Nomination deadline: October 15, 2021 (11:59 pm Central Time)

The Urban Affairs Association gives an annual award for emerging scholars whose work exemplifies outstanding scholarship in urban affairs. It was renamed in 2004 in honor of Alma H. Young to commemorate her long standing service to UAA, and her particular commitment to mentoring graduate students and junior faculty.

Eligibility Guidelines

The applicant must be either a pre-doctoral graduate student or a recent doctoral graduate who has attained their degree within the past two years.

  • Pre-Doctoral Graduate Student. Student pursuing doctoral research related to urban affairs, regardless of academic discipline, are eligible to apply. Applicants must:
    • have finished their coursework;
    • be making good progress towards the completion of their dissertation; and
    • the nominee OR the nominator must hold a UAA membership.


  • Post-Doctoral. Recent doctoral graduates who have attained their degree within the past two years (i.e., earned degree in 2019, 2020, or 2021).

Award Benefits

The recipient receives a plaque, an honorarium of $1,000, and a complimentary registration to the conference (valued at $400+). Modest lodging support may also be available.

The plaque and honorarium will be presented at the annual awards reception held during the spring UAA conference. Following the conference, a press release will be prepared announcing the winner.

Nomination Instructions

The nominee must submit the Emerging Scholar Nominee Application Form and upload the following documents as PDF files:

  1. Personal Statement: A personal statement by the applicant describing the applicant’s urban interests, engagement, and career plans. The statement should be no more than 1000 words.
  2. Curriculum Vitae or Resume: The student’s most recent curriculum vitae or resume.
  3. Draft or Final Dissertation Proposal: A proposal for the dissertation of 1,500-2,000* words that indicates the research questions, argument or hypotheses, literature and data sources, methodology, and nature of expected findings. *Please note: Bibliography references and/or appendices do not count towards the 1,500-2,000 word limit.
  4. Nomination Letter: The nominator must have a formal professional role that allows them to assess the nominee’s achievements, current academic status and progress. This letter must attest that the student has completed coursework and is making good progress towards the completion of their dissertation. The nomination letter should be on letterhead and signed by the nominator. Once prepared, the letter should be converted to a PDF format. Do NOT submit more than one letter of nomination. Only one letter will be forwarded to the selection committee.

Repeat Nominations Welcome

Individuals who have been previously nominated, but not selected for the award, may be re-nominated at any time as long as they continue to meet the eligibility criteria outlined above.  There are no limits on the number of times a person is nominated. To re-nominate an individual, simply follow the nomination instructions.

See the UAA website for full details and nomination instructions.

Questions: Please contact the UAA Executive Office at