IOA Research Grant Program

IOA is launching a Research Grant Program intended to facilitate research related to organizational ombuds theory and practice. Quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methodologies are welcome, as is research from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Program assessment is not funded. Successful proposals will clearly describe the development, implementation, analysis, and reporting of rigorous inquiry that investigates the organizational ombuds profession, practices, or professionals. The Research and Assessment Committee will review all completed submissions and decide on awards.

The Ombuds Profession:

  1. To Examine How Ombuds Demonstrate and Communicate Value
  2. To Better Understand the IOA Standards of Practice (SOP) and Code of Ethics (COE)
  3. To Assess the Development and Health of the Ombuds Profession

Ombuds Practices:

  1. To Explain How Ombuds Carry Out Their Work
  2. To Describe How Ombuds Gather, Use and Report Data
  3. To Determine How Ombuds Build Collaborative Relationships in Their Organizations and Profession

The Ombuds Professional:

  1. To Explore the Development, Identity, Characteristics, and Skills of Ombuds
  2. To Examine the Nature and Scope of the Ombuds Role and Position


Proposal Submission Window: Grants were awarded beginning in February 2023 and will continue until funds are exhausted.

Application Requirements

  1. Complete the fillable PDF IOA Research Grant Application
  2. Vitae for the principal investigator (PI) and any co-investigators (if no direct relevance to Ombuds work, a personal statement explaining why they (their research) is value-adding to the field - answers the question as to how they plan on applying their research to Ombuds Practice)  
  3. Project proposal includes:
    1. Literature Review
    2. Importance of the research question
    3. Procedures
    4. Outcomes
    5. References cited
    6. Timeline
  4. Human Subjects Clearance (IRBs – for U.S. institutions)

Please submit completed Grant Application and required materials in PDF format to:

Research and Assessment Committee
c/o International Ombuds Association
[email protected]
Subject: IOA Research Grant Program



Practicing professionals, graduate students, and faculty from any institution (US or international) seeking support for research on the ombuds profession, practice, or professional. Applicants do not need to be members of IOA.

Grant Amounts

Research grants up to $500 for a one-year period are available. Funds are awarded to cover research costs only, not program costs. Reasonable travel expenses may be requested for research purposes. Conference attendance is not funded. Strong justification needs to be included in the proposal for all requested funds. We will release funds in U.S. dollars following the research grantee’s submission of the IOA Research Agreement and applicable IRB approvals.

Indirect or Overhead Costs

The IOA Research Grants Program does not support indirect or overhead costs assessed by institutions. We advise that research applicants discuss this policy with appropriate institutional or agency officials before submitting an application.

IRB Documents (if needed)

Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval for the study is not required at the time of grant application submission, but preference is given to those that have a completed IRB on file with IOA. IRB approval is required before the distribution of grant funds. IOA accepts only Human Subjects Clearance letter(s) with signatures from the applicant’s institutional review board (IRB) and the review boards of any other institutions involved in the proposed study. Applicants should e-mail a pdf of the original, signed IRB letter when submitting the grant application. In cases where the IRB approval process is not yet complete, e-mail a pdf of the IRB application(s). IRB approvals issued after the grant application may be e-mailed as an attachment with Research Grants in the subject line.

Responses to Proposal Categories

  • Proposals should include complete copies of all instruments, surveys, or questionnaires to be used. Reference list should include complete citations for all works cited within the narrative.
  • We will not be responsible for reading proposals unresponsive to the application items
  • Proposals written for another audience (e.g., dissertation proposals, grants prepared for other funding sources) will not be read by the Committee.
  • Proposals for institutional assessment or evaluation will not be read.

It is imperative that applicants describe their projects clearly, defining the objectives and the methodology they will employ. The project must be placed in the ombuds context and must be supported in both its relevance to the field and to the applicant’s personal or institutional goals. Comment on the feasibility of completing the project within the stated time-line and on the adequacy of resources and facilities to be found in your own or partner institutions necessary for the completion of the project (e.g., access to computing facilities). Budgets must provide an explanation of why each item is needed to conduct the proposed project.

Grant Decisions

Individuals submitting proposals will be notified within 90 days of the submission deadline as to the disposition of their proposal. If the grant is awarded and IRB approvals are on file (optional), all funds will be disbursed to the successful awardee’s institutional grants office, not directly to the individual. Research grant agreements will be sent to each recipient and must be signed and returned within 45 days to be eligible for funding. The grant agreement form requires that recipients have signatures from individuals within their institutional grants office; recipients should contact their institutional grants office immediately after notification that their grant has been funded. The signed Human Subject Clearance (IRB) must be on file from all institutions involved in the study before any monies can be distributed. Monies must be dispersed within the same year as the grant award.