WADA announces research projects funded as part of its 2022 Social Science Research Grant Program

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USD 476,931 for twelve projects in eight countries, across four continents

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is pleased to publish details regarding the twelve Social Science Research (SSR) projects which were approved by WADA’s Executive Committee (ExCo) in May 2022 for a total of USD 476,931 in funding as part of the Agency’s 2022 Social Science Research Grant Program. A total of 65 applications and Expressions of Interest were received, meaning just over one in five applications were successful.

Approval of these projects followed a review process conducted by WADA’s Social Science Research Expert Advisory Group, which included a technical analysis of each project and recommendations from a peer review process. The Social Science Research Expert Advisory Group then presented its analysis and funding recommendations to WADA’s Education Committee, which made final recommendations to the ExCo in May. Following ExCo approval, ethics reviews were carried out and research agreements have been advanced such that the Agency is now able to provide further detail and proceed.

WADA Director General, Olivier Niggli said: “WADA congratulates the successful applicants that were granted funding as part of our 2022 Social Science Research Grant Program. Investing in impactful research is an important part of WADA’s 2020-2024 Strategic Plan. Human behavior is at the root of anti-doping, and our investment in Social Science Research advances our understanding of the clean sport behaviors we are seeking to develop and reinforce. It allows us to delve deeper into why some athletes threaten the integrity of clean sport by breaking the rules. The research outcomes play a vital role in improving WADA’s ability to develop effective policies and implement initiatives that enhance the sporting experience for athletes around the world.”

WADA Director of Education, Amanda Hudson, said: “WADA’s Social Science Research Grant Program is a fundamental component of our efforts to prevent doping in sport. Since the launch of our Social Science Research Strategy for 2020-2024, we have reviewed, revised and improved the SSR Grant Program.  As such, it continues to produce key insights and research outcomes that can inform policy and, equally, provide greater opportunities for research at regional levels to help improve the relevancy of programs. These improvements are having a very positive impact as over 72% of the Expression of Interests received and 50% of the funded projects are from traditionally underfunded regions. We look forward to the research outcomes from this year’s projects.

The funding awarded in 2022 builds on last year’s record-setting amount of USD 475,000 – which, once again, demonstrates WADA’s commitment to its research initiatives.”

The funded projects are in line with WADA’s Social Science Research Strategy for 2020-2024, which sets out a framework for supporting WADA’s 2020-2024 Strategic Plan by focusing on impactful research. Projects were also approved in line with research priorities identified by WADA, which include:

  • Athlete pathway and athlete experience;
  • Clean sport behaviors;
  • The role and influence of athlete support personnel;
  • Effectiveness of anti-doping in sport; and
  • Sport policy

2023 Social Science Research Grant Program

Please note that that WADA’s Call for Proposals for the 2023 Social Science Research Grant Program will be published on 17 October 2022; and that, the Program will follow the same structure that was introduced in 2020, i.e.:

  1. A two-stage application process for larger research projects, which allows for an initial Expression of Interest form to be submitted for consideration and review before a project is approved to progress to the full application stage.
  2. Three tiers of funding that are defined by the scale and scope of the research project.

Projects in tiers one and two are subject to the two-stage application process above, while smaller tier three projects need only submit a full application.

Upcoming webinar

For all stakeholders interested in Social Science Research or that may apply for a 2023 SSR Grant, please note that WADA will be hosting a webinar on 20 October 2022 at 08:00 EDT.  To register, please click here.

For more information

For more information regarding WADA’s Social Science Research Strategy, or the Agency’s Social Science Research Grant Program, please visit the Social Science Research section on WADA’s website or contact WADA’s Education Department at