Best Practices Research Award

Background and Purpose

These awards will recognize Best Practices Research projects conducted by a student, a practicing counselor, and a faculty counselor trainer.  Completed research projects within the last two years that further the evidence base for counseling practice will be considered for this award.  Eligible projects may include original research or a synthesis of the research literature supporting a particular practice or approach.  Nominations for this award will be assessed by the ACA Research and Knowledge Committee. Up to five awards may be given.

Criteria and Requirements

Candidates must be members of ACA and will be expected to attend the 2018 Conference to present their research and receive their award.

Nomination Guidelines

All applications must include:

  • A description of the project using a standard Abstract form: Background, Research Question, Methods, Results, and Conclusions. Specific word limits differ across awards.
  • A 300-word justification of why this research should be given a Best Practice Research Award.
  • Recommendation letters from individuals with knowledge about the contribution of the research (no more than two pages). Recommendation letters should not be written by the nominator or co-author/s of the article, unless the nominator stems from a dissertation and the co-author is the dissertation chair (please disclose if this is the case).
  • Acknowledgment from the publisher of any work accepted for publication.

Student Award: Students interested in applying for the award must be graduate-level students currently matriculating in a counselor education program. Postdoctoral students are also eligible for this award.  Word limits for Master’s students’ project descriptions should be 300 words or less and, for Doctoral students, 500 words or less.  Master’s students should also submit one letter of recommendation from a faculty member who is familiar with the research and can certify student status.  Doctoral students should submit two letters of recommendation, one from the program/department chair who can certify student status and one from a faculty member familiar with the research.  If this research has been accepted for publication, a copy of the acceptance letter from the publication should be included.

Counseling Practitioner Award: Any ACA member whose primary professional activity involves counseling practice is eligible for this award.  The detailed abstract should be no more than 1,000 words. Two letters of recommendation should be included, one verifying that the individual is a professional counselor and another from someone familiar with the work.  Research topics can include areas of counseling practice, assessment, consultation, or advocacy.

Faculty Award: Any ACA member whose primary professional activity involves an academic appointment in a department of counselor education or counseling psychology is eligible for this award.  The abstract should be not more than 1,000 words.  Two letters of recommendation should be included from individuals familiar with the research project.

Nomination Checklist

  • Nominee Biography
  • Nomination Letter
  • Supporting Materials (please review award details for Student, Counseling Practitioner, and Faculty Award)
  • Supporting letters

Submit your nomination(s) online by Nov. 12, 2017.

Create a new log in and submit your nomination(s).

Best Practices Research Award Instructions (PDF)
National Awards General Instructions (PDF)