Student Interest

2019 SAFRIG Student Paper Award

The Sociology of Agriculture and Food Research Interest Group (SAFRIG) will present a Student Paper Award in Richmond at the annual meeting of the Rural Sociological Society. Requirements for this award include that the paper:

1) Is authored by a student or group of students (no faculty co-authors)

2) Focuses on an agrifood topic

3) Uses the Rural Sociology journal guidelines for style, formatting, and references

Papers will be particularly competitive if they demonstrate effective use of innovative theories, methods, and/or attention to unique geographic, cultural, and political contexts. Submissions for the Student Paper Award competition can be under initial review at a peer-reviewed journal, but cannot be already accepted (in press) or published in a peer-reviewed journal. In order to compete, all authors must be members of the Rural Sociological Society. The winner(s) will receive a certificate and monetary award. The winner(s) must present the paper at the RSS Annual Meeting in 2019. The award will be presented during the SAFRIG Business Meeting at the 2019 conference. Submissions for this competition should be sent as an e-mail attachment by May 15, 2019 to Dani Deemer at [email protected].


NSF-NRT Program at Kansas State University

Kansas State University are recruiting Sociology M.S. and Ph.D. students for a new interdisciplinary graduate program. 

Briefly, the program is funded by a National Research Traineeship (NRT) Award from the National Science Foundation. The theme is “Rural Resource Resiliency.”  The program is designed to prepare future leaders in industry, academia, government, and policy settings to help shape more sustainable communities.  The program focuses especially on the challenges associated with food, energy, and water systems.

Kansas State can offer a generous stipend ($34,000 per year; 1-year at the Master’s level, 2-years at the PhD level), and full tuition (up to 18 credit hours per year).  Following this funding, students in the program will be very competitive for GTA and GRA opportunities to complete their studies. NSF does require US Citizenship, green card, or permanent residency to participate with NRT-funding.  Also, Kansas State can waive the application fee to the KSU Graduate School.

For more information, click here.

MS or PhD Assistantship Opportunities in
Human Dimensions of Farm and Food Systems
School of Environment and Natural Resources, The Ohio State University

Dr. Douglas Jackson-Smith and Dr. Shoshanah Inwood are seeking graduate students to work on a range of research projects surrounding human dimensions of farm and food systems.  We have positions open for students starting fall 2019. Examples of our current and planned projects include: 

  • Impacts of farm and landscape diversity on risks of antimicrobial resistance. 
  • Social, economic and environmental outcomes associated with re‐integration of crop and livestock farming systems (at the farm or landscape scale).
  • Social, economic, and logistical factors driving use (or non‐use) of farm management practices linked to soil health (crop rotations, cover crops, use of manure/compost, minimum tillage). 
  • Social and economic factors driving entry and exit patterns in US agriculture; particular attention to issues related to quality of life and household well‐being. 
  • Implications of access to health insurance and health care services for the viability and sustainability of producers and workers in farming and food systems. 
  • Assessment of different approaches to on-farm and participatory research.   

Our faculty lines are located within an interdisciplinary unit (the School of Environment and Natural Resources) within the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.  Graduate students would have the option to specialize in either Rural Sociology or Environmental Social Science (two of the core specializations in the Environment and Natural Resources graduate degree program: see Students would also be able to draw on faculty and courses from across OSU – including scholars in agricultural economics, public policy, sociology/psychology, anthropology, geography, and public health.   

We are also both part of a large interdisciplinary faculty hiring initiative at OSU called the  Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation (InFACT;‐agricultural‐transformation‐infact) and are actively building a collaborative group of faculty  and students focused on dynamics of ‘working landscapes’ at our Wooster research station  (where we both have our primary offices).  While our disciplinary skills are focused on sociology, we are seeking students interested in integrating their social science work as part of broader collaborative and interdisciplinary teams (so‐called ‘convergence’ science).  We are also committed to applied and engaged modes of research – with emphasis on participatory models of research, outreach, and co-development of solutions to complex problems.   

Please contact us soon if you are interested in exploring a possible graduate degree with one or both of us at OSU starting fall 2019: Jackson‐[email protected]; [email protected].


Natural Resource Research and Interest Group (NRRIG) Awards

Award Guidelines

The previous year’s award winners are asked to serve, alongside our RIG’s chairs, as reviewers for the following year’s submissions. Award winners are expected to attend the annual meeting as well as the NRRIG business meeting. Paper award winners are also expected to present their winning paper at the annual meeting.


The William R. Freudenburg Award of Merit is presented to recognize exceptional contributions to the sociology of natural resources and the environment. The award is given to recognize an outstanding legacy / collective body of work that has demonstrably impacted natural resources and environmental sociology.

Recipients will have the following qualifications: outstanding research and scholarship as evidenced not solely by numbers of publications, but their impact: simply put, we are looking for recipients who have substantively affected the trajectory of thinking within natural resources and environmental sociology. Such impact may also be evidenced via application of work beyond the academy, such as work with a natural resources agency, organization, or other partnerships. Other contributions to the NRRIG or sociology of natural resources and environment, such as an outstanding legacy of outreach, graduate student mentorship, and/or instruction are also envisioned as important criteria for consideration. Nominees are not required to be present or past members of the NRRIG.


Call for Papers, Posters, and Organized Sessions

At the 2019 Annual Meeting we will explore a myriad of theoretical perspectives, practices, and political actions concerning justice and tyranny.  The plenary speakers are:

Savonala “Savi” Horne

Executive Director at Land Loss Prevention Project


Saru Jayaraman

President of Restaurant Opportunities Center United

& Director of the Food Labor Research Center

This theme is timely because many social scientists are involved in various research, curricular, and outreach initiatives nationally and internationally to understand the justice and ethics of agriculture, the food system, natural resource extraction, healthcare, government, and criminal justice to name just a few. Community-based organizations are applying the sociological imagination to bridge chasms in community and disrupt the us-versus-them mentality at the heart of tyranny. Many colleges and universities have begun offering justice programs and courses (e.g., "Environmental Justice," "Food Justice"). Let us use the 2019 meeting as an intellectually engaging space to share our stories from the field, theoretical and methodological innovations to interpret the social world, and community action to address political and socioeconomic polarization.

In addition to presentations on the meeting theme, we always invite presentations of research and engagement focused on rural people, places and themes from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives.

Abstracts: Abstracts should be approximately 350-500 words and briefly outline the purpose and theoretical framing of the paper, poster, panel, or organized session. Where appropriate, include information about methods, data, and preliminary findings. The deadline for submitting papers, posters and sessions is Friday, February 1, 2019, 11:59 pm (EST).

To submit an abstract, use this link the Annual Meeting page of the RSS website for more information.  Contact Elizabeth Ransom, Program Chair at [email protected] or the RSS Business Office [email protected] with any questions and ideas for special events you have for the 2019 meeting.

The Rural Sociological Society is a professional social science association that promotes the generation, application, and dissemination of sociological knowledge. The Society seeks to enhance the quality of rural life, communities, and the environment.

We seek and support a diverse and international membership of academics and practitioners who share our interests in rural people and places.

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