NATA Research & Education Foundation » Awards » Research Award Criteria & Nomination Information

Research Award Criteria & Nomination Information

The NATA Research & Education Foundation is committed to encouraging research among athletic trainers who can contribute to the athletic training knowledge base. A strategy for achieving this goal is to provide formal recognition for outstanding athletic training researchers. To that end, the NATA Foundation has established an awards program to acknowledge and reward those individuals whose work helps fulfill that goal.

The Medal for Distinguished Athletic Training Research, the New Investigator Award and the Doctoral Dissertation Award are presented annually to deserving researchers among the NATA membership. The Student Free Communications Awards Program was established to encourage early participation in research activities by undergraduate and graduate students.

To nominate an individual for a 2014 Research Award, simply submit his/her name, e-mail, mailing address and phone number to Patsy Brown (patsyb@nata.org or 972.532.8847) between August 1-October 7. Upon receipt of the nomination, NATA Foundation staff will send the candidate an award application, along with a request for a CV and three letters of recommendation outlining the candidate’s scholarly contributions.


Medal for Distinguished Athletic Training Research

A. Purpose
The NATA Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Athletic Training Research recognizes an established researcher who has sustained a prolific body of work that has contributed to research in the field of athletic training and health care.

B. Eligibility
(as of October 7 of the nomination year)

  • The nominee must possess a doctoral degree.
  • At least fifteen (15) years must have passed from the date of degree conferral and the nomination deadline.
  • The nominee must be a current NATA member and BOC certified athletic trainer in good standing.
  • Current members of the NATA Foundation Research Committee and Board of Directors are not eligible for consideration for this award.

C. Selection Criteria

  • The nominee must have demonstrated a prolific and sustained body of research in athletic training.
  • The nominee must have demonstrated a focused and productive research career that has advanced theory and significantly impacted the athletic training profession.
  • The following will also be considered:
    • Quality and consistency of work over time
    • Ability to secure funding to support research
    • Sustained level of excellence in a single focused area
    • Clearly demonstrated research independence

D. Award Description
The recipient will receive an elegantly framed medallion and a cash award of $5,000.

E. Award Presentation
The award is formally presented during the NATA Annual Meeting’s Distinguished Scholar Presentations, where the recipient will present a lecture highlighting his/her research. The NATA Foundation has a lecture exchange agreement with ACSM and AOSSM. Therefore, the recipient is expected to present a lecture at these two annual meetings as well.

F. Selection Process
Nominations: Nominations are solicited from the membership of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association.  To nominate an individual, members need only submit the nominee’s name, e-mail, physical address and phone number to the NATA Foundation office. All nominations received by October 7 will be considered for the award. A person may nominate only one candidate annually for this award.
Solicitation of Information: Candidates who accept the nomination are required to submit an information form, CV and three letters of recommendation outlining his/her scholarly contributions.
Evaluation of Materials: The NATA Foundation Research Committee is responsible for evaluating the candidates and making a recommendation to the NATA Foundation Board of Directors.
Selection: The NATA Foundation Board of Directors may formally select one award recipient annually.
Notification: The Research Committee Chair will notify the recipient.

G. NATA Foundation Staff Responsibilities:

  • Market program
  • Secure award
  • Coordinate the Distinguished Scholar Presentation
  • Coordinate all relevant correspondence
  • Handle logistics of award presentation and lecture
  • Process and distribute cash award

New Investigator Award

A. Purpose
The New Investigator Award recognizes a researcher who is likely to continue to make significant contributions to the body of knowledge in athletic training and health care.

B. Eligibility for Consideration

  • The nominee must have a doctoral degree.
  • The nominee must hold an academic rank no higher than assistant professor for the semester prior to the October nomination.
  • The nominee must be first author on a research publication beyond his/her dissertation.
  • The nominee must be a current NATA member and BOC certified athletic trainer in good standing.

C. Selection Criteria

  • The nominee demonstrates the beginning of an independent research trajectory beyond mentor’s area of research.
  • The nominee demonstrates activities that enhance competitiveness for securing external funding.
  • The nominee’s research should have potential to impact the athletic training profession.
  • The nominee demonstrates a single focused, quality line of research in an area of importance to athletic training.

D. Description of Award
The recipient will receive an elegantly framed medallion and a cash award of $2,000.

E. Award Presentation
The award will be formally presented during the NATA Annual Meeting’s Distinguished Scholar Presentation, where the recipient will present a lecture highlighting his/her research. The NATA Foundation has a lecture exchange agreement with AMSSM. Therefore, the recipient will also be expected to present a lecture at the AMSSM annual meeting.

F. Selection Process

Nominations: Nominations are solicited from the membership of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association.  To nominate an individual, members need only submit the nominee’s name, e-mail, mailing address and phone number to the NATA Foundation office. All nominations received by October 7 will be considered for the award. A person may nominate only one candidate annually for this award.
Solicitation of Information: Candidates who accept the nomination are required to submit an information form, CV and three letters of recommendation attesting to his/her scholarly contributions.
Evaluation of Materials: The NATA Foundation Research Committee is responsible for evaluating the candidates and making a recommendation to the NATA Foundation Board of Directors.
Selection: The NATA Foundation Board of Directors may formally select one award recipient annually.
Notification: The Research Committee Chair will notify the recipient.

G. NATA Foundation Staff Responsibilities:

  • Market program
  • Secure award
  • Coordinate the Distinguished Scholar Presentation
  • Coordinate all relevant correspondence
  • Handle logistics of award presentation and lecture
  • Process and distribute cash award

Doctoral Dissertation Award
Presented in Honor of David H. Perrin, PhD, ATC, FNATA
Sponsored by Friends of Dr. Perrin

A. Purpose
The Doctoral Dissertation Award recognizes outstanding doctoral student research in athletic training and health care.

B. Honoree
This award is presented in honor of David H. Perrin, PhD, ATC, FNATA, an NATA member who has made significant contributions to athletic training research and education. A clear hallmark of Dr. Perrin’s career is his pioneering of terminal degrees in sports medicine. Because of Dr. Perrin’s leadership, many graduates now serve as faculty members in higher education across the country and are making significant contributions as program directors, clinical supervisors and award-winning scholars. This award is a fitting tribute to Dr. Perrin’s passion for mentoring and developing future scholars.

C. Eligibility
(as of October 7 of the nomination year)

  • The nominee should be no more than three (3) years post-conferral of his/her first doctoral degree.
  • The nominee must be the principal author of a published (or accepted for publication) manuscript (the seminal paper) that emanates from his/her dissertation research.
  • The nominee must be a current NATA member and BOC certified athletic trainer in good standing.

D. Selection Criteria

  • The study and dissertation publication should reflect a high level of quality.
  • The dissertation publication should have impact and relevance to athletic training and health care of the physically active.
  • The dissertation publication should indicate future potential for a focused line of research.

E. Award Description
The recipient will receive a plaque and a cash award of $1,000.

F. Award Presentation
The Doctoral Dissertation Award will be formally presented during the NATA Annual Meeting at the Distinguished Scholar Presentation.

G. Selection Process
Nominations: A letter of nomination must be submitted by the candidate’s dissertation adviser, or by a member of his/her dissertation committee. The letter should outline the reasons the nominee is deserving of consideration for this award. The written nomination must be received by the NATA Foundation within one (1) year of the publication (or acceptance for publication) of the candidate’s manuscript. All nominations received by October 7 of each year will be considered for the award. An individual may nominate only one candidate annually for this award.
Solicitation of Information: Nominees are required to submit a paragraph defining their focused line of research, a personal vita and only the seminal published manuscript from the dissertation. A copy of the manuscript submitted for publication, along with a letter confirming its acceptance for future publication, will be considered.
Evaluation of Materials: The NATA Foundation Research Committee is responsible for evaluating the candidates and recommending a winner to the NATA Foundation Board of Directors.
Selection: The NATA Foundation Board of Directors formally selects one award recipient annually.
Notification: The Research Committee Chair will notify the recipient.

H. Foundation Staff Responsibilities:
  • Market award
  • Secure award
  • All relevant correspondence
  • Logistics of award presentation
  • Process cash award
  • Donor relations

Student Free Communications Awards

A. Purpose
In an effort to “Encourage research among athletic trainers who can contribute to the athletic training knowledge base” (NATA Foundation Goal # 2), the NATA Foundation has established a Student Free Communications Awards program. The purpose of the program is to recognize and encourage the research efforts of athletic training students by awarding outstanding research awards based on NATA Foundation Free Communications program abstracts and presentations.

B. Awards
There will be five (5) student awards presented annually. These awards will be presented to the highest rated entry in each of the following categories:

  • Doctoral Student Free Communications Poster Presentation
  • Doctoral Student Free Communications Oral Presentation
  • Master’s Student Free Communications Poster Presentation
  • Master’s Student Free Communications Oral Presentation
  • Undergraduate Student Free Communications Poster Presentation

The winner in each category will receive a $100 cash prize and an appropriate memento commemorating the occasion. Information regarding the recipients and their presentations will be published in the appropriate media.

C. Process
The Free Communications subcommittee of the NATA Foundation Research Committee reviews and evaluates, during the early spring of each year, all research abstract submissions to the Free Communications program. After abstracts are deemed acceptable for presentation at the NATA Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposia, the Free Communications subcommittee will select, as finalists, the five (5) most outstanding abstracts in each of the five (5) categories outlined in B. above. The NATA Research Committee Vice Chair for Awards will notify each finalist of their selection through the NATA Foundation office. Only the five (5) finalists in each category, a maximum total of 25 submissions, will be formally judged during the NATA Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposia. The Vice Chair for Awards will appoint an appropriately qualified panel of judges for this purpose. All finalists will be informed of the judges’ results as soon as is practical after presentations by all finalists have been completed.

D. Judging of Finalists
Following are the links used in judging Student Award finalist presentations:
Form Used to Judge Free Communications Oral Presentations
Form Used to Judge Free Communications Poster Presentations