Graduate Student Paper Competition

Graduate Paper Eligibility & Submission Directions | Rubric | Paper Competition Flyer

2023 Paper Competition Winners | Past Paper Competition Winners


Each year Alpha Kappa Delta sponsors a graduate student paper competition. Winners are eligible to win cash prizes and travel money to attend the American Sociological Association annual conference. First place winners are eligible to have their papers published in Sociological Inquiry should they choose to submit them.


First Place Winner: $500 and up to $1,000 in travel expenses to the 2024 annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. First-place winners have the chance to be published in the Sociological Inquiry journal if authors choose to submit them. If submitted for publication, members of the Editorial Board of Sociological Inquiry will assist with editing. If published in the journal, the paper will list the institution the author attended when the paper was written.

Second Place Winner: $250 and up to $1,000 in travel expenses to the 2024 annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.

Third Place Winner: $100 and up to $1,000 in travel expenses to the 2024 annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.

Authors of all prizewinning papers will receive one-year extensions of their subscriptions to Sociological Inquiry.


Winners are encouraged to attend the 2024 annual meeting of the American Sociological Association with travel support from Alpha Kappa Delta. In order to receive the travel support portion of the award, paper winners must attend Alpha Kappa Delta’s Distinguished Lecture.


April 15, 2024


  • The author must be a current member of Alpha Kappa Delta
  • The paper must have been written while the author was enrolled as a graduate student during at least one term of the 2023 calendar year (January 1, 2023 through December 31, 2023)
  • Students do not have to be involved with chapter activities
  • Papers must be single-authored
  • No student may author more than one paper entered in the competition
  • If the student previously won the Undergraduate Paper Competition OR the Graduate Paper Competition, they may submit a paper to the Graduate Paper Competition, but it must be a qualitatively different paper than the previous winning paper
  • The paper cannot have been previously published or be currently under consideration by a professional journal
  • All submissions must be received by the deadline via email


  • Must meet eligibility requirements (see ‘eligibility’ above)
  • A cover letter from a sociology member who is an active member of AKD and serving as the Chapter Representative. This person must affirm:
    • the author’s name
    • the author’s current membership status in Alpha Kappa Delta
    • the year the paper was completed
    • and the institution the author attended at the time the paper was completed
  • An abstract of 100-150 words must summarize the major points of the paper (included on the paper)
  • The paper must have sociological content and focus, but may be empirical, theoretical, or a critical review of the literature
  • The paper may not exceed 35 double-spaced pages using MS-Word, Calibri 11-point OR Times New Roman 12-point font/type, with standard 1-inch margins, including tables, appendices, and references. For a detailed statement on format and requirements consult the inside cover of the Official Journal of Alpha Kappa Delta, Sociological Inquiry.
  • The author’s name should not appear anywhere in the title page, abstract, or paper


To be entered into the Graduate Paper Competition, fill out the submission form here:

  • Be sure to upload the correct paper and that no identifying information is located anywhere on it
  • The Chapter Representative cover letter may be uploaded using this form – or – it may be sent by email to directly from the Chapter Representative or author


The Executive Office will acknowledge the submission in two ways:

  1. The office staff will reply to the emailed submission indicating receipt.
  2. The Executive Director will send an email to the authors and faculty sponsors of prizewinning papers around May 15. All others will be notified in a timely manner.