Student Paper Award

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2024 Student Paper Award competition: The SSSR will award two Student Paper Awards in 2024. An award will be given to the best student paper presented at the 2023 Annual Meeting that has been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. A second award will be given for the best student paper presented at the 2023 Annual Meeting that has not yet been published.

Purpose of the Award: To recognize the best papers, both published and unpublished, presented by a student at the Annual Meeting. The SSSR wishes to encourage scholarly work and participation by students in SSSR meeting.

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; faculty and post-doctoral co-authors are not permitted. Those who recently received their Ph.D. degree may apply if their paper was written while still a graduate student. Each author may only submit one paper to this competition.

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 and 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.

Procedures: Any current member of SSSR may nominate a worthy student paper to the Student Paper Award Committee, and the committee chair will notify the student presenter of their nomination. Students may also self-nominate. A pdf of the nominated paper must be provided to the committee members no later than June 15, 2024.

Format: The written version submitted for consideration for the award should be of typical length for published articles, i.e. approximately 35 pages, double-spaced, including notes and references.

Deadline: The deadline to submit a nomination is June 1, 2024. Nominated papers must be received by the committee no later than June 15, 2024.

Award: The Student Paper Awards will be presented at the Annual Meeting. The winner of the best student paper presented at the 2023 Annual Meeting that has been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal and the winner of the best student paper presented at the 2023 Annual Meeting that has not yet been published will each receive a plaque and $500.00.



Claire Gilliland, (Furman University), Chair

Jaime Kucinskas (Hamilton College)

Jonathan Calvillo (Emory University)

Ryan Cobb (University of Georgia)


2023 - Published Andrew Chalfoun (University of California Los Angeles), "Biblical Authority in Interaction: How do evangelicals use the Bible?"

2023 - Unpublished Miray Philips (University of Minnesota), "(Mis-)Representing Christian Persecution: On the Political Misuses of Quantification in Advocacy"

2022 - Published Iman Said (Pennsylvania State University) and Kimberly M. Davidson (Florida State University), "A Mixed Method Evaluation of the Role of Religion in Desistance and Reentry"

2022 - Unpublished Anthony Albanese (Pennsylvania State University), "Perceived Threat and Reactive Identification: Right-Wing Secularization in Germany, 1999-2017"

2021 Claire Gilliland (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill), “Getting Permission to Break The Rules: Clergy Respond to LGBTQ Exclusion in the United Methodist Church”

2020 Michael Rotolo (University of Notre Dame), “Moral Religiosities: How Morality Structures Religious Understandings During the Transition to Adulthood.”

2019 Laila H. Noureldin (University of Chicago), “American v Muslim? Religiosity as a Marker of Fragmented Identification among American Muslims.”

2018 Di Di (Rice University), “Navigating Gender Norms: Gender Agency in Buddhist Temples in Mainland China and the US.”

2017 Not awarded due to a transition in the timing for the award.

2016 Dane R. Mataic (Pennsylvania State University), “Spatial Diffusion of Governmental Restrictions on Religion”

2015 Grahm Hill (University of California, Berkeley), “Reclaiming the Secular: A Charismatic Christian Brotherhood’s Interventions on Secularism in Mexico City.”

2014 Landon Schnabel (Indiana University), “The Gender Pray Gap.”

2013 Grad Fulton (Duke University), “Network Ties and Organizational Action: Explaining Variation in Social Service Provision among Congregations.”

2012 Rachel Ellis (University of Pennsylvania), “Marketing to Whom? Desired Members and Jewish Denominational Niches, 1913–1920.”

2011 Katie E. Corcoran, David Pettinicchio, and Blaine Robbins (University of Washington), “Religion and the Acceptability of White-Collar Crime: A Cross-National Analysis.”