Research Grant

The EACE Research Grant, in the amount of up to $2,000, assists EACE members in conducting research and assessment within the field of career services or recruiting.

Proposals for the research grant will include an outline for the year-long time frame as well as a plan for execution of the research, and methods for assessment of outcomes.

2018 Grant Timeline

Application and proposal deadline: March 1, 2018
Research commences with the beginning of EACE fiscal year: July 1, 2018
Project completion and reporting by the end of fiscal year: June 30, 2019

Additional Information


The principal researcher must be a current EACE member.

Selection Criteria:

The Awards & Research Grants Committee will evaluate the Research Grant application and proposal. The committee's grant nominee will be submitted to the EACE Board for final approval. Applications are reviewed by the following selection criteria:

  • Relevance and usefulness to EACE membership

  • Originality

  • Clarity of goals and objectives

  • Quality of design

  • Reasonable and practical budget

  • Quality of assessment and outcomes plan

Proposal Specifications:

The proposal must be typed, double-spaced, with each page numbered. The narrative should not exceed ten (10) pages. All margins should be no less than 1" and no more than 1.5". Proposal should include the following:

  • Assessment plan and method of measuring outcomes.

  • Purpose/goal and objectives of the research project along with the research hypotheses to be tested.

  • Relevance and usefulness to EACE membership.

  • Research background including literature review or information pertinent to the research hypothesis.

  • Methodology including human subjects requirements, data collection methods and analysis, sample instruments.

  • Timeline for the completed project by quarter.
  • Itemized budget may include: personnel support, postage, printing, travel, office supplies, computer time. Equipment purchases are not generally approved.

  •  Appendices might include sample survey instruments.

  • Names of the researchers.

Grant Recipient Requirements 

Report Submissions:

Research commences on July 1 of the year in which the grant is awarded and quarterly progress reports will be submitted by September 30, December 31 and March 31. The progress cited in the quarterly reports should mirror the timetable outlined in the grant proposal. A final report is to be submitted by June 30 and will be made available to EACE members.

Note: Any changes to the research timeline or objectives are subject to the approval of the EACE Board and cannot be undertaken without that approval. Any changes made without the approval of the Board risk cancellation of the grant award.

All reports should be emailed to: Awards & Research Grants Committee Co-Chairs and EACE Headquarters.

Standard Agreement:

The recipient will sign a Standard Agreement that will outline the financial and legal obligations of the research grant award. The agreement will address the following:

  • Expectations for quarterly reports

  • Expectations for the final report on the conclusions of the research

  • Expectations for presenting the results of the research to the membership in at least one of the following methods:

    • Presentation at the EACE Annual Conference 

    • Presented as a webinar

    • Published in the EACE Trending Blog

  • Establishment of intellectual property rights for any research, which results in a new product or service expected to be used by EACE, its members or the general public.

Reimbursement Policy:

The grant funds of up to $2,000 may be distributed quarterly or at completion of the final report. Upon satisfactory completion of each report, and acceptance by the Executive Board of EACE, a quarterly payment of the research grant amounting up to 25% of the award, will be paid to the recipient institution or individual. A detailed account of expenses along with supporting documentation and receipts must be included. 

Click here for the reimbursement form and procedures.

EACE Research Grant Award Recipients 

(The grant is not awarded every year)

2018 Recipient: Sarah McElroy, Director of Career & Leadership Development, Brookdale Community College

Sarah McElroy currently serves as the Director of Career & Leadership Development at Brookdale Community College and has been with the College for close to 10 years. Sarah also serves as an Adjunct Instructor of the First Year Seminar at Brookdale Community College and has been teaching this course for the past 8 years. Sarah is currently in the dissertation phase of an Educational Doctorate Degree in Higher Education Leadership at Rowan University. Sarah earned a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from The College of New Jersey. She is also a Nationally Certified Counselor. Sarah is a member of NACE, EACE, NCDA, NJANSA and several other career and counseling organizations and has served on several committees. Her department’s proposal was recently accepted for presentation at the 2018 NACE Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA; one of very few community college presentations on the schedule. Sarah has also presented at several local, state, and national conferences including New Jersey Council for Community College’s 2018 and 2017 Career Conferences, NJANSA National Conferences in 2017 and 2015, and an NJC3 Conference in 2016. Sarah’s extensive experience in career services and administration includes developing new programming, specifically career exploration, leadership development, and transferable skill-focused programs, as well as working collaboratively with faculty, students, and staff to help students achieve their career goals.

Research Project: Impact of Leadership Development on Career Decision-Making Self-Efficacy of Community College Students 

The overall purpose of this study is to determine if students who complete a formalized leadership development program have higher levels of career decision-making self-efficacy than students who do not complete a formalized leadership development program or students who do not engage in the program at all. Generalizing these findings would provide several implications for the field of career services and leadership development. This research study will utilize the Career Exploration & Decision-Making Learning Experiences Scale (CEDLE) and the Career Exploration & Decisional Self-Efficacy Brief Decisional (CEDSE-BD) questionnaire to determine a student's level of career decision-making self-efficacy before participating in a leadership intervention and after participation to determine if the leadership development intervention had an impact on a student's career decision-making self-efficacy. Higher levels of career decision-making self-efficacy can result in a student feeling more decided, determined, motivated and confident in their choice of academic major and ultimately their choice of career; this can lead to higher retention and graduation rates. If a higher level of career decision-making self-efficacy is found as a result of this leadership development intervention, this could provide rationale to more prominently market leadership development programs at community colleges.

2017 Recipient: Kate Shirey, Director of Career Development, St. Mary's College of Maryland Career Development Center

Kate Shirey holds a Bachelor of Arts from SUNY Cortland and a Masters of Science in Student Affairs Administration from Binghamton University. Ms. Shirey is currently serving as the Acting Director for Career Development at St. Mary's College of Maryland. With a decade of experience helping students realize their career potential, she is passionate about building equitable and inclusive programs that empower St. Mary's students and leverage their liberal arts skills.

Her research proposal, Participation by Underrepresented Students in Job Shadow Programs describes a pilot program in which students traditionally underrepresented in higher education receive access to a mentorship and grant program. The students included may be an ethnic minority, first generation, and/or person of low socioeconomic status. Students will be matched with both a peer mentor and a professional mentor who will work together to support the mentee. The participation rate in the college job shadowing program will be used to assess the effectiveness of this treatment for increasing participation in career-related activities.

Read Her Proposal 

Kate will be presenting her research findings at the 2018 Annual Conference.


2016 Recipient: Jeffrey Alston, Assistant Director of Employer Relations, The College of Brockport, Office of Career Services

Jeffrey L. Alston is the Assistant Director of Employer Relations in the Office of Career Services at The College of Brockport in Brockport, NY. In his current role he focuses on evaluating, managing, and expanding the network of employers that recruit students for internships and full-time employment. Jeffrey is responsible for delivering related presentations, organizing events, and executing a strategic plan targeted at employers. Prior to this role, Jeffrey served as Director of Human Resources for the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, MD.

Jeffrey obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Winston-Salem State University, an MBA from Morgan State University and is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Higher Education/Student Affairs from the University of Rochester. Jeffrey’s research interest are minority student usage of career services, and undergraduate student mobility. 

Click here to read his research proposal, Ethnic Minority Student Usage of Career Services.

Read His Final Report


2012 Recipient: Warren Hilton, Assistant Dean for Student and External Affairs, Drexel University School of Public Health 

Motivations of Undergraduate Public Health Majors and the Pursuit of Careers in Public Health


2010 Recipients: Marianna Savoca and Elena Polenova, Stony Brook University (SUNY)

Parents and Students Career Beliefs at College Entry and Influence of Parental Beliefs on Students' Career Success


2006 Recipients: Stephanie Zuckerman-Aviles, Jessie Lombardo & Cathleen Walther, SUNY College at Buffalo

Parent, Student and Career Professionals' Expectations in the Career Development Process