Worldwide, massage therapy is the most popular treatment at spas. The International SPA Association Foundation is now accepting applications for its Ruth Stricker Spa and Wellness Award and Dr. Howard Murad Research Grant.

• The Ruth Stricker Spa and Wellness Award offers aid for research into ways spa can meet current health care needs, promote wellness and enhance quality of life.

Award recipients will receive $2,500 toward research. The award will support a project that demonstrates a unique or unrecognized benefit of spa in promoting wellness.

• The Dr. Howard Murad Research Grant offers assistance to researchers studying the effects of cultural stress and ways to manage it.

Grant recipients receive $1,500 toward research. The grant can be used to research technology overload, overworking and lack of purposeful work, inadequate nutrition, isolation from friends and stress occurring in people of all ages.

The ISPA Foundation is the nonprofit 501(c) 3 arm of ISPA and was created in 1999 to serve the educational and research needs of the spa industry.

“The award and grant are helping to push the spa community forward and provide our industry with critical information,” said ISPA Foundation President Edwin Neill III. “Stress is such a huge part of our lives today, and through these endowment opportunities, we’re addressing it head on.”

Interested candidates may review terms and conditions for the grant and award and apply online at from April 15 -June 1.