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NASSM Service Learning Grant Program


Service learning represents opportunities for students and academics to connect theoretical knowledge and organized service activities in the community. Through reflection about the service participation, participants are able to apply material learned in the classroom, meet community needs, and enhance their civic responsibility. 

The NASSM Service Learning Grant Program is intended to advance service learning opportunities, scholarship, and capacity in the field by providing support to NASSM members. Funding is available for any of the following stages of service learning projects: (1) start up phase needing funding to develop a course; (2) pilot course phase needing money for initial offering of a course; and (3) improvement phase needing funding to build capacity to expand a course or its associated services.


President-Elect (Chairperson) and three NASSM members, with one member rotating off the committee every year. 


Each year, grant amounts will depend upon NASSM Treasurer recommendations; however, a total grant pool amount expected not to be less than $5,000 per year will be the norm. Typically, multiple grants are awarded each year; therefore, applicants should anticipate a total grant pool amount of $5,000 each year to be split among all grant awardees when developing proposal budgets. No less than one (1) and no more than five (5) awards will be given in a year. Awards will be announced at the Annual Conference in conjunction with the Founder’s Reception. 


Applicants should indicate their intent to apply in an email to the current President-Elect and Committee Chair, Bri Newland <> by February 14, 2021. Upon receipt of this email, applicants will be provided with instructions and a link for uploading their grant proposal via Dropbox.

Final submissions are due by March 14, 2021. Grant proposals uploaded after this deadline will not be accepted.


Proposals should follow the following guidelines: 

  1. In addition to completing the coversheet, authors should include a proposal of no more than 2,500 words (including references, tables, and figures) that clearly outlines: (a) a general overview of the service learning project; (b) the theoretical foundation for the work; (c) the key learning objectives and how these are linked with the course content; (d) the potential impact on the community, and (e) plans for sustaining the project past the term of the grant. 
  2. Authors should include an itemized budget of expenses within the following parameters: 
    1. Funds shall not be expended for equipment normally provided by an institution, or for expenses not directly related to the service learning project. 
    2. Allowable expenses include salary, materials, travel, or other items needed to complete the service learning project. 
    3. Travel costs are limited to those required for the project and shall not be expended to present findings at conferences. 
    4. Indirect costs cannot exceed 10% of the total project and should be included in the final budget proposal. 
    5. Expenses should not pre-date the award.
  3. Proposals should follow APA guidelines, be in electronic form, and uploaded to Dropbox using the link provided after indicating an intent to apply.. 
  4. All work must be scheduled to be completed within a year of the date the grant is awarded. 
  5. Only one proposal per service learning leader (whether primary or otherwise) per year is allowed.
  6. Primary investigators with funded grants are eligible to apply again three years from date that grant was initially submitted, provided all grant requirements have been met. 


Proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria: 

  1. Alignment with the mission of NASSM (20%).
  2. Originality of the service learning project in the sport management field (25%).
  3. Clearly articulated (a) a general overview of the service learning project; (b) theoretical foundation for the work; (c) the key learning objectives and how these are linked with the course content; (d) the potential impact on the community, (e) budget justification, and (f) plans for sustaining the project past the term of the grant (50%).
  4. Additional consideration will be given to new investigators (i.e., persons who earned their terminal degree less than five years before the grant submission). To qualify, all investigators of the research team should have earned their terminal degrees within five years (5%).


The principal investigator must be a current professional member and must have been a NASSM member for the previous two consecutive years prior to the application. All co-investigators listed on the application must be a current professional member of NASSM in good standing at the time of the application. (Note: NASSM membership runs from Jan 1- Dec 31.  Applicants must be current members at time of application).


Award recipients are expected to adhere to the following guidelines: 

  1. Demonstrate a commitment to completing the work and submitting to NASSM outlets (e.g., conference, journals) as a first priority. 
  2. Submit status reports on the progress of the research as requested by the committee. 
  3. Retain their membership within NASSM for at least one (1) year post-award. 
  4. Present a summary of findings for NASSM’s use in promoting the grant program and its recipients. 
  5. Include the following statement in all written documents including publications and presentation materials, and print and electronic communications that result from successful funding: “This work was supported by funds received from the NASSM Service Learning Grant Program.”  


The following stipulations also apply: 

  1. All grants are made payable to the principal investigator’s university/institution; thus, checks are being made out to the universities/institutions rather than to individuals receiving the grants.
  2. All unexpended funds must be returned to NASSM in full within 60 days of the final written report. 
  3. Principal Investigators must assume personal responsibility for the proposal, execution of the research plan, and presentation of the results. 

Past Service Learning Grant Winners

2020: no award granted

2019: Cody Havard, University of Memphis

2018: James Johnson, Ball State University

2017: Cynthia Veralso, Mount St. Joseph University

2016: M. Katie Flanagan, Amy Kim, Christopher McLeod, Matthew Horner, Neal Ternes, Florida State University