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Student Awards and Prizes

Current individual membership is a requirement for all applicants for NWSA awards. Only online applications can be considered. Please note, a Submittable login is different from your NWSA login.

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 individual members.


  • Current Individual NWSA Membership
  • Completed online form (linked below)
  • PDF of one-page CV
  • Letter of recommendation from Program Director. Note, in the form you'll input your Program Director's email and the system will send a notification to upload their recommendation directly.



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 project in areas of Lesbian, Queer, and LGBT Studies that resonates with the mission of NWSA. The field of the degree is open, but the work should focus on lesbian (defined broadly) lives, identities, or realities and make a contribution to the fields of lesbian and sexuality studies. Award applications are evaluated on the basis of
  • Clarity of project description;
  • Relevance to mission of NWSA, goals of Lesbian Caucus, and field of Women’s and Gender Studies;
  • Engagement of feminist analytical frameworks/methodologies; and
  • Potential impact on the fields of lesbian/sexuality studies.
  • Current Individual NWSA Membership
  • Completed online form
  • One letter of recommendation, preferably from dissertation or thesis adviser, although DGS letters will be accepted. Note, in the form you'll input you letter writer's email and the system will send a notification to upload their recommendation directly.
All scholarship applicants are encouraged to apply for NWSA Conference Registration and Travel Grants if assistance is needed for NWSA conference participation (application available May 1).

NWSA Women of Color Caucus-Frontiers Student Essay Award
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. One (1) $500 award is available for a woman of color who is a current graduate student and member of NWSA.

The prize-winning essay 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.


Submission Requirements

  • Submissions must be from women of color who are current individual NWSA members and currently enrolled in a graduate or a professional program. Recent recipients of a terminal degree (no later than May 2017) are also eligible to apply.

  • Completed online form (linked above)
  • Applicants should address the 2018 conference theme (complete details at

  • Submissions must be original manuscripts, not previously published in whole or in part (whether online or in print) or under consideration for publication or another award.

  • Manuscripts must be word-processed, double-spaced (including endnotes), and should not exceed 14,000 words.

  • The title page should include the applicant's name, address, email address, college or university affiliation, and student status (graduate or eligible post graduate) in the top right corner. No other identification information should appear in the manuscript.

  • Citations should follow the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, with "humanities style" endnotes. Source information is provided only through numbered endnotes. This information is not given in parentheses or in a bibliography.

  • All submissions must be exclusive submissions to Frontiers for the duration of the essay award contest, and finalists will be notified by mid-August.

  • Submissions must be accompanied by a letter of recommendation from a mentoring professor. The letter of recommendation should speak to the importance and innovation of the applicant's particular research interventions, and should also address the applicant's skills, accomplishments, and other qualities that make them well suited as a leader in research on women of color. Additionally, the letter of recommendation must address the suitability of the paper for publication in Frontiers.

  • 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.