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NISTS encourages transfer-related original research, creative, and scholarly work through the NISTS Research Grant. 

NISTS is seeking high-quality research projects focused on addressing the complexities of the transfer student experience. General areas of inquiry include, but are not limited to: improving student experiences across the entire transfer student lifecycle (i.e. key phases of the transfer transition at community colleges or universities); diverse student experiences; and assessment of transfer-related programs and services to identify promising practices. We are looking for projects focused on better understanding the issues and obstacles transfer students face and improving institutional policies, practices, and programs.


Research teams may be comprised of one-four individuals and may include graduate students and post-docs. Because of their valuable first-hand experience, practitioner-scholars are strongly encouraged to submit research projects for consideration.


The research grant award application is currently closed and will reopen in summer 2025.

Award Process 
  • NISTS Research Grants in the amount of up to $2,000 are awarded biannually, with 1-2 projects selected per competition.

  • Selected projects should be conducted over the course of one year, with results ready for discussion at NISTS 2025 in Portland, Oregon.

  • Award recipients will be honored at NISTS 2024 in St. Louis, Missouri, February 21-23, 2024.

  • Awardees will be supported in presenting their work at NISTS 2025 (see below).


Award Package

  • A one-time monetary award of up to $2,000 issued to the Principal Investigator’s (PI) institution.

  • Recognition on the NISTS website and at NISTS 2024.

  • Complimentary registration for the PI and Co-PI (only) to present at NISTS 2025.

  • Guaranteed concurrent education session timeslot at NISTS 2025.

  • Publication opportunity with NISTS (i.e., research brief, blog post, etc.).





The NISTS Research Grant Award is open to faculty, staff, graduate students, or post-docs who are planning to conduct research on any aspect of the transfer experience.*

*NISTS Advisory Board members, staff members, sponsors, and vendors, as well as University of North Georgia faculty and staff, are not eligible for this award.

Proposal Guidelines


Proposals should use APA formatting and may not exceed ten pages (double-spaced, 12 point font; references not included in ten-page total). All submissions must include the following information, though we recognize that adjustments may be necessary as the project unfolds.

  • Title & Abstract (300 words)

  • Project Description

    • Purpose

    • Research Question(s)

    • Relevance to Transfer Field

    • Timeliness and Demonstrated Need

    • Significance and Anticipated Benefit to Practitioners

  • Research Design & Methods

    • Rationale for selected design

    • Specific methods to be used

  • Timeline for Implementation

    • Projects must be completed by February 2025

  • Budget and Justification

    • List additional funding sources, if applicable

    • Overhead or indirect funds are not allowed

  • Researchers

    • Primary Investigator 

    • Research Partner(s)

    • *Submit in a separate document: abbreviated vitae for each researcher (two-page maximum per person); not included in proposal page limit.

  • References



Selection Criteria

Research proposals will be blindly reviewed on the following criteria: 

  • Relevance to the transfer field

  • Demonstrated timeliness and need for particular topic/approach

  • Potential significance and impact of the research to practitioners

  • Use of sound research design and appropriate methodology

  • Creativity and coherence of the overall project

  • Realistic timeline and budget


Award Requirements
  • Obtain necessary IRB approval for the research project.

  • Present a concurrent session on research findings at NISTS 2025 in Portland, Oregon.

  • Submit an interim report.

  • Submit a final report and a research brief describing the research findings 

  • Give NISTS permission to disseminate project information, including but not limited to, publishing project information (summary or full report) on the NISTS website or in NISTS publications.

  • Acknowledge NISTS funding in publications related to the research project.



Please note:  For publicity purposes, winners will be asked to submit a high-quality headshot within three weeks of award notification (with minimum dimensions of 500px by 500px and 300ppi).

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