Grant Application Procedures


A. The National Academy of Arbitrators Research and Education Foundation [NAA-REF] will accept proposals for research and education grants seeking to foster one or more of the following purposes:

  1. The study and understanding of grievance procedures, the arbitration process, and other forms of labor and employment dispute resolution and the impact of law on these processes.
  1. The education and training of persons engaged in the resolution of labor-management and employment disputes.  Included is the funding of lecture programs, symposiums, conferences and training seminars.
  1. The preparation and publication of books, symposium materials, articles, and audio-visual  materials (e.g., videos, websites, CDs) designed to enhance the competence of persons engaged in the arbitration and mediation of labor-management and employment disputes.
  1. Projects that foster the highest standards of integrity, competence, honor, and character of persons engaged in arbitration and other forms of labor and employment dispute resolution.
  1. The preparation of material designed to keep arbitrators and students of labor-management and employment relations abreast of current research into the arbitration process, and the development of procedures or techniques for the resolution of labor and employment disputes in this and other countries.


B. Proposal Content & Submission

Proposals for funding should be submitted by email in either MS Word or PDF with contact information.

Applications may be submitted at any time during the year. Submit proposals to

All proposals for funding should include the following information:

  1. The names, email addresses, telephone numbers, and mailing addresses of the applicant and any collaborators, along with a resume or curriculum vitae of the applicant(s).  If the applicant(s) have a sponsoring organization, such as a university, labor organization, law firm, or policy institute, it should be identified and the relationship of the applicant(s) to the organization should be stated.
  1. A budget for the project showing expenditures and a time schedule.  Specify any other sources that will be used to fund the proposed project.   Reports to the Foundation coinciding with budgeted time schedules and completion forecasts are required.  Projects will be funded up to $50,000.
  1. A 200-word summary of the project, stating its objective, the significance of the proposed project, and how the end product will be used.
  1. In addition to the foregoing, a full explanation of the project, including its purpose, value, what will be done, how it will be done, who will do it, when it will be done, what the end product will be, the procedure to be followed in disseminating its results, and any other funding sources.  In sum, this “full explanation” is the centerpiece of the proposal, and it should provide reviewers with a complete portrait of the proposed research design.
  1. For research proposals,

a.  Include a complete specification of the research methodology to be used in the project. This includes:

i.    presenting a literature review with a complete bibliography that examines the prior research in the proposal’s subject area;

ii.   specifying the research questions to be investigated (including connecting these questions, where possible, to the findings from the prior research in this area), and specifying how the answers to these research questions will be useful to members of the workplace dispute resolution community (i.e., why these questions justify an investment of REF funds);

iii.    specifying what kinds of data will be collected to answer the research questions, demonstrating how these data will provide useful answers, and the steps that have or will be taken to obtain access to the data;

iv.    specifying how the project’s data will be collected. For example, examination of archival records, such as existing arbitration awards, union and/or employer records of grievances filed and resolved, court rulings and opinions, etc.; interviews with relevant individuals; questionnaires submitted to relevant individuals; direct observations of the phenomena being studied (e.g., observing mediators at work); and so on; in sum, this “full explanation” is the centerpiece of the proposal, and it should provide reviewers with a complete portrait of the proposed research design.

 v.    specifying how the data will be analyzed, including a description of the statistical procedures or qualitative analytical tools to be used in the data analysis;

vi.    specifying how the researchers will obtain ethics approval for the proposed research and preserve the confidentiality and privacy of respondents (if applicable).

b.    Additionally, include a description of the previous relevant research conducted by the applicant(s).

c.    Upon completion of a research project, the investigators agree to provide a written report of their research and main findings to the NAA-REF. The NAA-REF reserves the right to publish all or parts of each research report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Arbitrators’ Annual Meeting.  The researcher may be asked to present project findings at the spring or fall conference of the National Academy of Arbitrators.  Any publications, for example in journals, must prominently reference the funding provided by the NAA-REF.

  1. For education proposals,

 a.    Include a specification of the following:

i.    a detailed description of the education program and/or materials being developed;

ii.   the need that the program and/or material will fill;

iii.  the commitments obtained or to be obtained from authors, speakers, partners, collaborators or co-sponsors as applicable;

iv.  the target audience for the project; and

v.   the marketing plan to publicize the education program and/or educational materials  to the intended audience.

b.    Upon completion of an education project, the applicant(s) agree to provide a written report of the project activities.  Any program or conference handouts, publications, or other products resulting from the project must prominently reference the funding provided by the NAA-REF.

C.  Review and Disposition

     Proposals will be reviewed as soon as they are received by a committee appointed by the President of the Research & Education Foundation. Decisions on grant applications are normally made twice a year at the semi-annual meetings of the REF Board of Directors, held in the fall and late spring.  To be considered at these meetings, grant application should be submitted no later than September 1 and April 1.

Applicants are encouraged to seek support from other sources, as the REF has jointly funded projects with other organizations. The following criteria will be relevant to the committee’s review:

    1. The clarity of the project’s objectives;
    2. The methodology and research design (where applicable);
    3. The potential contribution of the project to the field of arbitration and dispute resolution;
    4. The experience and qualifications of the applicant;
    5. The track record of the applicant(s) in completing funded projects;
    6. The proposed amount of the budget and the reasonableness of the budget items;
    7. The project’s duration and the reasonableness of its timelines.


D.  Permissible Grant Expenditures

  1. Grant funds can be used for the following and related purposes: stipends for graduate or research assistants working on the project, and expenses incurred in carrying out the project; such as travel, materials, clerical services, data analysis, and survey costs.
  1. Grant funds cannot be used for the following purposes:  salaries of the applicant(s) (however, exceptions may be made in special circumstances), individual overhead costs, and overhead costs to institutions with whom the applicant(s) are affiliated.*  Purchase of computers and other equipment will not normally be permitted unless the applicants can provide strong justification linking the equipment to the grant proposal.


*  As a non-profit foundation whose funding relies on small individual donations by members and friends of the National Academy of Arbitrators, the NAA-REF is not in a position to offer overhead costs to universities or other organizations.  In special circumstances, where a successful applicant establishes that he or she would be unable to accept the REF grant without some overhead support, the NAA-REF will pay up to a maximum of 10 percent of the grant amount as overhead.  Before approaching the NAA-REF for overhead costs, a successful applicant is expected to demonstrate that a bona fide attempt has been made to have usual overhead charges waived.

Effective as of:  June 25, 2010