Research projects

WADA Announces Funded Research Projects Under Its 2022 Social Science Research Grants Program

$476,931 for twelve projects in eight countries, on four continents

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is pleased to release details regarding the twelve social science research projects (SSR) that have been approved by WADA’s Executive Committee (ExCo) in May 2022 for a total of US$476,931 in funding under the Agency’s 2022 program Social Science Research Grant Program. A total of 65 applications and expressions of interest were received, which means that just over one in five applications was accepted.

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

WADA Director General Olivier Niggli said, “WADA congratulates successful applicants who have been awarded funding through our 2022 Social Science Fellowship program. Investing in impactful research is a important part of WADA’s strategy Strategic Plan 2020-2024. Human behavior is the foundation of the fight against doping, and our investment in social science research advances our understanding of the clean sporting behaviors we seek to develop and strengthen. This allows us to dig deeper into why some athletes threaten the integrity of clean sport by breaking the rules. Research results play a vital role in improving WADA’s ability to develop effective policies and implement initiatives that enhance the sporting experience of athletes around the world.

WADA’s Director of Education, Amanda Hudson, said, “WADA’s Social Science Fellowship program is a fundamental part of our efforts to prevent doping in sport. Since the launch of our Social Science Research Strategy for 2020-2024, we reviewed, revised and improved the SSR grant program. As such, it continues to generate key insights and research findings that can inform policy and, also, provide greater research opportunities at the regional level to help improve program relevance. These improvements are having a very positive impact since more than 72% of the expressions of interest received and 50% of the projects funded come from traditionally under-funded regions. We look forward to the research results of this year’s projects.

The funding awarded in 2022 builds on last year’s record $475,000 – which, once again, demonstrates WADA’s commitment to its research initiatives.

Funded projects align with WADA’s Social Science Research Strategy 2020-2024, which establishes a framework to support WADA’s 2020-2024 Strategic Plan with a focus on impactful research. Projects were also approved in line with research priorities identified by WADA, including:

  • Athlete Journey and Athlete Experience;
  • Own sporting behavior;
  • The role and influence of athlete support personnel;
  • Effectiveness of anti-doping in sport; and
  • Sports policy

Social Science Research Fellowship Program 2023

Please note that the WADA Call for Proposals for the 2023 Social Science Research Grants Program will be posted on October 17, 2022; and that the program will follow the same structure as that introduced in 2020, i.e.:

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

Tier one and two projects go through the two-step application process above, while smaller tier three projects only need to submit a full application.

Upcoming webinar

For all stakeholders interested in social science research or who can apply for a 2023 SSR grant, please note that the AMA will be hosting a webinar on October 20, 2022 at 8:00 a.m. EDT. To register, please click here.

For more information

For more information on WADA’s Social Science Research Strategy or the Agency’s Social Science Research Fellowship Program, please see the Social science research on the WADA website or contact the WADA Education Department at [email protected]