David A. Trivett, 37, a staff writer and research associate with the Eric Clearinghouse on Teacher Education, died of cancer Friday at Northern Virginia Doctors Hospital in Arlington.

Dr. Trivett had joined Eric, a publicly funded educational research organization affiliated with George Washington University, in 1972. He did research on the state of graduate studies and worked with students and educators in running "life and career planning workshops." He also did studies in "academic marketing," the practice of gearing school courses to the needs of students' careers.

He was a member of the Council for the Advancement of Small Colleges, serving as a consultant on efforts to predict the type of student small colleges would be educating in the fu-

A number of Dr. Trivett's monographs had been published by the American Association for Higher Education. He served as an adviser to the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Dr. Trivett was born in Washington. He earned a bachelor's degree at the University of Texas, a master's degree at the University of Virginia, and doctorate in intellectual history and higher education at American University.

He served as a research fellow at the Bureau of Social Science Research in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare while working on his doctorate.

From 1970 to 1972, he was assistant vice president for student development at Georgetown University.

In addition, to his academic interests, Dr. Trivett had served as a Little League umpire in Falls Church for the past three years.

He is survived by his wife, Page D., and son, David S., both of the home in Falls Church; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Walter S. Trivett, of Arlington; and two sisters, Joyce Freund, of Springfield, Va., and Shirely Heji, of Austin, Tex.

The family suggests that expressions of sympthy may be in the form of contributions to the Vincent T. Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown University Hospital.