Alma H. Young Emerging Scholar Award

Urban Affairs Association > Awards & Deadlines > Alma H. Young Emerging Scholar Award

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.

DEADLINE: October 1, 2022 (11:59pm CST) – Last day to submit an application or nomination

Eligibility Guidelines
Award Benefits
Nomination Instructions
Award Selection Process
Past Recipients
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 Students. Student pursuing doctoral research related to urban affairs, regardless of academic discipline, are eligible to apply. Applicants must:

  1. Have finished their coursework;
  2. Be making good progress towards the completion of their dissertation; and
  3. The nominee OR the nominator must hold a UAA membership.


Post-Doctoral Graduates. Recent doctoral graduates who have attained their degree within the past two years (i.e., earned degree in 2020, 2021, or 2022).

Award Benefits

The recipient receives:

  • A special award plaque
  • An honorarium of $1,000 USD
  • A complimentary conference registration waiver (including meal + reception tickets) for the conference at which the award is received (valued at $500+ USD)
  • Up to four (4) nights of complimentary lodging for the conference at which the recipient receives the award.

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.

Important note: Do not submit additional documents. Only the four (4) requested documents will be forwarded to the selection committee.

Prior Nominees

All nominations made within the past two (2) years, will be given full review and consideration. For this year’s selection process, previous nominations will be considered for submissions made in: 2021 and 2022.

If a nomination was made prior to the five years noted above, a new nomination must be submitted to receive consideration by the committee. Each new nomination will remain in the nominee pool for five years (including the year of nomination).

To verify the year of any nomination, contact the UAA Executive Office at

Award Selection Process

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. Specifically, candidates for the award are evaluated on the following four criteria:

  1. Evidence of good foundation in urban theory;
  2. Evidence of robust and creative methodological approaches;
  3. Evidence of a commitment to community engagement and social justice; and
  4. Evidence of contribution to urban scholarship and urban affairs.

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.

Past Recipients