Allen W. Burton New Investigator Award

The North American Federation of Adapted Physical Activity (NAFAPA) offers the Allen W. Burton New Investigator Award biennially in conjunction with the NAFAPA symposium. The New Investigator Award recognizes a new investigator who has begun and is very likely to continue making significant scientific contributions to the field of Adapted Physical Activity.


The award commemorates the work of Dr. Allen W. Burton (1954-2001) who, as a young investigator, made significant contributions to the scientific knowledge in Adapted Physical Activity. Dr. Allen W. Burton was an extraordinary scholar and teacher who had the tremendous gift of integrating research, teaching, and both professional and community service into his academic career. He was a full professor at the University of Minnesota. Known as a prolific researcher in the areas of motor development, motor learning, movement skill assessment, and Adapted Physical Education, he was the author of numerous articles and presentations as well as an editor for many research journals. In his 17-year career, he published in 12 different journals, including the Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, Human Movement Science, Pediatric Exercise Science, Journal of Motor Behavior, Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, Brain and Behavior, and the American Journal of Occupational Therapy. His book with Daryl Miller “Movement Skill Assessment” (1998) was a major contribution to the literature. But foremost, among Burton’s many talents was his commitment to the professional growth of all students regardless of their academic level or their major academic focus. Both in his education and his professional work, Burton realized the importance of interdisciplinary partnerships toward finding potential approaches to critical research and dissemination endeavors in his field of study. Dr. Allen W. Burton hosted the NAFAPA symposium at the University of Minnesota in 1998 and served as the NAFAPA president between 2000 and 2002.

Application Requirements:

Applicants for the award must meet ALL of the following requirements:

  1. At the time of the application, applicants must have been within 6 years of completing a terminal research degree.

  2. At the time of the application, applicants cannot hold a faculty rank higher than assistant professor. 

  3. The applicant must be a current member of NAFAPA at the time of application and at the time the award is presented.

  4. The applicant must not have received the NAFAPA New Investigator Award previously.

Award Criteria:

Applicants are evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. Scientific merit, novelty, and quality of previously published work

  2. Research independence

  3. Future potential

  4. Publication record

Application Process:

A call for applications will be posted on the NAFAPA website and sent to all NAFAPA members in February of the year of the NAFAPA symposium. The applicant must submit all materials to the NAFAPA president, Stamatis Agiovlasitis, Ph.D. via email at by April 1st, 2020.

To be considered for the award, applicants must submit in PDF format ALL of the following materials:

  1. A cover letter by the applicant indicating that she/he meets all application requirements and explaining how she/he fulfills the award criteria.

  2. Curriculum Vitae highlighting educational achievements, publications, and other professional accomplishments.

  3. Two published articles (no more than 2 articles should be submitted).

  4. Two letters of support by recognized scientists in the applicant’s field highlighting the applicant’s scientific achievements and future potential (no more than 2 letters of support should be submitted).


Only complete application packages will be evaluated (no exceptions). ​

Evaluation Procedure:

Applications are evaluated by a committee chaired by the NAFAPA president. Two members of the NAFAPA Board serve on the evaluation committee. Additional NAFAPA members who are experienced researchers may be invited by the NAFAPA president to serve as members of the committee. Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their applications by May 15.


The recipient of the New Investigator Award is expected to attend the NAFAPA symposium. The recipient of the award will be acknowledged during the symposium. The recipient will receive a certificate and a cash prize contingent upon adequate finances. A public announcement of the recipient’s name will also be made on the NAFAPA website.