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The ACA Research Award honors and recognizes high-quality, original research conducted by an ACA member (or an ACA member and other colleagues working in collaboration) in areas of interest to the counseling profession and the divisions or organizational affiliates of ACA.

2021 ACA Research Award Recipients

Dr. Matt Fullen
Dr. Gerard Lawson
Jyotsana Sharma

Background and Purpose

For the purpose of this award, research involves systematic inquiry or investigation using quantitative or qualitative techniques that result in usable findings and recommendations for the field.


January 21, 2022 | 11:59pm ET


Winners will be announced the week of February 21, 2022


ACA Awards Committee


Complimentary registration for either the 2022 ACA Virtual Conference Experience (details on this event are TBD and will be shared as soon as they are available), or the in-person event taking place in Atlanta, GA (April 2022), and recognition during both the in-person and virtual events.  Winner will receive further information at the time of award notification. 

Sponsor: The American Counseling Association Foundation

Eligibility, Rules and Criteria

The research must:

  • Be published between Sept. 1, 2020, and Aug. 31, 2021, in a research journal specializing in counseling, psychology, measurement or education.
  • Involve systematic inquiry or investigation using quantitative or qualitative techniques that result in usable findings and recommendations for the field. Restrict nominations to projects that are original research.
  • Be concerned with problems of interest and significance to the counseling profession, with findings that are applicable beyond the immediate setting.
  • Be in an area of interest to one or more ACA division or organizational affiliate.
  • Use research procedures that are of the highest quality, including a clear definition of population, selection of appropriate sampling techniques and controls, use of appropriate research design, adequate and correct quantitative or qualitative analysis of data and use of valid, reliable instruments.
  • Show careful interpretation of results and conclusions that do not go beyond the data.
  • Be scholarly in organization and presentation.
  • Nominations must come from an ACA member.
  • The awardee must be an ACA member.
  • An individual can only be nominated for one award per year.

Nomination Guidelines

In your nomination submission, briefly:

  • Clearly state the purpose of the study, which must be an original, systematic inquiry to discover facts or principles.
  • Briefly describe how the findings of the research are important for the counseling profession and identify one or more ACA divisions or affiliates to which this research is relevant.
  • Include one copy of the research article, including the publication date.

Nomination Checklist:

  • Nominee biography
  • Nomination letter
  • Supporting materials
  • Maximum of two supporting letters
  • Research overview (including one copy of the research article)

Apply for Award