Graduate and Professional Student Association

Educational Outreach and Student Services

The HEAL Grant - Health, Exercise, Athletics, and Learning

The information on this page is specific to the HEAL Grant. For important information that relates to ALL grant programs, please visit the General Research Grant Information page.

Application Deadline

  • 1st of each month, by 11:59 PM AZ time


The Sun Devil Athletics Operations Board invites both undergraduate and graduate research proposals that broadly focus on, are related to, or impact the sports and fitness field. The Research topics may include but are not limited to:

  1. Nutrition, physical health, and well-being in sports.

  2. Competitive and recreational sports, exercise, dance, and games.

  3. Sports and fitness injuries: concussions, sprains, splints, knee, shoulder, elbow injuries, etc.

  4. Equity, social justice, and belonging in sports.

  5. Performance-enhancing drugs and substance use.

  6. Sports media, organizing, and public discourse.

  7. Sports and Games Administration (Marketing, Stadium Design, Event Management, etc.).

  8. Behavioral sports psychology.

  9. Sports supplements and performance nutrition.

Goals and Objectives

The program’s goals are:

  1. to provide financial support for sports- and fitness-related research projects that support the successful completion of research required for undergraduate and graduate degrees;

  2. to promote excellence in student research that will benefit the world of sports and fitness and the Arizona State University (ASU) community;

  3. to build ASU’s reputation as a leading research institution in the field of sports and fitness.

Program Details

All research endeavors must be approved by Sun Devil Athletics (SDA) before the award is given to awardees.

Program Guidelines


To be eligible for funding, the applicant must be enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student at Arizona State University at the time of application and for the specified one-year funding period. Completed studies are not eligible to receive funding. Online students are now eligible for HEAL Grant funding.


Grant awards are designed to provide two levels of reimbursable financial support: terminal ($3,500) and independent research ($1,500). Terminal research is considered as an honors thesis, master’s thesis, or dissertation. Furthermore, only one award may be granted per degree (i.e., an applicant may not receive a terminal research grant for his/her thesis or dissertation more than once, however s/he may receive the $3,500 terminal research award for both a thesis project and also a dissertation project).

Although many independent research projects are carried out in collaboration with other individuals, this grant will only fund one person per project. That is, no two students collaborating on the same project will be awarded $1,500 individually.

All research endeavors must be approved by the student’s dissertation/thesis chair (terminal research), or advisor (independent research) and will be approved by Sun Devil Athletics (SDA) before the award is given to awardees. For this reason, please make sure that the research design of the proposal meets SDA guidelines before it is submitted.

The research is expected to culminate in an article suitable for publication in a scholarly journal, or in a completed master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation. Recipients will also be expected to submit a brief summary of the research project within one year of receiving the grant.


Eligible Expenses

Research expenses may include, but are not limited to:

  • Participation Awards (maximum $25.00 per participant per session, not to exceed $100 to participant in a calendar year; only cash equivalents are acceptable [e.g. gift cards, etc.])
  • Equipment rental
  • Materials and supplies
  • Professional services for data analysis, typing, transcription, or copying
  • Travel to research facilities to collect pertinent data or conduct research
  • Per diem (meals) while in travel status
  • Statistical analysis software

Prohibited Expenses

The HEAL Grant will not reimburse the following:

  1. Cash incentives
  2. Equipment purchase (no laptops, no camera, etc.)
  3. Purchase cost of a transaction greater than or equal to $1,000
  4. Tuition or remuneration of time spent on project
  5. Lodging for 30 days or more
  6. Terminal publication charges (e.g., binding/printing of thesis or dissertation)
  7. Final project expenses (i.e., printing, editing, translation, etc.)
  8. Salaries and wages for research assistants, ASU affiliates or employees
  9. Conference travel (only applicable to undergraduate students)


Selection Criteria

  • Significant and meritorious research focus
  • Sound research methodology
  • An appropriate and fully justified budget
  • Benefit to the ASU Community
  • Feasible project objectives given the one-year grant period, as defined as one year from receiving the grant funding (e.g. recipients of the award in Spring 2023, will have to spend the money they are awarded by February, 2024 to complete the study outlined in the grant and turn in their summary report).

When reviewing the proposals and submitted documentation, the review panel will consider the following questions:

  1. Is the student’s research question clearly defined?
  2. Has the student clearly described the literature that already exists on this topic?
  3. How does the methodology relate specifically to the research question?
  4. Is there a high likelihood that the study can be carried out as designed?
  5. Does the analytic plan fit the question and the data?
  6. Is the applicant qualified to successfully carry out the proposed study?
  7. Will this study contribute to the field and the ASU Community?


Please use a browser with frames enabled to view and apply for our grants.

Grant Decisions

The GPSA Graduate Peer Reviewers will conduct an initial review of all proposals to ensure they meet the submission requirements. Application scores that meet the requirements will then be reviewed by the Research Grant Committee, which is comprised of athletics administrators and graduate students.

The Research Grant Committee will make final funding decisions, and applicants will be notified of the status of their submission by mid March. Reviewer comments will be made available to interested applicants after the grant recipients are chosen.

Receive an Award?

Click here for more information on awardee responsibilities.

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