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Early Career Researcher – Best Paper Prize

TASA Prize for the most distinguished peer-reviewed (MDP) article published by an Early Career Researcher

An annual award for the best authored sociological paper nominated for this Prize. Nominations for the 2019 TASA Prize for the most distinguished peer-reviewed article published by an Early Career Researcher closes June 30, 2019. 

About the Prize

The TASA Prize for the most distinguished peer-reviewed article published by an Early Career Researcher is an annual process that uses academic peer review to select a paper of outstanding quality published in any journal during the previous three calendar years (ie the 2019 Award will assess papers that were published from 2016 – 2018). The Prize was established in 2016 to provide more opportunities for early career sociologists to gain recognition for the quality of their scholarship and enhance their reputations, especially within interdisciplinary teams.

The MDP Award is presented at the TASA annual conference.

Eligibility Criteria

The intention of the TASA Executive Committee in awarding this prize is to recognise members’ contribution to the discipline of sociology through publication of a distinguished peer-reviewed article by an Early Career Researcher.

The award is open to submissions from any TASA member who has been awarded their PhD within the last five calendar years (i.e. 2015 – 2019). Special consideration may be given to applicants who have experienced a significant ‘career disruption’.

Papers authored by TASA Executive members can be nominated but the author/s cannot be a part of the voting process.

The article submitted by the applicant must be in English, have been accepted by a peer reviewed journal and have a specific sociological focus.

Papers by multiple authors will be accepted when nominated by the first author.

Papers accepted online before print will also be accepted for nomination.

The award can only be awarded once to the same applicant.

Symposia or parts of symposia, replies or rejoinders, notes and book reviews (but not review essays) are excluded from consideration.

The article will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • Quality (e.g. thoroughness, high skill, eloquence) 20%;
  • Contribution to sociological thought (e.g. pushing forward) 20%;
  • Originality (e.g. innovative application/generation of theory) 20%;
  • Clarity (e.g. well-written, clearly organised, presented) 20%; and
  • Impact (e.g. policy 5%, practice 5%, citations 5%, new theory or a new understanding of an existing theory 5%) 20%.

The Prize

The recipient of the Prize will receive:

  • A complimentary conference registration to attend the TASA conference at which the Prize is presented (includes conference dinner);
  • A certificate to acknowledge formally the receipt of the Prize;
  • An invitation to submit an article for Nexus/TASA Blog on the paper;
  • Publicity through the TASA membership and wider social science community; and
  • A listing on this MDP Award TASAweb page.

Nominations and Submissions Procedure

The general nomination and submission details are as follows:

  • A general call is made at the beginning of each year to authors via TASAweb, TASA’s members’ newsletter, Twitter, TASA’s blog and Nexus;
  • Nominations must be made on the official nomination form.  The nomination procedure requires a  statement addressing each of the prize criterions (a one-page limit – no less than 2.54cm margins with a minimum font size of 11);
  • The completed nomination form, a pdf copy of the paper and the short statement addressing the criteria, must be submitted to the TASA Office by no later than June 30; and
  • It is a condition of entry that publicity for the winning paper refers to the prize as The Australian Sociological Association’s Most Distinguished Paper Award. The prize can be described as being awarded annually for the ‘best authored paper in Australian Sociology by an Early Career Researcher’.

Voting Process

The voting process takes place during July – September every year.

There are 5 panel members; the Vice-President and the Postgraduate Portfolio Leader head the panel, and an additional three panelists are invited from TASA’s membership, including the winner from the previous year.

Round 1: If less than 10 papers are received then all panel members review all nominated papers and rank them in order from top (1) to bottom. If 10 or more nominations are received, the papers are divided equally among the panel members with extra papers reviewed by the panel Chairs. Each member of the panel then reviews their allocated papers and ranks them in order from top (1) to bottom.

Round 2: All panel members then review the papers ranked with a ‘1’ from Round 1, and rank them in order from top (1) to bottom.

Round 3: All panel members review the papers ranked with a ‘1’ in Round 2, pick their top 3, and place them in ranked order from 1 – 3, providing brief comments to support their decision.

From the voting in Round 3 a winner is picked and the decision of the selection committee communicated to the TASA Executive for ratification. The winner of the prize is notified and the result publicly announced at the annual TASA conference dinner in the year that the paper was nominated.

2018 Winner: Karla Elliott

Elliott, Karla (2016), ‘Caring masculinities: theorizing an emerging concept’, Men
and Masculinities, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 240-259.

Winner Karla Elliott with ECR Chair Alphia Possamai-Inesedy – TASA VP

2017 Winner: Juliet Watson

Inaugural winner - 2016: Jennifer Cheng

Cheng, J. (2015), ‘Islamophobia, Muslimophobia or racism? : parliamentary discourses on Islam and Muslims in debates on the minaret ban in Switzerland’, Discourse and Society, vol 26, no 5 , pp 562 – 586.

Postgraduate Portfolio Leader Christina Malatzky with Award winner Jennifer Cheng (right)