ACUI Research and Education Grant

In support of the ACUI Research Agenda, grants are awarded to fund research-based projects that increase the knowledge base of the student activities, college unions, ACUI, and the profession in general.

The recipient will receive a one-time monetary award of up to $1,500. Research also will be given consideration for publication in the ACUI Bulletin and the winner will be invited to present the research findings at an ACUI annual conference. 

Eligibility and Criteria

The ACUI Research and Education Grant is open to all active members of ACUI. Additionally, nominees should meet the following eligibility requirements and criteria:

  • All research must be the original work of the investigators and may not have been reported elsewhere.
  • The study must focus on some issue of relevance to the field of college unions and student activities.
  • Researchers may submit more than one project for grant consideration; however, a complete application packet must be submitted for each.
  • The winner will be expected to present the research findings at an ACUI annual conference.  

Previous Recipients

2016 recipient: 
Anh Le, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, who is working on research exploring how high-achieving international students navigate their social and academic environments. 

2015 recipient: Matt Ducatt, Texas Tech University
2014 recipient: Zane Reif, University of North Texas 
2012 recipient: Kerry Hodak, The Ohio State University 

Submission Information

The application packet must include the following:

  • A cover page identifying the research proposal title, the primary researcher’s name, institution, telephone number, and email address.
  • Applications should also include a description of the research proposal (limited to 10 pages) including:
    • Purpose of the research
    • Relevant literature
    • Description of the methodology
    • Detailed budget showing how the awarded funds will be utilized
    • Justification as to how the project supports the published ACUI research agenda, and makes a significant contribution to the profession.
    • Anticipated project timeline
    • Curriculum vitae including any relevant research previously conducted; all co-researchers should be listed and include a curriculum vitae
    • Undergraduate and graduate student proposals must include a letter of support by the faculty member sponsoring the research
    • Terms of agreement printed and signed 

This year's nomination deadline has closed for this award, which will be presented at the 2017 annual conference. 

All materials submitted become the property of the Association of College Unions International and will not be returned to the applicant.


Applications will be collected twice annually, in May and December. Applications will be evaluated on the following principles:

  • Background and preparation: The extent to which the researcher’s background, experience and training qualify them to conduct this research
  • Writing quality: Is the quality of writing sufficient that ACUI could publish an article based on the research?
  • Significance and relevance of the proposed research to the college unions and student activities profession as it relates to ACUI’s research agenda
  • Quality and significance of the literature cited in support of the research
  • Ability to clearly articulate a strong research design
  • Feasibility of the proposed timeline
  • Implications: Suitability of the expected outcomes based upon their relevance to the college union and student activities profession
  • Proposed budget feasibility, detail, planning and scope
  • Research that may be presented in some format at an ACUI regional and/or annual conference
  • Potential impact on the future of the profession: The results of the research should have relevance to a wide audience of student affairs administrators and higher education faculty.

The panel of judges will include practicing student affairs professionals and preparation program faculty. Applications will be blind reviewed by the same number of judges using a standard rubric and criteria. It is the goal that at least one recipient will be chosen per year, but multiple awards may be given depending on quality of submissions at each deadline and funds available. The selection committee has the option to distribute funds up to the $1,500 amount or to choose not to distribute the award at all. The decision of the judges will be final.


Updated Jan. 7, 2017