2021 Undergraduate and Graduate Student Paper Competitions

The Alabama-Mississippi Sociological Association (A-MSA) invites students to submit papers for its annual student paper competitions—one for undergraduate students and one for graduate students (MA or PhD). The competitions are open to all students currently attending (part-time or full-time) a community college or university in the states of Alabama or Mississippi. Cash prizes will be awarded to the first ($150), second ($100), and third place ($50) winners in each competition. The authors of three undergraduate and three graduate papers will be selected as finalists by a panel of judges and be required to present their papers in a public Zoom conference on Friday, April 23rd at 3-5pm (CDT). Awards for each competition will be announced following the presentations.

Rules and Guidelines:


  • Submissions are due by Friday, April 9th at 11:59pm using the link below:

  • Students’ submissions must include contact information for a faculty sponsor from the student’s school. A-MSA membership is NOT required for either students or their faculty sponsors.

  • The submission form requires the title of the paper, the names of the author(s), the institutional affiliation of the author(s), and email address of each author.

  • The paper must include a title page with the title and the name of the authors, and shall not exceed 20 double-spaced pages (excluding references). Papers should be converted to pdf format before submitting.

  • Papers that have already been published elsewhere will not be considered, but papers that are currently under review for publication are allowed.

  • Undergraduate papers can be co-authored as long as all authors are undergraduate students. Graduate papers can be co-authored as long as all authors are graduate students. In the case of co-authorship, the prize money will be split evenly between co-authors. Faculty co-authorship is not allowed. The submitting student should be the first author.

  • If the paper constitutes human subjects research, it must be accompanied with IRB approval from the relevant institution.

  • To receive full consideration and be eligible to receive the cash prize, the author(s) must meet all deadlines and, if selected as a finalist, present their paper in the Zoom conference on April 23rd at 3-5pm.

  • Submissions will be assessed by a panel of judges selected from the membership body of A-MSA. Evaluations will be based on relevance to the discipline of sociology (or the social sciences more broadly), quality of the research, theoretical importance and/or social relevance of the topic, clarity and rigor of the argument, originality, and the quality of the writing. Empirical research papers and theoretical essays are equally welcome.

  • All student authors who submit a paper for the competition will receive a free one-year membership in A-MSA.


Submit your paper