Kenneth Sherrill Prize

Please visit the new Centennial Center website to learn more about the Kenneth Sherrill Prize

Through APSA's Centennial Center for Political Science and Public Affairs, the Kenneth Sherrill Prize recognizes the best doctoral dissertation proposal for an empirical study of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) topics in political science.  The purpose of this prize is to encourage and enable empirical work on LGBT topics by graduate students, and to broaden the recognition of this work within political science.

Nominations for the 2024 APSA Awards have closed.
About the 2023 Winner:

Rachel O’Neal is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Colorado Boulder.  O’Neal has a Master’s degree in political science from CU Boulder and a Bachelor’s degree from Creighton University in political science and journalism.  Their research focuses on transgender rights, hetero-cisnormativity, and quantitative queer comparative politics more broadly.  More specifically, O’Neal is interested in how de jure policies unrelated to gender, sex, and sexuality enforce our understanding of each concept.  Currently, they are working on projects related to conversion therapy bans in the US, global gender marker policies, and hetero-cisnormativity in US court cases.  O’Neal’s proposed research agenda also includes research on transgender sex work, initially at the US level with hopes to expand to the global level.


Prize Requirements

Applicants must have successfully defended the prospectus for their dissertation, or intend to defend their prospectus by July 31, 2024.  To qualify, an applicant’s dissertation prospectus must be an empirical study of LBGT topics; a prospectus in political theory is not eligible for the Kenneth Sherrill Prize. 

Each year after receiving the Prize, the Prize committee must receive a report from prior recipients stating if the dissertation has been completed and if so, receive an abstract of the completed dissertation, and if not, a timetable detailing expected trajectory to completion.

Kenneth Sherrill Prize Committee

Sherrill Award Committee

Chair: Dr. Ellen Ann Andersen
University of Vermont

Dr. Logan S. Casey
Harvard University

Gabriele Magni
Loyola Marymount University

Carly Thomsen
Middlebury College

How to Apply

Applications for the program should include:

  • A curriculum vitae.
  • An abstract of the dissertation proposal.
  • A copy of the applicant’s dissertation proposal.
  • A letter of recommendation from the chair of the applicant’s dissertation committee.  The letter must attest that the prospectus will be defended by July 31, 2024.

Contact Us

For questions or concerns about the Kenneth Sherrill Prize or the application process, please contact the Centennial Center for Political Science and Public Affairs at centennial@apsanet.org.

About Kenneth Sherrill
Dr. Kenneth Sherrill was professor Emeritus of Political Science at Hunter College, CUNY, with a research focus on American politics, public opinion, and Gay and Lesbian politics. Sherrill died on Saturday, December 2, 2023. Read more about his impact and contributions to the APSA and the political science profession here.

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