Guidelines for NACADA Research Committee Reviewed and Approved Member Surveys, Research Interviews, and other human subject involved scholarly inquiry

Guidelines for distribution approval for soliciting member participation in scholarly inquiry within the field of academic advising

NACADA encourages member research within the field of academic advising. As such NACADA approves all research surveys distributed to association members prior to survey development and distribution. The formal approval process for distribution of scholarly inquiry (research) surveys is outlined below. Applicants are highly encouraged to apply for consideration at least six months prior to intended survey distribution date.

1. A priori requirements

  1. At least one researcher (preferably the Principal Investigator) must have been a NACADA member for at least two years at the time the proposal is submitted. (If no-one on the research team meets this condition, the researcher could consider asking a current NACADA member to join the project.)
  2. The research project must have been submitted for approval of the PI’s IRB or equivalent. Preference during screening will be given to grant applications with completed IRB approvals on file with NACADA.
  3. The researcher must agree, in writing, to submit an article based on the survey results to the NACADA Journal (that has first-right-of-refusal) within 18 months of conducting the survey; if this condition is not met, the related college / university will be prohibited from submitting survey proposals for a period of two years.

2. Proposal elements

  1. Resume or c.v. for each investigator
  2. Clear, succinct statement of the research problem and its importance (not to exceed 500 words). 
  3. Copy of the survey instrument
  4. IRB documents from the researcher’s home institution
  5. Signed agreement to items 1.2 and 1.3
  6. Description of the NACADA members to be surveyed; for example, does the researcher wish to survey new advisors?  Advisors who work with undecided students?  Or simply a general survey of the members?
  7. Desired sample size
  8. Preferred survey dates
  9. Survey software to be used

3. Submission & review process

  1. All materials must be submitted electronically in PDF format to with the subject line "application for NACADA approved survey".
  2. NACADA’s Executive Office will accept proposals for member surveys during two time periods each year:  January 15 to March 15 and July 15 to September 15.
  3. At the close of each period, the Executive Office will forward complete proposals to a subcommittee of the Research Committee; incomplete proposals will not be considered further.  The subcommittee will have  30 days to evaluate the proposals and make a recommendation as to their acceptance; the final decision will rest with Executive Office staff.
  4. Approved surveys must be carried out within eight months of approval.

4. Other considerations

  1. While links to NACADA reviewed and approved surveys are e-mailed to target groups within the association's membership, NACADA does not guarantee responses from those receiving the e-mailed link.
  2. No NACADA member is asked to complete more than three surveys annually.
  3. Proposals that are rejected during the review process may be resubmitted in a subsequent period following the revision directions provided by the review committee and/or Executive Office.  A full proposal with edits must be submitted during each submission period.  
  4. Evaluation criteria
    1. Is the survey methodologically sound?
    2. Does it address an area of significance to NACADA and its membership?
    3. Can the study be completed and an article submitted within 18 months?
    4. Is the proposal clear and well written?

Additional notes: 

  • Every year the NACADA Executive Office receives numerous requests to send surveys to members.  To help avoid survey "burn out," only four reviewed and approved scholarly inquiry (research) surveys are sent to all members of a Region or Commission during an academic year.
  • Each year NACADA receives proposals for presentations based upon results of a member survey. NACADA members surveys must be approved, using the guidelines listed above, PRIOR to submission of a presentation proposal. Failure to secure NACADA approval of a member survey prior to submission of a conference proposal based upon the survey's results is grounds for cancellation of a proposal/conference session.

Questions?  Contact information for the Research Committee Chair is available on the Research Committee webpage.