Research Grant Program

The ISTA Educational Foundation (ISTAEF) is issuing a call for undergraduate research proposals focusing on minimizing product damage throughout distribution and optimizing resource usage through effective package design.  ISTAEF will award two (2) grants of $4,500 each for research to be performed in the Fall of 2022, with the results reported at the 2023 ISTA Forum, May 1-3 in Houston, Texas.

Call for Undergraduate Research Proposals

Researchers are encouraged to submit proposals in transit packaging.  While original concepts are welcomed and encouraged, research in the following topics would be of interest as well:

  • Last mile hazards (examples: click-to-cart, drone, grocery delivery to home)
  • Unit load stability - long-duration horizontal acceleration
  • Clamp truck handling
  • Measurement of dynamic and non-vertical compression forces
  • Stacked vibration (specific example of the topic above)

The funding could be used to support the packaging school research curriculum, support a capstone-type project/course, or support independent research initiatives.  The selected researchers will be invited to present their findings at the ISTA 2023 Forum, May 1-3 in Houston, Texas as either a speaker or as part of a poster board event.  The funding could also be used to support the recipients' travel expenses to the Forum.  The goal is to tie grants to research in the transit packaging area. 

How to Submit Proposals

Submit a proposal

Researchers may submit their proposals using the above ISTAEF proposal portal no later than June 30, 2022.

Eligibility: Any U.S.-based undergraduate program with a concentration in packaging, with the capabilities of executing distribution packaging research may submit a proposal.  Specifically,

  1. It is the applicant‘s responsibility to confirm their school‘s ability to perform the distribution packaging research as proposed. In general, the applicant must have the capabilities to perform the proposed research. This includes having the appropriate curriculum, instructors, oversight, facilities and faculty and student capabilities to perform the distribution packaging research as proposed.
  2. By submitting a proposal, the school agrees that their research team is willing and able to present results at the ISTA Forum.
  3. Schools do not have to be ISTA members to be eligible for grants.

ISTAEF has developed a document describing the research grant process, which can be accessed by clicking here.

Selection Process

The ISTAEF Board will evaluate the proposals and select the 2022 research grant awards using an evaluation template.  The Board will announce the recipients by August 1, 2022.

ISTA will offer the grant recipients an option to have a personalized press release created and distributed by ISTA. The grant recipients will complete and submit the appropriate announcement form to ISTA.   If the recipients do not wish a personalized press release, recognition of grant recipients will be posted on the ISTA web site, or other member outreach.