Call for Submissions:  Rural Sociological Society Awards
Deadline:  January 31, 2024

The RSS Awards and Endowment Committee is now seeking nominations for awards and grant submissions. Details on submission or nomination requirements for each award and grant are below. The period for submission and nominations is November 1, 2023 to January 31, 2024.

When nominating someone for any award, nominators should consider whether the candidate meets the standards outline by the RSS Code of Ethics. RSS Award winners are expected to meet these standards: https://www.ruralsociology.org/rss-ethics.

Distinguished Service to Rural Life Award

The purpose of the Distinguished Service to Rural Life Award is to recognize a person, organization, or collective who has made an outstanding contribution to the enhancement of rural life, rural people, or rural policy. This award is intended to recognize excellence in non-academic settings, such as a non- governmental organization, government agency, or private firm. Nominees should be individuals, organizations, or collectives whose activities exemplify the goals of the RSS. Nominees may or may not be RSS members. The award recipient will receive a lifetime RSS membership, two-nights lodging, travel reimbursement, and one banquet ticket to the annual conference.

Submit the following materials by January 31, 2024 to Kristal Jones via email to [email protected]:

  • A cover letter from the principal nominator outlining the major contributions of the nominee.
  • A biographic sketch of the candidate/organization.
  • Two to four letters of support.
  • Required supporting materials: up to three examples (e.g., brochure, report, etc.) describing the nominees’ contributions and/or project or program if the nominee is an organization or collective.

Distinguished Rural Sociologist Award

The purpose of the Distinguished Rural Sociologist is to honor one or more RSS members who have made superior career contributions to the field of rural sociology through research, teaching, extension, public service, and/or public policy. Awards are based on overall professional accomplishments in rural sociology.

Submit the following materials by January 31, 2024 to Kristal Jones via email to [email protected]:

  • A cover letter from the principal nominator outlining the member’s qualifications for the award.
  • A current version of the nominee’s CV.
  • Two to four letters of support.
  • Optional supporting materials: selected publications, student or peer evaluations, and other professionally relevant materials.

Excellence in Research

The purpose of the Excellence in Research Award is to recognize an RSS member who has made outstanding contributions to rural-oriented research and/or theory. Note: The contribution of the nominee to the substantive area of rural-oriented research and/or theory should be emphasized.

Submit the following materials by January 31, 2024 to Kristal Jones via email to [email protected]:

  • A cover letter from the principal nominator detailing the member's qualifications for the award.
  • A current version of the nominee's CV.
  • Two to four letters of support.
  • Required supporting materials: up to three examples (e.g., publication, report) of the nominee's research.

Excellence in Instruction

The purpose of the Excellence in Instruction Award is to recognize outstanding rural-oriented teaching by a RSS member at the graduate and/or undergraduate level. Note: Innovation in teaching and learning should be emphasized. Innovation may relate to a particular course, thematic area, population of students or pedagogical approach or technique. Evidence of impact should be provided.

Submit the following materials by January 31, 2024 to Kristal Jones via email to [email protected]:

  • A cover letter from the principal nominator detailing the member's qualifications for the award.
  • A current version of the nominee's CV.
  • Two to four letters of support.
  • Required supporting materials: selected evidence (syllabus, website, teaching evaluations, learning assessments) that supports the case for instructional excellence.

Excellence in Extension and Public Service Awards

The purpose of the Excellence in Extension and Public Outreach Award is to honor an RSS member, working at a university or college, who has made significant contributions to extension and public outreach.  This award is intended to recognize public service excellence in academic settings. Excellence centers on having made a significant impact on rural residents, rural life, and/or rural policy. A specific program or area of outreach or extension should be highlighted.

Submit the following materials by January 31, 2024 to Kristal Jones via email to [email protected]:

  • A cover letter from the principal nominator detailing the member's qualifications for the award.
  • A current version of the nominee's CV.
  • Two to four letters of support.
  • Required supporting materials: up to three examples (e.g., brochure, 1-2 page summary) describing the project or program.

Certificate of Appreciation

The purpose of a Certificate of Appreciation is to recognize and honor an RSS member (or members) who has provided outstanding service and selfless effort beyond the call of duty in a singular area of effort on behalf of the Society. The specific effort highlighted should not be associated with career accomplishments or service as an officer or committee chair in the Society.

Submit the following materials by January 31, 2024 to Kristal Jones via email to [email protected]:

  • A cover letter from the principal nominator outlining the specific outstanding service provided by the member.
  • One letter of support.

Olaf Larson Graduate Student Paper Award

The purpose of the Olaf Larson Graduate Student Paper Award is to enhance the involvement of graduate students in the RSS annual meeting and to support their professional development. To be eligible, papers must be authored by graduate students who are members of the Society. In multiple-authored papers, all authors must be graduate students, although only the first author must be a member of the RSS. Papers should be of normal journal article length and format (12 pt font, double-spaced, 20-30 pages inclusive). Masters theses and dissertations will not be considered. This award includes a $300 prize and a one-year membership in RSS.

Submit the following materials by January 31, 2024 to Kristal Jones via email to [email protected]:

  • One electronic copy of the completed paper.
  • A current version of the author's CV.
  • A letter from the author’s faculty advisor or department chair certifying graduate student status.

Frederick H. Buttel Outstanding Scholarly Achievement Award (Article)

The purpose of the Fred Buttel Outstanding Scholarly Achievement Award is to recognize a member of RSS for a specific recent scholarly work in the form of a book or journal article (alternating years for each format) that demonstrates particular excellence in rural sociology in the same spirit as that exemplified by the late Fred Buttel. For this year, the committee seeks nominations for outstanding scholarly articles that advance of the field of rural sociological knowledge. The article must have been published in 2022 or 2023.

Submit the following materials by January 31, 2024 to Kristal Jones via email to [email protected]:

  • A letter of nomination from the author, editor, or other relevant source.
  • A current version of the author’s CV.
  • A copy of the article for review by the committee.

 The RSS Master’s Thesis Research Award

Graduate student members of the Rural Sociological Society are eligible to apply for master’s thesis research awards. Master’s thesis awards can be made for up to $2,500. Proposals approved for funding may receive budget allocations below the requested amounts, based on the availability of funds and recommendations of the Endowment Awards Subcommittee. Proposals are invited to conduct research on any topic encompassed by the field of rural sociology. The awards are designed to stimulate research that will help develop the careers of future rural sociologists and support the broader mission of the Rural Sociological Society.

Submit the following materials by January 31, 2024 to Aysha Bodenhamer via email to [email protected]:

  1. A short cover letter that includes a paragraph explaining how the research will influence the applicant’s future work related to rural sociology.
  2. A proposal, including the budget and budget justification, not to exceed 10 double-spaced pages using a 12-point font and 1” margins. This proposal should include:
  • A well-defined problem statement,
  • An abbreviated literature review,
  • A section detailing research methods,
  • A work-plan schedule,
  • An itemized budget for the planned work, and
  • ·       A brief budget justification narrative that meets the following guidelines:
    • Equipment purchases are not permitted with Endowment funds.
    • Because of limited funds and the relatively small dollar total of awards, the RSS will not pay overhead charges to the host institution of the recipient.
    • The RSS Endowment Awards Subcommittee understands that individuals submitting proposals may seek additional funding from other sources. The committee requests that the budget narrative describe exactly which parts of the project would be supported by additional funds and which parts would be supported by RSS funds.
  1. A copy of the applicant’s CV.
  2. A letter from the student’s major professor or thesis chair that addresses the project’s intellectual significance and the likelihood that work on the thesis will be actively pursued during the academic year in which the award is made.

The RSS Dissertation Research Award

Graduate student members of the Rural Sociological Society are eligible to apply for Ph.D. dissertation research awards. Dissertation awards can be made for up to $5,000. Proposals approved for funding may receive budget allocations below the requested amounts, based on the availability of funds and recommendations of the Endowment Awards Subcommittee. Proposals are invited to conduct research on any topic encompassed by the field of rural sociology. The awards are designed to stimulate research that will help develop the careers of future rural sociologists and support the broader mission of the Rural Sociological Society.

Submit the following materials by January 31, 2024 to Aysha Bodenhamer via email to [email protected]:

  1. A short cover letter that includes a paragraph explaining how the research will influence the applicant’s future work related to rural sociology.
  2. A proposal, including the budget and budget justification, not to exceed 10 double-spaced pages using a 12-point font and 1” margins. This proposal should include:
  • A well-defined problem statement,
  • An abbreviated literature review,
  • A section detailing research methods,
  • A work-plan schedule,
  • An itemized budget for the planned work, and
  • ·       A brief budget justification narrative that meets the following guidelines:
    • Equipment purchases are not permitted with Endowment funds.
    • Because of limited funds and the relatively small dollar total of awards, the RSS will not pay overhead charges to the host institution of the recipient.
    • The RSS Endowment Awards Subcommittee understands that individuals submitting proposals may seek additional funding from other sources. The committee requests that the budget narrative describe exactly which parts of the project would be supported by additional funds and which parts would be supported by RSS funds.
  1. A copy of the applicant’s CV.
  2. A letter from the student’s major professor or dissertation chair that addresses the project’s intellectual significance and the likelihood that work on the dissertation will be actively pursued during the academic year in which the award is made.

The RSS Early Career Research Award

Members of the Rural Sociological Society who received their Ph.D. in the last five years preceding the award date are eligible to apply for RSS Early Career Research awards. The Early Career Research awards can be made for up to $5,000. Because the size of these awards is modest, proposals will generally involve small-scale projects that will enhance opportunities for scholars to pursue expanded research efforts in the future. Proposals are invited to conduct research on any topic encompassed by the field of rural sociology. The awards are designed to stimulate research that will help develop the careers of future rural sociologists and support the broader mission of the Rural Sociological Society.

Submit the following materials by January 31, 2024 to Aysha Bodenhamer via email to [email protected]:

  1. A short cover letter that includes a paragraph explaining how the research will influence the applicant’s future work related to rural sociology.
  2. A proposal, including the budget and budget justification, not to exceed 10 double-spaced pages using a 12-point font and 1” margins. This proposal should include:
  • A well-defined problem statement,
  • An abbreviated literature review,
  • A section detailing research methods,
  • A work-plan schedule,
  • An itemized budget for the planned work, and
  • ·       A brief budget justification narrative that meets the following guidelines:
    • Equipment purchases are not permitted with Endowment funds.
    • Because of limited funds and the relatively small dollar total of awards, the RSS will not pay overhead charges to the host institution of the recipient.
    • The RSS Endowment Awards Subcommittee understands that individuals submitting proposals may seek additional funding from other sources. The committee requests that the budget narrative describe exactly which parts of the project would be supported by additional funds and which parts would be supported by RSS funds.
  1. A copy of the applicant’s CV.

Lawrence Busch Award for Graduate Student Research on Food and Agriculture

The purpose of the Lawrence Busch Award for Graduate Student Research on Food and Agriculture is to support graduate student RSS members in research with a focus on food and agriculture. The recipient of this award shall engage in social research on issues related to food and/or agriculture. The research may be of domestic or international relevance and shall have been approved by the appropriate offices of the student’s institution. The award shall be given directly to the recipient and not to any institution. Awards can be made for up to $1,500.

Submit the following materials by January 31, 2024 to Aysha Bodenhamer via email to [email protected]:

1.     A short cover letter that includes a paragraph explaining how their thesis/dissertation/research will influence the applicant’s future work related to food and agriculture.

2.     The proposal, including the budget and budget justification, is limited to no more than 5 single-spaced pages of the research to be undertaken using a 12-point font and 1-inch margins. The applicant should include an itemized budget and a brief budget narrative. References are not included in the 5-page limit. The proposal should include:

  • A well-defined problem statement,
  • An abbreviated literature review,
  • A section detaining research methods,
  • A work-plan schedule,
  • Plans for dissemination of findings,
  • An itemized budget for the work planned, and
  • A brief budget justification narrative that meets the following guidelines:
    • Equipment purchases are not permitted with Endowment funds.
    • Because of the limited funds and the relatively small dollar total of awards, RSS will not pay overhead charges to the host institution of the recipient.
    • The RSS Endowment Committee understands that individuals submitting proposals may seek additional funding from other sources. The committee requests that the budget narrative describe exactly which parts of the project would be supported by additional funds and which parts would be supported by the Busch Award.

3.     Applicant’s CV.

4.     A letter from the student’s major professor or thesis/dissertation chair that addresses the project’s intellectual significance and the likelihood that work on the thesis/dissertation will be actively pursued during the current academic year.