Nutritional Research Achievement Award

This award is given to a nutritionist in recognition for their breakthroughs and contributions in field of nutritional research for athletes.

Congratulations to our 2023 Winner!

David Church, PhD, CSCS,*D

Dr. David Church is a physiologist and muscle biologist with over 50 peer-reviewed publications and multiple invited talks at regional, national, and international conferences. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and Biochemistry from DePauw University, where he also played varsity football and baseball. Following this, he was an athletic performance intern at Baylor University, where he also studied exercise and nutritional biochemistry. He obtained his PhD from the University of Central Florida with a focus on how to enhance human performance through exercise and nutrition. Dr. Church completed his post-doctoral training in the use of stable isotope tracer methodology to measure human metabolism. His primary research focus is ameliorating catabolic and pathological conditions. He currently is an Assistant Professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and serves as the Assistant Director for the Center for Translational Research in Aging & Longevity. He is passionate about human performance and is involved in research investigating metabolism and the regulation of muscle. Additionally, he is active in various organizations such as the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the International Society of Sports Nutrition, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the American Physiological Society.

Download the Press Release

Award Eligibility

Be a current member of the NSCA
Nominee is active member and contributor to NSCA
Has publication record in areas of nutrition (sports nutrition, ergogenic aids, etc.)
Not awarded this award previously

Additional requirements listed in the General Awards Criteria, include but not limited to, two years of consecutive membership*, be nominated by a member in good standing and nominees will be sent a criteria sheet to fill out that must be returned before the required deadline. 

*Consecutive membership is counted back from the date the award is to be conferred.

Past Award Recipients Include:

2022 - Adam M. Gonzalez, PhD, CSCS,*D LZ8A8951-Adam-Gonzalez-EducationalResearch-Award-web (002).jpg
2021 - Grant Tinsley, PhD, CSCS,*D  Triplett and Tinsley Nutritional Research Award
2020 - Andrew Jagim, PhD, CSCS,*D  Triplett and Jagim Nutritional Research Award
2019 - Bill I. Campbell, PhD, CSCS  Triplett and Campbell
2017 - Michael Ormsbee, PhD, CSCS, FACSM, FISSN  Haff and Ormsbee
2016 - Chad M. Kerksick, PhD, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D  Haff and Kerksick
2015 - Colin Wilborn, PhD, ATC, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, FISSN  Fleck and Wilborn
2014 - Abbie Smith-Ryan, PhD, CSCS,*D, FISSN  Fleck and Smith-Ryan
2013 - Joshua Hingst, RD, CSCS, CSCCa, USAW  
2012 - Marie A. Spano, MS, CSCS  
2011 - Joel T. Cramer, PhD, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D, FNSCA  
2010 - Richard B. Kreider, PhD  
2009 - Nicholas A. Ratamess Jr, PhD, CSCS,*D  
2008 - Jeffery R. Stout, PhD, CSCS,*D  
2007 - Andrew C. Fry, PhD, CSCS, FNSCA  
2006 - Michael H. Stone, PhD  
2005 - Jose Antonio, PhD, CSCS  
2004 - Joan M. Eckerson, PhD, CSCS  
2003 - Jeff Volek, PhD, CSCS,*D  

How is the recipient selected?

Excerpt from the NSCA Reaserch Committee Policies and Procedures (updated 7/2019):

  • Research-based awards governed by the Awards Subcommittee of the NSCA Research Committee govern the selection of the following awards, based on the 3 nominees (for each award) that will be forwarded to the Awards Subcommittee from Headquarters. Headquarters will be responsible for the initial assessment of the Award Criteria Sheet and include the following awards:
    • William J. Kraemer Outstanding Sport Scientist Award
    • Terry J. Housh Young Investigator of the Year Award
    • Nutritional Research Achievement Award
  • For the William J. Kraemer Outstanding Sport Scientist Award, Terry J. Housh Young Investigator of the Year Award, and the Nutritional Research Award, all recipients are nominated by the NSCA membership through the online nomination system and/or by the Awards Subcommittee of the Research Committee. All nominees then are asked by the NSCA staff to submit relevant materials and all recipients are decided by a standardized scoring system. The top 3 nominees, based on the Awards Criteria Scoresheet will be forwarded to the Awards Subcommittee chair.
  • The Awards Subcommittee will organize and verify the top candidates meet the criteria (two separate reviews of each candidate).
  • The Chair of the Subcommitee will then produce a summary of each candidate that will include a brief description of the accomplishments of each candidate in the areas listed in the Awards Criteria Sheet (Publications in NSCA & Applied Exercise and Sport Science Publications, Presentations at NSCA and other Conventions, Certification/Education and Research-related service.
  • The summaries of the nominees will be sent to the entire RC and past award winners for a vote of the top awardee for each award. If a current member of the RC is nominated for an award, they will be recused from the voting process and all correspondence of that particular award, but are still eligible for nomination and award. If a current member of the RC is also a past winner they shall vote only as an RC member.
  • Voting will occur in a weighted manner with 40% contributed by past winners of the award and 60% weight given by RC members. As such, the total weight of the past winners (40%) will be divided by the number of past winners who agree to participate in the voting, and the resulting percent will contribute the weight of each past winners vote. Similarly, the total weight of the RC members (60%) will be divided by the number of Committee members (7), and the resulting percent (approximately 8.57%) will contribute the weight of each Committee member to the voting. The sum of the vote percentages from past winners and Committee members will determine the award winner.
  • The chair of the Awards subcommittee will keep record of the entire voting process and will then forward the selected winners for each award to the BOD. If there is a tie, two names for the award will be forwarded to the BOD recommended for dual recipients.
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