must be a member of the NSCA at the time of the application and award.
7. Students may serve as the Principal Investigator if a full-time faculty member with graduate faculty status serves as a co-investigator on the project. Faculty co-investigators require NSCA membership for one year prior to submission.*Faculty co-investigators are expected to take responsibility and be accountable for successful project completion while fostering a positive learning environment for the student applicant.
8. Additional project co-investigators do not have to be members of the NSCA.
9. The applicant has not won this award twice previously.  
10. Is not a current member of the NSCA Foundation Board of Directors, Scholarship Review Committee, NSCA Board of Directors, NSCA/NSCA Affiliate Employee or employee's family member.

Awarded funds are not paid directly to the recipient; they are released to the academic institution or organization.

  • GNC Nutritional Research Grant Recipients
    Year Recipient Title
    2015 Adam Sterczala Effects of dietary forskolin on skeletal muscle cAMP
    2017  Otavio Takeda The effects of lactate supplementation on endurance performance
    2018 Erica Goldstein The Effects of Parenting Style, Eating Attitudes, and Knowledge of Sports Nutrition on the Adolescent Female Athlete
    2019 Chris Irvine  

Graduate Student Research Grant 

This grant program funds high-quality graduate student research projects in strength and conditioning that are consistent with the mission of the NSCA. Graduate student applicants must have a full-time faculty member with current graduate faculty status who serves as a co-investigator. All proposals are not to exceed $15,000 (indirect costs, travel, and salary are not supported). Eligible candidates must be actively pursuing a Masters or Doctoral degree at the time of application, which may include ABD status. Project timelines are for a maximum of 18 months, with the possibility of a 6-month extension following approval from the NSCA Foundation’s Board of Directors. *Salaries may not be included in your proposal. This includes outsourcing technical support (nurses, techs, coaches, trainers, etc.) 

Specific Requirements: 

  1. Completed Application.

  2. Graduate student applicants must be full-time students and members of the NSCA at the time of the application and award. Student applicants must be pursuing a Master's or Doctoral degree related to the field of strength and conditioning.

  3. A full-time university faculty member with graduate faculty status must serve as a co-investigator on the project. This individual must have concurrent NSCA membership for one year prior to the date of application submission and at the time of the award. Faculty co-investigators are expected to take responsibility and be accountable for successful project completion while fostering a positive learning environment for the student applicant.

  4. The purpose and scope of the project must fall within the mission of the NSCA and have relevance to the field of strength and conditioning. 

  5. The student applicant has not won this award twice previously. 

  6. The student applicant is not a current member of the NSCA Foundation Board of Directors, Grant Review Committee, NSCA Board of Directors, NSCA employee or employee's family member. 

Awarded funds are not paid directly to the recipient; they are released to the academic institution or organization. 

  • Graduate Research Grant - Masters Recipients
    Year Recipient Title
    2015 Liane Jean Comparison of Normal and Single-Foot Elevated Squats in ACL Injured Persons
    2015 Jennifer Talaski Use of Compression Stockings for Recovery From Plyometric Exercise
    2015 Morgan Whitson Effects of Age, Muscle Length, and Test Modality on Lower-Body Strength
    2016 Anthony Anzalone The relationship between peripheral biomarkers and clinical measures in y outh and young adult athletes following a sports related concussion
    2016 Meredith Mock Influence of probiotics on body composition and health in high stress, sleep deprived workers 
    2016 Jeremy Perales Changes in sprint performance between a traditional overgroup (track) vs. training on a high speed motorized treadmill
    2016 Charles Smith Examining the Impact of Beta-Alanine Supplementation on Anaerobic Exercise Performance in Collegiate Rugby Athletes
    2016 John Mata The effect of cluster sets on movement mechanics during the back squat
    2016 Hayden Giuliani The influence of age related obsity increases in intramuscular fat on muscular dimensional changes, strength and function
    2016 Jonathan Miller Effect of childhood obesity on plasma metabolome and muscle quality performance
    2017 Alexis Pihoker Nutrient Timing in Resistance-trained Women: Is there an Optimal Window?
    2017 Luke  Olsen Concurrent Training's Role on Mechanotransducing Properties of Muscle Fiber
    2017 Mary Altepeter The effect of timed protein ingestion on resistance training adaptations
    2017 Partrick Harty Effect of Caffeine Timing on Lower Body Resistance Training Performance
    2018 Michaela Kelsey  Workload evaluation based on position to determine efficient training load for optimal performance in competition for female collegiate soccer players
    2019 Thomas Lillquist  
    2019 Emily Tagesen  
  • Graduate Research Grant - Doctoral Recipients
    Year Recipient Title 
    2015 Christopher Bach Effects of Cold Ambient Temperature on Substrate Metabolism and Performance
    2015 David Cornell Influence of a Corrective Exercise Intervention on Movement in Firefighters
    2015 Shawn Flanagan Corticospinal representation of an injured knee
    2015 Hui Ying Luk Resistance exercise-induced testosterone on satellite cell activity
    2015 John Sellers The Effects of Normobaric Hypoxic Training on Hypobaric Performance
    2015 Tunde Szivak Warfighter Adrenal Response to Extreme Military Stress
    2015 Michael Trevino Effect of Aerobic Training on Motor Unit Behavior of the Vastus Lateralis
    2016 Christopher Thomas The relationship between unilateral muscle strength qualities and 180-degree change of direction performance
    2016 John Harry The effects of anteriorly loaded, posteriorly loaded, and splitloaded weight vest dispersions during maximum effort vertic
    2016 Jacqueline Kiwata The Effect of a Periodized Exercise Intervention on Metabolic Syndrome Variables in Prostate Cancer Survivors on Androg
    2016 Steven Hughes Does statistical parametric mapping (SPM) give greater detail of fatigue than the traditionally used reductionist method?
    2016 Joshua Gann The Effects of Hypohydration on Muscular Strength, Endurance, Power, and Markers of Catabolism in Females
    2016 Danielle Levitt The effect of post-exercise alcohol consumption on resistance exercise-induced mTOR pathway signaling and 24-hour pr
    2016 Raquel Williams Measuring anaerobic performance in female high school athletes
    2017 Ashley  Artese Functional impact training on body composition in breast cancer survivors
    2017 Ethan Hill Effects of Eccentric versus Concentric Blood Flow Restriction Training
    2017 Eric Trexler Performance effects of citrulline malate and beetroot juice supplementation
    2017 Justin  Nicoll Androgen & cortisol receptor phosphorylation following resistance exercise
    2017 Kevin Carroll Mass Spectroscopy For Evaluation of Muscle Adaptation Following Training
    2017 William Dupont The Effects of Resistance Exercise Training on Brain Health and Function
    2018 Elliot Arroyo  The Effects of Three Different Types of Exercise on Immune Function
    2018 Emily Phillips  The effects of resistance training on cognition, mood, motor function, physical strength, body composition, and bone density in adults with Down syndrome.
    2018 James Boyett 

    The effect of resistance exercise on concentrations of intramuscular and circulating sex steroids (testosterone and estradiol), as well as the effect of resistance exercise on the intramuscular protein content of the enzyme responsible for conversion from testosterone to estradiol

    2018 Jordan Fox   Exploring the role of micro-sensor technology in indoor team sports: The validity and reliability of accelerometer-derived speed and distance measures  
    2018 Katie  Hirsch 

    The acute and chronic effects of high-protein consumption and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on measures of metabolic health in men and women.

    2018 Matthew  Beeler  The effects of resistance training load on muscular hypertrophy, strength, and cortical brain activity in resistance-trained men.   
    2018 Thomas Dos'Santos  Biomechanical effects of change of direction technique modification  
    2018 Gena Gerstner  The influence of obesity and stress on muscle fatigability and steadiness in career firefighters 
    2018 Ryan Colquhoun  Do Eccentric Contractions Preferentially Recruit, Damage, and Alter Behavior of High-Threshold Motor Units? 
    2018 Justin Merrigan  Biomechanical, skeletal muscle, and hormonal responses to supra-maximal accentuated eccentric loading with weight releasers  
    2018 Paige Rice   Effect of joint-specific strength and power training on stretch-shortening cycle performance and myofibrillar kinetics  
    2019 Malia Blue  
    2019 Zachary Gillen  
    2019 Joshua Keller  
    2019 Maria Madueno  
    2019 Jacob Mota  
    2019 Nicholas Ripley  

Young Investigator Research Grant

This grant program funds individuals employed by nonprofit research organizations (higher education institutions, research institutes, hospitals, or other recognized independent research organizations) who are within seven (7) years from the conferral of their Doctorate degree (Ph.D., MD degree, or equivalent). The purpose and specific aims of the research project must be consistent with the mission of the NSCA. Applicants must have been a continuous NSCA Member at least one year prior to the application deadline as verified by the NSCA office. The maximum award is $20,000 plus indirect costs at a rate of up to 20% (travel and salary are not supported).  Example: The grant is up to $20,000 plus indirect costs ($20K + $4K=$24K). *Salaries may not be included in your proposal. This includes outsourcing technical support (nurses, techs, coaches, trainers, etc.). The Young Investigator Grant timeline can be up to 24 months, with the possibility of a 6-month extension with NSCA Foundation Board approval.

Specific Requirements:

1. Completed Application.
2. Individual must have concurrent NSCA membership for one year prior to the date of application submission and be a member at the time of the award.

    a. Individual is within 7 years from receiving their Doctoral degree.

3. The purpose and scope of the research project must fall within the mission of the NSCA.
4. Applicant has not won this award twice previously.
5. Is not a current member of the NSCA Foundation Board of Directors, Grant Review Committee, NSCA Board of Directors, NSCA employee or employee's family member.

Awarded funds are not paid directly to the recipient; they are released to the academic institution or organization.

  • Young Investigator Grant Recipients
    Year Recipient Title
    2016 Tania Spiteri Efficacy of perceptual cognitive training to improve agility performance in team sport athletes-the missing link
    2016 Jason DeFreitas Does low intensity exercise performed to fatigue recruit high threshold motor  units? 
    2017 Adam Wells Beta-Alanine & Inflammation During a Simulated Military Operation (SMO)
    2018 Joann Parsons

    Lower body power and strength asymmetries and their predictors in university athletes

    2019 Jacob Earp  
    2019 Brendan Scott  

Senior Investigator Research Grant

This grant program funds individuals employed full-time by nonprofit research organizations (higher education institutions, research institutes, hospitals, or other recognized independent research organizations) who are more than (7) years from the conferral of their doctorate degree (Ph.D., MD degree, or equivalent). The purpose and specific aims of the research project must be consistent with the mission of the NSCA. General eligibility requirements state that all applicants to this program must have maintained continuous NSCA Membership for a period of no less than five years prior to the application deadline. The maximum award is $30,000 plus indirect costs at a rate of up to 20% (travel and salary are not supported). *Salaries may not be included in your proposal. This includes outsourcing technical support (nurses, techs, coaches, trainers, etc.). The Senior Investigator Grant timeline can be up to 24 months, with the possibility of a 6-month extension with NSCA Foundation Board approval.

Specific Requirements:

1. Completed Application.
2. Individuals must have concurrent NSCA membership for five years prior to the date of application submission and be a member at the time of the award.

a. The individual is more than 7 years from receiving their doctorate degree.

3. Purpose and scope must fall within the mission of the NSCA.
4. The applicant has not won this award twice previously.
5. Is not a current member of the NSCA Foundation Board of Directors, Grant Review Committee, NSCA Board of Directors, NSCA employee or employee's family member.

Awarded funds are not paid directly to the recipient; they are released to the academic institution or organization.

  • Senior Investigator Grant Recipients
    Year Recipient Title
    2015 Andrew Fry Does overtraining affect force via a β2-adrenoceptor-Na+/K+ pump mechanism?
    2016 Margaret Jones Acute Response to cluster resistive exercise in resistance-trained women 
    2017 Sophia Nimphius Improving throwing and pitching velocity in female softball athletes
    2018 James Kinley   Effects of a total-body routine compared to a split routine on maximal strength, cardiovascular hemodynamics, central arterial stiffness and wave reflection.   
    2019 Loren Chiu  

Directed Research Grant

Two grants of up to $25,000 each will be awarded annually (no indirect costs). Unique to this initiative, the Foundation will allow investigators to budget for student salary support, project-related travel, travel to the NSCA National Conference, and open-access publication fees. Awardees of these grants will be expected to showcase their findings at the NSCA National Conference at a time specifically reserved for NSCA Foundation presentations. Both faculty members and graduate students may apply for the NSCA Foundation Directed Research Grant, but student projects must involve mentorship from a full-time faculty member with graduate faculty status. The Directed Research Grant timeline can be up to 24 months, with the possibility of a 6-month extension with NSCA Foundation Board approval.

The directed research topic will be determined annually by the NSCA Board of Directors.

For the 2020 application period, the Directed Research Grant will focus on supporting research on the impact of strength and conditioning coaches or programs in a high school setting. High school strength and conditioning is rapidly-growing, but many high schools continue to utilize under-qualified coaches and poorly-designed programs. In order to promote the safety and well-being of student-athletes, this grant will support research on the importance of strength and conditioning coaches or programs in a secondary school setting. Areas of investigation can include topics such as injury rates as impacted by a strength and conditioning coach, the impact of programs on the safety or well-being of student-athletes or the student body in general, or the impact of a school’s strength and conditioning program on the community.

The NSCA considers high school strength coaching to be a crucial way to fulfill its mission by reaching and positively impacting the largest number of athletes early in their careers. There are over 27,000 high schools in the United States, and according to the NCAA, there are over 8 million high school athletes. The application of good strength and conditioning practices early in an athlete’s career may significantly impact their risk of injury as well as their athletic longevity, future athletic success, and well-being long after their athletic careers have ended. The NSCA has an on-going initiative to advocate for qualified strength and conditioning professionals in high schools. One of the challenges in implementing this initiative is the lack of direct research on the impact of qualified strength coaches and quality strength and conditioning programs in the high school setting.

The results of the research supported by this grant should help the NSCA educate decision-makers in school districts of the benefits a qualified strength and conditioning professional offers to their students and their school, as well as assist administrators with recognizing a qualified professional. 

Specific Requirements: 
1. Completed Application. 
2. Purpose and scope must fall within the mission of the NSCA. 
3. Applicant has not won this award twice previously.
4. Is not a current member of the NSCA Foundation Board of Directors, Grant Review Committee, NSCA Board of Directors, NSCA/NSCA Affiliate employee or employee's family member. 

Awarded funds are not paid directly to the recipient; they are released to the academic institution or organization. 

Questions regarding this grant can be sent to foundation@nsca.com

  • International Collaboration Grant Recipients
    Year Recipient Title 
    2015 David Fukuda Effects of Hypoxic Sprint Interval Training and β-Alanine Supplementation
    2016 Paul Comfort An investigation into the effects of exclusing the catch phase of the clean on muscle architecture and force time characteristics during isometric and dynamic tasks: an intervention study 
    2016 Sandor Dorgo Combating dynapenia in diverse ethnic groups of older adults 
    2017 Nathanial Jenkins Genetic Polymorphisms and the Effects of Caffeine on Neuromuscular Function
    2018 Steve Fleck  Physical Exercise in the Treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukemia: A clinical and pre-clinical approach 
    2019 Rhodri Lloyd  

Eleiko Equipment Grant

Eleiko Sport USA is the Leading Provider of Professional Equipment for Strength and Conditioning, Weightlifting, Powerlifting and Professional Fitness. The Eleiko Equipment Grant was established to assist recently established inner-city schools with weightlifting clubs access to the best equipment in the world. Eleiko will provide (1) $15,000 equipment grant of strength and conditioning equipment at wholesale pricing. Members of the Board of Directors, Grant Review Committee, NSCA/NSCA Affiliate and NSCAF employees and their families are not eligible to receive this grant.

Items judged by the NSCAF Review Committee for each application include: 
1. Program Type 
2. Program History
3. Coaches Information/Qualifications
4. Facility Information
5. Demographic Information
6. 
Funding Sources/Financials

Requirements:

  • This application must be completed by the individual who is the NSCA member. 
  • In completing this application you must answer the questions below as your program currently stands NOT as you hope to have it as a benefit of obtaining the grant.

*Programs must be already in existence

Grant Recipients 

(2018) North High School in Aurora, Colorado
(2019) P.U.R.E Youth Athletic Alliance, Memphis, TN

Coaching Advancement Grant

The NSCA Foundation and the official governing body of Weightlifting under the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Weightlifting, have partnered together and established the Coaching Advancement Grant. The grant will be available to current NSCA Members who are NOT yet certified by the NSCA in any form and those who are currently USA Weightlifting Level 1 Coaches looking to advance their education. The grant will cover the recipient to take their CSCS, CSPS, CPT or TSAC (1 certification only), and a USA Weightlifting Level 2 Course. Members of the Board of Directors, Grant Review Committee, NSCA/NSCA Affiliate and NSCAF employees and their families are not eligible to receive this grant.

Items judged by the NSCA Foundation Grant Review Committee for each application include: 
1. Program Type 
2. Program History
3. Coaches Information/Qualifications
4. Facility Information
5. Program 
Funding Sources/Financials

Requirements:
1. All applicants must be NSCA & USA weightlifting members at the time of application and award  
2. A current USA Weightlifting Level 1 Coach (in good standing) at the application deadline

Grant Recipients 

2019 Kelli Keener

 

Military CSCS Support Grant

The Military CSCS Support Grant is designated for current or retired Military members (ABCANZ Military group or NATO) to take an NSCA Exam Prep and sit for a CSCS exam.

The exam prep course and the CSCS test must be completed within 1 year from the time of award notification.

Items judged by the NSCA Foundation Grant Review Committee for each application include:
1.Completed Application
2. Length of NSCA Membership
3.Any NSCA Certifications (CPT, CSPS, TSAC)
4. Related Strength & Conditioning Experience (Education, Employment, Internships)
5. Letters of Recommendation
6. Essay Responses

Requirements:
1. All applicants must be NSCA Members at the application deadline and at the time of the award.

Grant Recipients 

2019 Steven Pinheiro, United States Army

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