SDA Undergraduate Graduate Paper Award

Each year, SDA awards a certificate and a cash prize to the best paper presented at the annual meeting by an undergraduate student.

To submit a paper for consideration for the Undergraduate Paper Award:

  • Submit an abstract for the SDA program by the due date
  • Submit a complete paper by e-mail attachment to Michael Topping at by September 15th.

Paper Submission Requirements:

  1. Maximum page length is 20 pages, double spaced, including all figures, graphs, and tables, but not including the title page, abstract or bibliography.
  2. The paper need not be sole-authored, but all authors must be undergraduate students.
  3. For award consideration, the paper must be on the SDA program and must be presented at the SDA meeting by the author.
  4. Each submission must include a separate cover page that addresses the following:
    • What is the research topic? (e.g., childhood obesity)
    • What is the research question? (e.g., How does mother's weight gain during pregnancy affect childhood weight at age two?)
    • Why is it important to answer this research question? Said another way, what gap in the scientific literature will this research address?
    • What is your specific hypothesis or hypotheses?
    • Specify the dependent and independent variables.
    • Describe the expected relationship between each of the dependent and independent variables.
    • Discuss the mechanisms through which the independent variables affect the dependent variables.
    • What is your methodology? If you are analyzing existing data, what data set are you using?

Past winners of the SDA Undergraduate Paper Award include:

2022: TBD


2019: Siriruay Methakitwarun, Northern Kentucky University
Immigrant Generations in Home Leaving: Do parents and peers matter?

2018: Mark Griffith, Dartmouth College
The Association between Birthplace and Wages for Recent Migrants to the U.S.

2017: N/A

2016: Anna Gallerani, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Exposure to Household Air Pollution from Cooking and Its Association with Tuberculosis Prevalence: A Case-Control Study among Primary Cooks in Peri-Urban Malawi

2014: Lindsay Parlberg, Meredith College
The Continuum of Care and Early Initiation of Breastfeeding for Women in Africa and Asia

2013: Ciarra Dortche, East Carolina University
Associations Among Neonatal Mortality Rates, Qualifications of Birth Attendant, Clean Home Environment and Birth Location Among Ugandan Women

2012: Joshua Wassink, Grinnell College
Uninsured Migrants: Identifying the Health Insurance Gap between Returned Mexicans and the Rest of the Country

2011: Olivia Healy, Cornell University
The Impact of Child Care Subsidies on Maternal Stress

2010: Mateo Clarke, University of Texas at Austin
The Unique Case of Brazilian Immigration to the United States: Comparisons between Brazilians and other Latin American Migrants

2009: Evangeleen Pattison, City University of New York (CUNY)
Impact of Parental Education on Degree Conferment among US Adults

2008: Mazen Elfakhani, University of Texas at Austin
Explaining the Rise of Religious Nonaffiliation in American Society, GSS 1972-2006

2007: Collin Payne, University of Wisconsin-Madison
The Effects of Religious Switching at Marriage on Marital Stability and Happiness

2006: Tara Buentello, University of Texas at Austin
Homeownership and Housing Quality Among Mexican Immigrants in Austin, Texas

(help us fill in the history... send a note to our webmaster if you have information on past winners)

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