Research and Assessment















Paul P. Fidler Research Grant

We are now accepting proposals for the 2013-2014 Paul P. Fidler Research Grant. Please review the information below in detail before submitting your application. The online form to submit a proposal for the Paul P. Fidler Research Grant can be found here.

General information about the 2013-2014 Paul P. Fidler Research Grant
The Paul P. Fidler Research Grant is designed to encourage the development and dissemination of knowledge that has the potential to improve the experiences of college students in transition. The grant is named in memory of Dr. Paul P. Fidler, a faculty member at the University of South Carolina, whose pioneering research on student learning and success had a vital impact on work being done to promote the success of all students in transition. To learn about the 2012-2013 grant recipient, visit

Comprehensive Award Package
The Paul P. Fidler Research Grant award includes a cash stipend, travel to two national conferences, a presentation at a national conference, and priority consideration for publication. Specifically, the grant's comprehensive award package includes:

  • Stipend of $5,000, payable either directly to individual researchers or through the researcher(s)' institution(s). The National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition will not pay institutional overhead or indirect costs.
  • Travel to the 20th National Conference on Students in Transition, October 2013, at which the award will be presented
  • Announcement and recognition at 2013 Students in Transition conference luncheon
  • Travel to the 21st National Conference on Students in Transition, October 2014, at which the research findings will be reported
  • Announcement on the National Resource Center webpage, listservs, and print publications
  • Priority consideration for publication by the National Resource Center.

The Paul P. Fidler Research Grant competition is open to faculty, staff, graduate students who plan to conduct research on issues of college student transitions. Cross-institutional research teams are encouraged to apply for the Paul P. Fidler Research Grant. The following individuals are not eligible for the Paul P. Fidler Research Grant and may not be included as part of proposed research teams: National Resource Center staff and fellows; current members of our National Advisory Board; and students, staff, and faculty of the University of South Carolina system.

Completed applications must be received by the National Resource Center by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, July 1, 2013.

Application Procedures
Applicants for the Paul P. Fidler Research Grant must complete a research proposal as outlined by the National Resource Center. Only complete proposals will be considered. Proposal items include:

  • Brief Description (100 word maximum) of how principal investigator's experiences have prepared him/her to conduct the proposed research.

  • Research Study Title

  • Abstract (100 word maximum). The abstract should be a brief summary of the proposal's key points.

  • Introduction (400 word maximum). Introduce the issues/theories/programs to be addressed by your research. Be sure to include the rationale for the study, a discussion of relevant literature, and the proposal's connection to college student transitions.

  • Method and Procedures (800 word maximum). Describe the research methodology. Be sure to address the research question(s), sample/subject selection, data collection, instruments/protocols, and data analysis.

  • Potential Implications (200 word maximum). Be sure to discuss the potential impact of your findings on college student success.

  • Timeline (100 word maximum or small table). Provide a timeline of activities related to this research. Please include anticipated state date(s) and completion date(s) for all relevant activities (i.e., data collection, analysis, dissemination). Please not that research must be completed so that presentation of findings can be made at the National Conference on Students in Transition in October, 2014.

  • References (as needed, no word limit). Fully cite all sources referenced in your proposal. Please use APA style (6th edition) throughout the proposal.

  • Budget (no word limit). Provide an itemized budget for all expenditures that total up to $5,000.

The proposal also requires submission of contact information for the principal investigator and any additional researchers(s), as well as a PDF of a current curriculum vitae for the principal investigator.
Completed proposals must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, July 1, 2013. Early submissions are welcomed. A confirmation e-mail will be sent out to the principal investigator upon submission of the proposal.

Research Requirements & Selection Criteria
Proposals will be evaluated on the extent to which they:

  • focus on issue(s) related to college student transitions. Though all issues related to college student transitions will be considered, special consideration will be given to proposals addressing transitions outside of the first year of college.
  • clearly articulate a strong research design. Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method studies will be considered. Methodology must be appropriate for the research question(s).
  • include research that can be completed by October 2014. Results must be ready for presentation at the 2014 National Conference on Students in Transition.
  • explore unique issues, subjects, analysis, participants and/or sample. Research must be original work of the investigators and may not have been reported elsewhere.
  • have potential to have a national impact on student success initiatives. Results of the research should be relevant to a broad audience.

Grant Decisions
The staff of the National Resource Center will conduct an initial review of all completed proposals to ensure they meet the criteria guidelines and submission requirements of the Fidler grant. Proposals that meet the submission guidelines and requirements will be blind-reviewed and evaluated by an external review board of leading research scholars and practitioners in the field of higher education. For a list of the 2012-2013 Fidler external review board members, please click here.

The external review board will nominate up to five finalists for the Paul P. Fidler Research Grant. The finalists' proposals will then be blind-reviewed and evaluated by a panel of scholar-judges selected from our current National Advisory Board. For a list of current advisory board members, please click here.

Applicants submitting full proposals by July 1 will be notified of their award status by September 31st. Reviewer comments will be made available to interested applicants after the grant recipient is announced at the National Conference on Students in Transition.

Past Recipients

2012-13 Award - Jacob Okumu - Developmental Meaning-Making Dynamics of Emancipated Foster Care Youth Transitioning into Higher Education: A Constructivist-Grounded Theory

2011-12 Award - Kristin Moser - Redefining Transfer Student Success: Transfer Capital and the Laanan-Transfer Students' Questionnaire (L-TSQ) Revisited.

2010-11 Award - Paul J. McLoughlin II - High-Achieving Low-Income Students: How Low-Income Students on Full Financial Aid are Navigating an Elite College Environment

2009-10 Award - Rachel Smith - Connected in Learning: A Mixed Methods Study of First-year Students’Academic and Social Networks

2008-09 Award - Maryellen Mills - “Student Success Course Participation and Engagement among Part-time and Full-Time Community College Students”

2007-08 Award - Eunyoung Kim - “Acculturation Experiences and College Transitions of Minority Immigrant Students”

2006-07 Award -Barbara Hofer - “The Electronic Tether: Parental Regulation, Self-Regulation, and the Role of Technology in College Transitions”

2005-06 Award - Christine and Michael Kirk-Kuwaye - “A Study of Engagement Petterns of Lateral and Vertical Transfer Students During Their First Semester at a Public Research University."