Scholarships, Awards and Other Prizes

ASPA's Annual Conference can sometimes prove challenging for students and new professionals to attend on limited budgets, especially if you don't have organizational support to help out.

On this page, we have gathered information about scholarships, awards and other prizes being offered to students and new professionals. Take a look at each; hopefully one or more will be appropriate for you to submit an application!

Each listing includes basics about the scholarship/award, the application deadline - if known - and a link for more information.

SCNS Best Paper Award

The Sam Overman Award is granted to the scholarly work that makes a significant contribution to the network or complexity literature and also holds practical relevance to the field of public administration. It is open to any subfield within public administration and comes with a $200 prize.
Number offered: One
Contact Michael Siciliano for more information.

SCPA PhD Student Best Paper Award

The Section on Chinese Public Administration (SCPA) is pleased to offer the PhD Student Best Paper Award. Eligible papers for consideration are those published in the previous calendar year (including online publication), or papers to be presented at the next annual conference. Nominated authors must be PhD students and SCPA members, and have registered for the conference. Criteria for the best paper award include: (1) contribution to public and nonprofit administration literature, (2) relevance to the practice of Chinese public and nonprofit administration, and (3) research quality (theoretical, methodological, analytical rigor). We welcome sole or coauthored papers. The nominated student should be the sole or lead author. Nominations may be submitted to the review committee by email no later than February 29. Self-nominations are welcome. Nominations include: (1) a PDF file of the paper, and (2) a letter of support from the student’s faculty advisor or mentor for the nominated paper. Only full papers to be presented in the ASPA conference or published during the previous calendar year will be considered. Only one paper per SCPA student member is accepted. The award is accompanied by a $100 cash prize.
Number Offered: One
Contact to nominate or with questions.
Application Deadline: February 29, 2020

SENRA Student Paper Competition

The Section on Environment and Natural Resource Administration (SENRA) invites papers for its David H. Davis Student Paper Competition. Students in graduate programs are invited to submit their papers on any environmental topic for consideration in the student paper competition. Faculty members can also nominate student paper(s) for submission. Conference papers, term papers, journal manuscripts are eligible for submission. The winning paper will receive a $200 cash prize and also be published in the SENRA newsletter. Contact Jill Tao with questions or for more information.
Number Offered: One
Application Deadline: December 31, 2019
Contact Jill Tao for more information.

SICA Scholarships

2020 Gould Scholarship Award
This award offers talented graduate students in the fields of public administration, public policy or international development some support to facilitate their participation in the ASPA annual conference.  Each year one or two students receive a nominal stipend and a free registration for the SICA Symposium.  In order to nominate a graduate student for a Gould Scholarship, please send a letter of nomination by a faculty member (should mention the student’s current GPA) and the student’s CV to Dr. Kim Moloney, SICA Chair, at
Number offered: One or two
Application Deadline: December 1, 2019.

SKPA Scholarship

Junior Asian Scholarship Award
This award is presented to East Asian graduate students whose paper has been accepted for presentation or graduate students who will present papers on East Asian-related topics at the ASPA annual conference. The best and notable papers are awarded with certificates and monetary prizes to recognize students’ scholarly promise in this field. The Section also provides travel awards to students who present high quality research at the ASPA conference.
Number offered: One or more
More information:

SPOD Scholarship

The Section on Professional and Organizational Development (SPOD) offers scholarships designed to facilitate learning to advance students' academic work and interests in finding solutions to public organizational challenges. They are also intended to introduce students to SPOD's work and encourage their long-term involvement in the Section.
Candidates must be pursuing a master's or doctorate degree at an accredited university; preference will be given to students who have completed at least six credit hours; preference will be given to students working in the human service field, among others. To nominate a student for the SPOD Scholarship, lend a letter of nomination by a faculty member and the student's CV to Carol Rusaw, SPOD Chair.
Number offered: One or more
Application Deadline: December 1

STPA Student Paper Competition

STPA invites undergraduate and graduate students who have written research papers related to transportation policy and administration to submit their papers for consideration. The best paper will receive a cash award of $100 plus a free year of membership in ASPA and STPA. At the discretion of the Committee, an honorable mention paper may be selected. Please send papers or questions regarding this call to Prof. Can Chen (
Papers should be prepared according to a standard style such as APA, be 20-35 pages long and include citations and references. The review committee encourages students to submit copies of previously prepared research papers, conference papers, and journal article manuscripts. Literature reviews and review essays are not eligible for consideration. Papers co-authored with faculty members are not eligible. The committee will evaluate papers in a blind review process. Students are asked to limit self-references to a title page that can be removed prior to review by the committee. Papers should be submitted as an e-mail attachment using MSWord (.doc) or pdf.
Number offered: One and maybe an honorable mention.
Application Deadline: February 1, 2020.

SWPA Scholarships

ASPA's Section for Women in Public Administration (SWPA) annually awards up to three $500 scholarships to help defray the costs associated with attending ASPA's annual conference. Up to 10 will be offered in 2020 in celebration of the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage. Applicants must be full-time practitioners in public service, or students enrolled in a Master’s or Doctoral degree program in public administration/public policy. Contact: Charlene Roach (
Number Offered: Up to 10
Application Deadline: December 1, 2019
Download the scholarship application.