Background and Purpose

Dr. and Mrs. E.G. Williamson established the Ralph F. Berdie Memorial Research Award as a memorial to their daughter, Janice Marie. The award is named for Dr. Berdie in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the profession of student affairs through leadership and sound research.

The purpose of the award is to encourage and provide support for research in the area of college student affairs or related areas of counseling and education. Research projects are not limited to statistical and experimental projects and may include conceptual, historical and philosophical explorations and comparative appraisals.

Innovative and creative ideas potentially affecting directional changes in the field of counseling and college student personnel work shall receive primary consideration. Projects that relate to populations that might be served by college services may be considered.

Deadline:  Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, 11:59 PM EST
Judges: ACA Awards Committee
Prize: $300 honorarium, complimentary ACA Conference & Expo registration (travel and lodging not included). Recognition and presentation of the award at the Conference.
Sponsor: Dr. and Mrs. E. G. Williamson

Eligibility, Rules and Criteria

The research project must:

  • Answer questions and investigate ideas that are concerned with problems of interest and significance to college student affairs work and related phases of educational counseling.
  • Address areas of interest to one or more ACA division and organizational affiliate.
  • Be designed to generate findings applicable beyond the immediate setting.
  • Make efficient and effective use of available funds.
  • Have the potential to gain additional funding for longer-term research, if warranted.
  • 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:

  • Describe the nature of the research and clearly state the hypothesis (es) to be examined.
  • Explain why the research is of interest and importance to the counseling profession.
  • Describe the procedure and general design of the proposed study.
  • Itemize the funds needed to conduct the research.
  • Describe how additional funds will be obtained to support further exploration of the hypothesis (es), if warranted.

Nomination Checklist

  • Nominee Biography
  • Nomination Letter 
  • Supporting Materials
  • Maximum of two supporting letters
  • Research Overview


**NOTE:  If this is the first time you have submitted a nomination, you must create an account.  The email and password for the awards submission system may or may NOT be the same as your ACA website email and password.  They are different systems, and are not linked.

Submissions must be received by Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, 11:59 PM EST.

Send questions about eligibility criteria or other parts of the application process HERE

Supported and sponsored by the American Counseling Association Foundation.

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