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General Information about NODA’s OTR Catalyst Grant

The OTR Catalyst Grant is designed to catalyze new research that will advance both knowledge and best practices in orientation, transition, and retention. Prospective research studies, pilot studies, exploratory research projects (qualitative and quantitative), as well as assessment-based best practices that may be generalized to wider populations (as defined by Upcraft and Schuh, 2002) will be considered for this award.

In the 2016-17 Catalyst Grant cycle, up to six Catalyst Grants (two $1,000 grants and four $500 grants) will be awarded to OTR researchers. All grant recipients will also receive the registration fee for one annual NODA Conference or regional conference and a year’s membership to the association. Grant funds may be used to support professional development, researcher(s) stipend, and project expenses. All funds (100%) must be used to support the proposed project. If your institution offers matching funds to go towards your research project via cost sharing, NODA does not object as long as the expenditures are in use of your presenting your findings (this includes travel related costs).

The recipients will be given priority consideration for an educational session presentation at the annual NODA Conference.  Recipients will also be asked to submit their projected research milestones and a manuscript about the selected research to the NODA Review, Journal of College Orientation and Transition (JCOT), or submit a conference proposal for a regional NODA conference, NODA Annual Conference, or a NODA Webinar within one year of receipt of the grant. Publication and/or conference proposal acceptance are not guaranteed.

Grant applications should include the following:
A cover page identifying the research proposal title, the primary investigator’s name, address, institution, telephone number, and email address; and the names of any research team members.

A description of the research proposal (maximum of 3 pages, double-spaced and not including resources; brevity is appreciated), which should include all of the following:

  1. Statement of purpose of the research
  2. Brief description of literature review addressing the question of why this research is important
  3. Description of the population and/or practice or program to be studied
  4. Description of any instrument(s) to be used in the study
  5. Description of the procedure
  6. Description of the proposed analysis
  7. Description of the audience for whom the research would be of interest
  8. Description of the credentials of the researcher(s)
  9. Proposed budget
  10. Information about any other funding sources for which you have used this project to apply

Reviewers will evaluate applications on the following criteria (see rubric): (1) Originality and creativity; (2) Response to current trends and issues in OTR research and practice as determined by the NODA Research Agenda; (3) Clarity, value, understanding of student development and learning outcomes; (4) Application of theory to practice; (5) Writing style and degree to which it is based on research literature and theory; (6) Research design; and (7) Relevance.

If you have any questions, please contact Diana Yefanova at

Click here for a list of the 2015-2016 Catalyst Grant recipients.

Click here for a list of the 2016-2017 Catalyst Grant recipients.

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