2021 Application/Nomination
Deadline: October 15, 2020
Award decision: January 11, 2021
Alma H. Young (1947-2004)
UAA Board Chair (1999-2001)
former Dean of the College of Urban, Labor and Metropolitan Affairs
Professor & Coleman A. Young Chair in Urban Affairs
Wayne State University

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 longstanding service to UAA, and her particular commitment to mentoring graduate students and junior faculty.

Award Benefits

The recipient receives a $1,000 honorarium, a plaque, a complimentary registration to the conference, and an invitation to the Annual VIP Dinner Reception. The award winner will be presented with the plaque and honorarium at the annual Awards Luncheon held during the spring conference. Modest lodging support may also be available.


Students pursuing doctoral research related to urban affairs, regardless of academic discipline, are eligible to apply. Applicants must have finished their coursework, passed their comprehensive examinations, and have an approved dissertation proposal, or be a recent graduate (within the last year).  The nominee is not required to hold a UAA membership, however the nominator must be a UAA member.


Application for the award consists of two parts: a nomination form with supporting letter from the nominator, and an application form with supporting documents from the nominee.

  1. From the nominator:

A nomination letter from a current UAA member. The nominator must have a formal professional role that allows them to assess the nominee’s achievements and current academic status. This letter must attest that the student has an approved dissertation proposal, has completed coursework, and has passed comprehensive examinations. The nomination letter should be on letterhead and signed by the nominator. Once prepared, the letter should be converted to a PDF format.

To submit a nomination, click the button below and complete the Emerging Scholar Award Nomination Form.  You will be asked to upload your letter as part of the form.

Important note: do not submit more than one letter of nomination.  Only one letter will be forwarded to the selection committee.

Submit an Emerging Scholar
Award Nomination

  1. From the nominated person:

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

1. A two- to three-page, double-spaced, personal statement by the applicant describing the applicant’s urban interests, engagement, and career plans.

2. The student’s curriculum vitae or resume.

3. A prospectus 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 words limit.

Important note: do not submit additional documents.  Only the three documents requested will be forwarded to the selection committee.

Submit an Emerging Scholar Award
Nominee Application

Selection Procedures

The nominations will be reviewed by a committee appointed by the Chairperson of the Governing Board. The winner will be selected based on scholarship and commitment to urban issues. The awards committee will report its decision to the UAA Executive Director, who will inform all nominees and nominators of the committee’s decision prior to the spring UAA conference.


If you have any questions, contact the UAA Executive Office at awards@uaamail.org or call 414-229-3025.

Previous Winners