Free Communications Program

The NATA Foundation’s Free Communications program, is often the first chance an AT has to present their research and clinical case studies on a topic during the NATA convention.  Through 2023, more than 8,773 oral and poster presentations have been provided through the Free Communications program. The Free Communications program provides a forum for researchers and clinicians to disseminate research and clinical case studies. Those abstracts selected by the Committee are published in the Supplement to the Journal of Athletic Training and are presented at the NATA Convention via oral or poster presentation.

The Free Communications Committee solicits and reviews abstracts for inclusion in the Free Communications program.

Additional Information on Free Communications Program Process


The NATA Foundation is thankful for SEATA sponsoring the Free Communications Program. 


The call for 2024 Free Communications abstracts has now closed. Notification letters will be provided to authors in early Spring.

Please reach out to Kathryn LaLonde at with any questions.
Free Communications Abstract Submission Fee Increase

To:         The Research Community and our Stakeholders
From:    NATA Research & Education Foundation Finance Committee

The NATA Foundation Board of Directors approved an increase in the Free Communications Program abstract submission fee for the 2023 submission and review cycle from $25 to $35. This increase will go into effect for abstracts that are submitted for presentation at the NATA Annual Meeting in New Orleans in June of 2024.This increase is necessary due to inflationary pressures and their impact on the Foundation’s operating and programmatic costs in recent years. This is the first increase in abstract submission fees since they were implemented over two decades ago in 2001, despite significantly increasing operating and programmatic costs during this period. Our goal is to keep our programmatic fees as low as possible, while remaining fiscally responsible stewards of the Foundation’s resources. Our fees remain in alignment with similar organizations at the national level (e.g., ACSM: $50; AOSSM: $35; OARSI: $35).

Video Series: Tips & Tricks for submitting a Free Communications Abstract

The Free Communications Committee, with support from the Educational Resources Committee, presents a new video series to assist individuals with submitting an abstract. Join Free Communications Committee members as they share tips and tricks for submitting a Mixed Methods, Survey or Qualitative Abstract. The videos will cover topics such as abstract guidelines, submission elements, and common reasons for rejection. Presentations are available below.

Please be sure to review the 2023 Submission Guidelines document when preparing your abstract. Additional detailed submission guidelines and instructions can be found at the bottom of this page.

Award Categories:
The Free Communications award categories include 5 types of awards across the research spectrum, which will all be presented as Oral Presentations. Details and past awardees can be found on the Awards Page.
Free Communications Awards Scoring Rubric

Student Exchange Program Announcement:
To align with the Free Communication Committee’s mission and the NATA Foundation’s strategic priorities, the Free Communications Committee has voted to eliminate the Student Exchange Program. Students can still present their research during the NATA convention through the Free Communications Program by submitting their abstract through the peer-review track. Every abstract submitted to the Free Communications Program is reviewed by the committee, allowing the committee to better advance its mission to the “discovery, dissemination and application of scientific knowledge in athletic training domains through written and oral forum.” Students are encouraged to submit through the peer-review track of the Free Communications Program.