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APSA Awards: Recognizing Excellence in the Profession

Recognizing excellence in the profession is one of the most important roles of the American Political Science Association. Through the service of member committees who review nominations, the Association makes awards for the best dissertations, papers and articles, and books in the various subfields of the discipline, and for career achievement in research, teaching and service to the discipline. These awards are presented at the APSA Annual Meeting.

More information about the awards that APSA presents is available in the sections below. For any additional questions about APSA awards, please contact [email protected].

Current APSA Awards & News 

Robert A. Dahl Award Nominations Open through June 1
The Robert A. Dahl Award recognizes untenured scholars who have produced scholarship of the highest quality on the subject of democracy. Non-ladder faculty, junior tenure-track faculty, scholars at think tanks and nonprofits, and independent scholars are all eligible to be considered. Nominations are open through Wednesday, June 1. Click here to learn more about the Dahl Award and submit a nomination.

APSA Campus Teaching Award Recognition Submissions Open through June 27
Colleges and universities recognize exceptional teaching by presenting faculty members with awards for teaching excellence. The American Political Science Association values excellence in teaching political science and recognizes faculty achievements in teaching.
Learn more and apply here»

APSA-IPSA Theodore J. Lowi Award Nominations are closed.
The APSA-IPSA Theodore J. Lowi First Book Award recognizes the author of a first book in any field of political science that shows promise of having a substantive impact on the overall discipline, regardless of method, specific focus of inquiry, or approach to subject. Learn more about the Lowi Award and submitting a nomination here.

Frank J. Goodnow Award

The Frank J. Goodnow Award is made for distinguished service to the profession and the American Political Science Association, not necessarily a career of scholarship. This service may be by individuals, groups, or public and private organizations who have played a role in the development of the political science profession and the building of the Association.

Submit your nominations here.

Career Awards

  • APSA Distinguished Teaching Award [$1,000]: For outstanding contributions to undergraduate and/or graduate teaching of political science at a two- or four-year institution.

  • John Gaus Award [$2,000]: For a lifetime of exemplary scholarship in the joint tradition of political science and public administration and, more generally, to recognize achievement and encourage scholarship in public administration. The recipient delivers the Gaus Lecture at the Annual Meeting.

  • Hubert H. Humphrey Award [$1,000]: For notable public service by a political scientist.

  • Carey McWilliams Award [$750]: For a major journalistic contribution to our understanding of politics.

  • Benjamin E. Lippincott Award [$1,500]: For exceptional work by a living political theorist that is still considered significant after a time span of at least 15 years since the original publication (supported by University of Minnesota). Given biennially; next awarded in 2017.

  • James Madison Award [$2,000]: For an American political scientist who has made a distinguished scholarly contribution to political science. Given triennially; next awarded in 2017.

  • Charles Merriam Award [$500]: For a person whose published work and career represent a significant contribution to the art of government through the application of social science research. Given biennially; next awarded in 2017.

  • Ithiel de Sola Pool Award [$2,000]: For a scholar selected to present a lecture exploring the implications of research on issues of politics in a broad range of scholarship pursued by Ithiel de Sola Pool. Given triennially; next awarded in 2016.

  • Hanes Walton, Jr. Career Award : For a political scientist whose lifetime of distinguished scholarship “has made significant contributions to our understanding of racial and ethnic politics and illuminates the conditions under which diversity and intergroup tolerance thrive in democratic societies.” [More details forthcoming].

  • Dissertation Awards

  • Gabriel A. Almond Award [$750]: For the best doctoral dissertation in the field of comparative politics.

  • William Anderson Award [$750]: For the best doctoral dissertation in the general field of federalism or intergovernmental relations, state and local politics.

  • Edward S. Corwin Award [$750]: For the best doctoral dissertation in the field of public law.

  • Harold D. Lasswell Award [$1,000]: For the best doctoral dissertation in the field of public policy (co-sponsored by the Policy Studies Organization).

  • Helen Dwight Reid Award [$750]: For the best doctoral dissertation in the field of international relations, law and politics.

  • E.E. Schattschneider Award [$750]: For the best doctoral dissertation in the field of American government.

  • Leo Strauss Award [$750]: For the best doctoral dissertation in the field of political philosophy.

  • Leonard D. White Award [$750]: For the best doctoral dissertation in the field of public administration (supported by University of Chicago).

  • To qualify for a nomination, dissertations must have been successfully defended within the past two calendar years

    Paper and Article Awards

  • Franklin L. Burdette/Pi Sigma Alpha Award [$750]: For the best paper presented at the previous annual meeting. Program Division Chairs of the previous year's annual meeting are invited to submit one paper from their division as a nomination for the best paper of the annual meeting.

  • Heinz I. Eulau Award [$750]: For the best articles published in the American Political Science Review and Perspectives on Politics during the previous calendar year.


    Book Awards

  • Ralph J. Bunche Award [$1,000]: For the best scholarly work in political science published in the previous calendar year on ethnic and cultural pluralism.

  • Gladys M. Kammerer Award [$1,000]: For the best political science publication in the previous calendar year in the field of U.S. national policy.

  • Victoria Schuck Award [$1,000]: For the best book published in the previous calendar year on women and politics.

  • Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award [$5,000]: For the best book published in the U.S. during the previous calendar year on government, politics, or international affairs (supported by Princeton University).

  • ["previous calendar year": Many books contain both a publication date and a copyright date, and these may differ. Eligibility for APSA book awards is determined by the earlier of these dates that is printed with the publication information at the front of the book. For example, if the publication page has a printed copyright date of 2015, that is the date that applies even if the book was released in 2014. If the publication page includes a print or publication date of 2014, then that is the date that applies even if the copyright is 2015.]

    If you are nominating a book as an individual, please contact the publisher, and ask them to have a copy of the nominated book sent to each committee member. If you are nominating a book  as a publisher, send a copy of the nominated book to each committee member. Postal information for all committees is included in the individual award pages (see links above).

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