Contact Information

Roman R. Williams, Ph.D.

Calvin College
Department of Sociology
Grand Rapids, MI 49546

(616) 526-6026

Annual Awards and Grants

Purpose: To recognize the most outstanding book published by a SSSR member or members within the past two years.

Qualifications: A book may be nominated by its publisher, its author, or any other SSSR member deeming it to be of outstanding quality. Studies solely in the physical sciences tend to receive lower priority.

Criteria: The committee will judge each book's quality of scholarship, importance to the field, and relevance to the larger society. Any book involving some aspect of the scientific study of religion is eligible.

Award: The award will be presented at the annual meeting. It includes a plaque and $1000.

Procedure: The chair of the committee must be notified of the book's nomination by April 1. A copy of the book must be sent to EACH member of the committee, listed below, by April 15. Mailing is the responsibility of the publisher and author.

Tim Clydesdale, Chair
Dept of Sociology, College of New Jersey
PO Box 7718
2000 Pennington Rd.
Ewing, NJ 08628–0718

Janet L. Jacobs
875 Circle Drive
Boulder, CO 80302

Paula Nesbitt
PO Box 5251
Berkeley, CA 94705

John Schmalzbauer
Strong Hall 263
Department of Religious Studies
Missouri State University
901 S. National Avenue
Springfield, MO 65897

Purpose: To recognize the most outstanding article published by a SSSR member or members within the previous calender year according to the citation date. So for the 2017 award, only articles with citation dates in calendar–year 2016 are eligible.

Qualifications: An article may be nominated by the editor of the journal in which it appeared, by its author, or by any other SSSR member deeming it to be of outstanding quality. Articles must have been published in peer–reviewed journals. Submissions published solely in edited volumes will not be considered.

Procedures: Nominated articles must be sent in electronic format by May 15 to all committee members. Those members are:

Frances Kostarelos, Chair

Jonathan Hill

Adair Lummis

Stuart Wright

Criteria: The committee will judge each article's quality of scholarship, importance to the field, and relevance to the larger society. Any article involving some aspect of the scientific study of religion is eligible.

Award: The award will be presented at the annual meeting. It includes a plaque and $1000.

Beginning in 2017, the process of selection for the best student paper award will take place after the annual meeting.

Purpose: To recognize the best paper scheduled for presentation by a student at the annual meeting. SSSR wishes to encourage scholarly work and participation by students in SSSR meetings.

Qualifications: Authors of papers nominated and submitted for this competition must be graduate or undergraduate students at institutions of higher learning anywhere in the world, but papers must be submitted in English. Any co–authors must also be students.

Neither faculty nor post–doctoral co–authors are permitted. Those who recently received the Ph.D. degree may apply if the paper was written while still a graduate student. Each author may submit only one paper to this competition.

Eligibility: To be eligible, a paper must not have been published or accepted for publication. At least one author for the paper must be registered for the SSSR conference.

Procedures: Any current member of SSSR may nominate nominate worthy student papers to the Student Paper Award Committee. Students may self–nominate. The Committee chair will notify the student presenter of their nomination.

Deadline: The deadline to submit a completed paper is May 1, 2018.

Format: Although the version of the paper prepared for oral presentation is usually limited to what can be communicated in 15 minutes, the written version submitted by May 1 for the award should be of normal length for published articles: approximately 35 pages, double–spaced, including notes and references. Papers should be submitted to the chair of the Committee as an email attachment in one of the following formats: MS Word (.doc), PDF, or rich text format (.rtf).

Criteria: Student papers will be judged by the awards committee on criteria normally used in evaluating scholarly and scientific papers for publication – namely, an appropriate theoretical framework, a competent use of research methods and data as necessary, with a persuasive argument to a logical conclusion. Papers may build upon any theoretical or research tradition. It will be up to the author(s) to demonstrate the cogency and usefulness of the theories and methods used in the paper.

Award: The award will be presented at the annual meeting. It includes a plaque and $1000.

Please direct any questions to Amy Moff Hudec (, chair of the 2017 Student Paper Award Committee.

A generous bequest from Jack Shand, a long–term member of SSSR until his death in 2001, has made it possible for SSSR to offer Jack Shand Research Awards to support research in the social scientific study of religion.

For 2017, SSSR Council has allocated $40,000 to this program. While individual awards do not ordinarily exceed $5000, it is possible to make a special request for more, to be considered at the committee's discretion. Applicants must have finished the Ph.D. degree and must be members of SSSR. In the case of co–authored requests, one author must be a member. Intellectual merit is the criterion by which proposals will be evaluated.

Applicants should email a proposal, in PDF, to Samuel Reimer, chair of the Shand Research Award committee, no later than May 1, 2017. The proposal should be no longer than 4 single–spaced pages of 12–point type, including a budget. The limit of 4 pages does not include references.

Funding decisions will be made by August 1, 2017.

Jack Shand Research Awards Committee

Samuel Reimer, Chair

Jeremy Uecker

Laurel Kearns

Leo Van Arragon

The Society for the Scientific Study of Religion is an international association which seeks to promote the scientific study of religion worldwide through its journal and several programs offering support for research and travel to the annual conference. The Society offers a limited number of travel awards to help defray costs of attendance at its annual meeting for scholars living outside the United States and Canada. Awards are given on the basis of demonstrated financial need and quality of proposal. Applications from scholars in less developed countries and from those who have not previously received a Shand International Travel award or attended a SSSR annual meeting are particularly welcome.

Following are rules and expectations for those applying for Jack Shand International Travel awards:

1. English language proficiency is required and applicants must hold a terminal degree for the field, normally the PhD.

2. Paper or session proposed must be presented at a SSSR session and applicants must attend the entire annual meeting. 

3. Scholars who are not currently members of SSSR may apply, but if successful they MUST become SSSR members in order to receive the award.

4. Recipients of SSSR travel awards during the two previous years are not normally eligible. 

5. Applications must be received no later than March 31, which is also the deadline for submitting abstracts or session proposals for the meeting. Decisions will be made by April 30, the same time notifications go out for paper and sessions proposals. SSSR has instituted a policy of mandatory preregistration by May 30 for all accepted papers and sessions. 

6. Those who receive awards must preregister by May 30, but meeting registration fees are included as part of the Shand International Travel award.

7. Amount of awards may be capped, and thus may not cover all travel costs for successful applicants.
8. Travel reimbursement will paid in person at the annual meeting unless other arrangements have been made.

Applications should be in English. All selection criteria should be addressed explicitly in the application.
Applicants should compile ONE Microsoft Word or PDF document with subheads for each of these five sections, in this order:

a. Cover letter
Explain how a travel award would assist the applicant's scholarly work and ability to contribute to the scholarly community in his or her home country. The letter should state whether (and when) the applicant has previously attended SSSR meetings and details of any previous travel awards received from SSSR. 

b. Extended abstract for presentation (500–1,000 words).
Briefly describe the research question, data and methods employed, initial findings or hypotheses, and the significance of this study.

The intellectual excellence of the project is an important consideration for this award.

c. Statement of need
Describe efforts made to obtain support from elsewhere (e.g., the home institution).

d. Budget
Provide estimated costs of travel, hotel, meals and incidental expenses, the amount of assistance requested and the amount of co–funding expected from other sources.

The conference rate for rooms at the Marriott Wardman Park is expected to be $212/night, including tax. A suggested budget for meals in DC is $50/day. Baltimore–Washington International (BWI) and Dulles (IAD) are the closest international airports to the conference although international flights initially landing elsewhere in the U.S. may connect to Reagan National airport (DCA), which is closer and has metro service to the conference area. Those arriving at BWI or IAD may wish to use airport shuttles at a cost of roughly $40 round–trip.

(Verification of flight costs may be required before reimbursement.)

e. Curriculum Vita
This should be no more than two pages.

Finally, please submit at least one academic letter of reference from a member of SSSR.

Applications should be sent electronically to:

Conrad Hackett, Chair

The Society for the Scientific Study of Religion offers annual research awards to assist graduate students in their research. Although these awards are normally used for dissertation support, other significant research is eligible. The ordinary maximum award is $3,000. Awards are intended to cover research expenses, travel, research assistance, and up to $1500 in stipend for the researcher's own time. Grant recipients have two years to spend their awards and are expected to submit a brief report on their research.

Applicants must have been SSSR members for at least one year at the time they submit their proposals and must not have won the award in the previous three years. Applicants should describe the project they wish to undertake in no more than 3 single–spaced pages, discussing its significance for the social scientific study of religion and briefly identifying the literature on which they are drawing. The applications should include an abstract of no more than 100 words and an annotated budget that describes the rationale for proposed expenditures, as well as information about any other sources of support. The application should be accompanied by a brief curriculum vitae (no more than 2 pages) listing the most recent research and publications.

The application package should be collated into one MS Word file containing, in order, the abstract, three page proposal, annotated budget, and two page CV. Send an electronic copy of the application package by May 1, 2017 to:

Clay Polson, Chair

Notification of results: July 1, 2017

Travel assistance to help defray the costs of attending the annual meetings is available for graduate students. Formal application using the form supplied is required for consideration (Application). Applicants are asked include an abstract of their paper and to provide their contact information, name of their academic advisor, academic program status (MA, ABD, on the job market, etc.), if they have attended the SSSR meetings before, their SSSR program status (presenting, co author but not presenting, etc.), and any additional sources of funding such as departmental travel assistance or some similar funding.

Application Form:

Applicants should download the form, fill out all the required information and submit electronically by March 31, 2017. This is the same as the deadline for submitting a paper abstract or session proposal. SSSR has instituted a policy of mandatory preregistration and prepayment for 2017 with a deadline of May 31. Therefore, award winners will be notified by April 30 (same day as notification of paper or session acceptance) so they can plan accordingly. While it will be necessary for winners to go online and preregister, this year the registration fee WILL BE INCLUDED as part of the award.

Please send applications to:

Amy Reynolds, Chair

Applications received after the deadline will not necessarily receive consideration. Awardees will be notified by email by April 30, and the award checks will be distributed IN PERSON at the SSSR meeting.

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