Starting November 1, 2019, the NSCA Foundation will no longer accept grant applications for the International Collaboration Grant. The decision to eliminate this grant offering was not made lightly, and was done so after nearly six months of discussion between the NSCA Board of Directors and the NSCA Foundation Board of Directors, with input from the NSCA Foundation Grant Committee and NSCA Foundation Grant Panel.
Moving forward, the $50,000 in funding from the International Collaboration Grant will be used to support the new NSCA Foundation Directed Research Grant. This will allow the NSCA Foundation to award two new grants of $25,000 annually. 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 during 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 topic will be determined annually by the NSCA Board of Directors. For the 2020 grant application period, the directed research grant will focus on supporting research on the impact of strength and conditioning coaches and/or programs in a high school setting. High school strength and conditioning is growing rapidly, but many high schools continue to rely on under-qualified coaches or poorly designed and poorly supervised programs. In order to promote the safety and well-being of student-athletes, this grant will support research on the impact of strength and conditioning coaches and/or programs in a secondary school setting. Areas of investigation can include topics such as injury rates, 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, as it allows the organization to reach and positively impact a large population of athletes early in their careers. There are more than 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 overall well-being. One of the NSCA's ongoing initiatives is to advocate for qualified strength and conditioning professionals in high schools. However, 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 will help the NSCA educate decision-makers in school districts about the benefits that a qualified strength and conditioning professional can offer to to their students and their school, while helping administrators recognize and understand the role of these qualified professionals.
About the National Strength & Conditioning Association Foundation
The National Strength and Conditioning Association Foundation was founded in 2007 with the aim of supporting the advancement of strength and conditioning practical applications. The NSCA Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to providing funding to NSCA members taking part in educational and research endeavors.
Since its establishment, the NSCA Foundation has awarded over 130 grants and more than 400 scholarships, totaling over $2 million to outstanding individuals within the strength and conditioning community. The NSCA Foundation is one of the few foundations that fund work at the Master's level and across all levels up to senior investigators, as well as one of the few sources that funds work in the strength and conditioning fields. A major goal of the foundation is to continue to maximize assets in order to increase grants and scholarships for NSCA members.