Best IR/Practitioner Report Award Info

NEAIR offers three Best Awards for papers or reports presented at the NEAIR annual conference:  Best Paper, Best First Paper, and Best IR/Practitioner Report. This document contains information for the Best IR/Practitioner Report Award.
About the Best IR/Practitioner Report Award
The NEAIR Best IR/Practitioner Report Award was instituted to recognize and promote quality reports that are presented at the annual NEAIR conference, but are not necessarily in the scholarly paper format necessary for submission to the Best Paper/Best First Paper Awards.  Submissions for the Best IR/Practitioner Report Award do not typically fit the scholarly research paper model. Instead, they are applied projects incorporating innovative research and solutions to specific IR problems. These papers are driven by a research question, emphasizing novel solutions that would benefit the typical IR office. While this work may be grounded in an understanding of the IR literature and best practices, a literature review is not necessary. Similarly, the work may not necessarily involve a formal research protocol or advanced statistical analysis. However, all analyses undertaken should be appropriate to the problem or research question.
Examples of projects appropriate for this category include enrollment reports, results of a student survey, a market analysis, a research project undertaken to support a campus decision, etc. This list is not intended to be all-inclusive, and we welcome creative approaches and unique projects. 
All submissions to the Award that meet the “Submission Deadline” and “Submission Criteria” below will be included in the Conference Proceedings, regardless of the outcome of the award.
Recognition for Best IR/Practitioner Report
Best IR/Practitioner Report recipients will receive:
  • A $200 award,
  • A waiver of the conference registration fee for the following year’s NEAIR conference (excluding the NEAIR membership fee), 
  • A letter of notification and congratulations from the President of NEAIR to the recipients, with their immediate supervisor and their institution’s president or organization’s head copied on the correspondence,
  • A formal announcement at the following year’s NEAIR conference, and
  • A presentation opportunity at the following year’s NEAIR conference.
For reports/papers with multiple authors, the formal recognition, monetary award and fee waiver are split among authors who are current NEAIR members during the respective conference year.  While NEAIR recognizes the effort put forth by non-NEAIR authors, any co-author who is not a NEAIR member is not eligible for the NEAIR Best Awards. 
Submission Deadline
All Best IR/Practitioner Report Award submissions must be uploaded to the NEAIR Proposal Submission Website by Friday, December 1, 2017.
Submission Requirements
To be eligible for the Best IR/Practitioner Report Award, authors must follow these guidelines:
  1. The submission should include the report/materials prepared for distribution at the author’s home institution/organization (e.g., formal report, white paper, brochure, printable web page, etc.). The submitted report or other material(s) distributed at the author’s home institution/organization will form the basis upon which the entry will be evaluated. It should be able to stand on its own merits. While other supporting materials will be given consideration by the Committee, they should not be seen as a substitute for the comprehensiveness of the actual report. This report/paper will be distributed electronically (either on the NEAIR website or in the electronic Conference Proceedings) should the submission win the award.
  2. The same report/materials that are presented at the conference must be submitted to the Committee for consideration.
  3. PowerPoint slides alone are not adequate.
Criteria for Evaluation
The materials prepared for distribution at the author’s home institution/organization will carry the majority of the weight in the Committee’s selection process. The information provided on the cover sheet and in the NEAIR conference presentation materials shall be used as secondary sources to supplement this.
The Committee will consider the following when judging the merits of each submission:
  • Importance or relevance of the research question(s) to the field of institutional research or another appropriate area of higher education research and/or the innovativeness of the approach in the field of institutional research
  • The appropriateness of the analytic approach employed for the problem at hand and the soundness of the approach itself
  • The creativity or degree of innovation of the author’s approach, and
  • The potential for applications of the approach to other IR problems or other campuses.
If no submitted report qualifies for the Best IR/Practitioner Report Award in a given year, then the award will not be granted that year. If only one report is submitted to the Best IR/Practitioner Report Award category, it will be evaluated according to the above criteria and, if appropriate, an award will be granted.
Selection Process

The Best Paper Awards Committee will select the recipient of the Best IR/Practitioner Report Award, if any.

The Program Chair will consult with the Steering Committee in the appointment of the Best Paper Awards Committee Chair. The Program Chair and the Best Paper Awards Committee Chair will appoint the balance of the committee members (an additional two to four persons). It is highly recommended that the previous year’s Best Paper recipient and the Publications Chair be considered as potential members of the Committee. To avoid any perceived conflicts of interest, a member of the Committee shall excuse him/herself if someone from their institution/organization submits a paper for consideration. In this case, the Chair of the Committee will appoint a replacement after consulting with the Program Chair.

Note: The following individuals are ineligible for any of the awards in any given year:

  • Current NEAIR officers, as determined by their officer status when the original proposal is submitted,
  • Conference Program Chair and Associate Program Chair, and
  • Chair and members of the Best Paper Award Committee.