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Awards and Prizes

Current individual membership is a requirement for all applicants for NWSA awards.


Gloria E. Anzaldúa Book Prize
The prize includes $1,000 and recognition for groundbreaking monographs in women's studies that makes significant multicultural feminist contributions to women of color/transnational scholarship.

The prize honors Gloria Anzaldúa, a valued and long-active member of the National Women's Studies Association.

Learn more about the prize.

Deadline: May 1 each calendar year


Sara A. Whaley Book Prize
Thanks to a generous bequest from Sara A. Whaley, NWSA will offer two $2,000 Sara A. Whaley book awards on the topic of women and labor. This prize honors Sara Whaley, who owned Rush Publishing and was the editor of Women's Studies Abstracts. Each year NWSA will award up to 2 book awards for monographs that address women and labor.

Learn more about the prize.

Deadline: May 1 each calendar year

NWSA-University of Illinois Press First Book Prize
The National Women's Studies Association and the University of Illinois Press are pleased to announce a new competition for the best dissertation or first book manuscript by a single author in the field of women's and gender studies. Applicants must be National Women's Studies Association members. We welcome nonfiction manuscripts that exemplify cutting-edge intersectional feminist scholarship, whether the area of focus is historical or contemporary. The competition is open to scholars from all disciplinary backgrounds, but we especially encourage work that speaks effectively across disciplines, and projects that offer new perspectives on concerns central to the field of women's and gender studies. 

NWSA and the University of Illinois Press are pleased to offer a $1,000 advance to the winner.

Deadline: June 1 each calendar year

Application details.
Deadline: June 1, 2015

In addition to completing the online application, you must also submit: 
one letter of nomination or self-nomination AND
at least one additional letter in support of the nomination.
In addition to these requirements, you may choose to submit an optional resume or CV. Please submit all supporting documents to no later than June 1, 2015
Only applicants with current individual membership and completed applications will be considered.
Any questions can be directed to Alicia Hahn-Murphy ( and Amanda Linsenmeyer (, Co-Chairs of the WCC Awards Committee.

Outstanding Achievement Award
The annual NWSA Women’s Centers Outstanding Achievement award is given to remarkable women working in Women’s Centers/Gender Equity Centers who have accomplished a significant endeavor to improve the lives of women, and have addressed gender equity, sexism and other forms of oppression.

Emerging Leader Award
An Emerging Leader is an individual new to the field of Women’s Center/Gender Equity Centers who has demonstrated extraordinary dedication to the issues that affect women on campus, in their community or globally.

Founders Awards
While collaborative efforts of many faculty, students and staff contributed to the establishment of the early women’s centers in the academy, this award is a special recognition of the pioneers who were the first directors of a college or university women’s center that has continued to serve students, faculty, and/or staff for at least two decades.

Lifetime Achievement Award
This award is given to an individual whose professional accomplishments includes leadership and service for a significant period of time as a Women’s Center director at one or more institutions of higher education in their professional career. This individual will have served as an effective visionary on behalf of women’s equality and lives, as an advocate, role model and mentor to other women and those dedicated to gender equity, and as one whose engagement with policy and systemic change has helped shaped the course of women’s and gender issues in her workplace, and, thus, provided a standard of excellence and enduring legacy.

NWSA Graduate Scholarship
NWSA will award $1,000 to a student who, in the fall of the year of the award, will be engaged in the research or writing stages of a Master's Thesis or Ph.D. Dissertation in the interdisciplinary field of women's studies. The research project must enhance the NWSA mission. This opportunity is open to current NWSA invididual members.

Current individual membership
Online application form (preview here)
PDF of CV sent to
Two letters of recommendation sent to

Deadline: May 15 each calendar year
Lesbian Caucus Award
The purpose of the annual NWSA Lesbian Caucus Award is to provide a $500 research award in recognition of a Master’s Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation research project in areas of Lesbian, Queer, and LGBT Studies that resonates with the mission of NWSA.

Available in 2017.
NWSA Women of Color Caucus-Frontiers Student Essay Award
Available in 2016

The purpose of the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) Women of Color Caucus-Frontiers Student Essay Awards is to discover, encourage, and promote the intellectual development of emerging scholars who engage in critical theoretical discussions and/or analyses about feminist/womanist issues concerning women and girls of color in the United States and the diaspora.

Up to four (4) $500 awards are available for women of color who are current graduate students and members of NWSA.
Prize-winning essays will automatically be considered for publication by Frontiers; all essays are subject to Frontiers peer review process. If winning essays are accepted for publication, additional revisions may be required.

Eligibility Requirements
Submissions must be from women of color who are NWSA members and currently enrolled in graduate or professional programs. Recent recipients of a terminal degree (no later than May 2013) are also eligible to apply.

The Caucus identifies women of color as those persons from African, Asian (including Asian American, Pacific Islander, Arab or Middle East Asian), Latin American, or American Indian (including African Native American or Alaskan Native) descent.