American Sociological Association

ASA Footnotes

A publication of the American Sociological AssociationASA News & Events
September/October 2019

New Timeline for ASA Awards Process

A new timeline for reviewing nominations for ASA awards and selecting and honoring winners will be implemented beginning in 2021. 

At present, it takes almost two years from the time a call for nominations is issued to the time when an award is conferred at the awards ceremony. The new timeline, recommended by the Committee on Awards and approved by the ASA Council, will allow winners to be selected and honored in the same year. The current lengthy process creates overlap between two award selection cycles, which often causes confusion for nominators, nominees, and committee members. During the 2019 Annual Meeting, for example, we honored the 2019 winners who were selected by the 2018 committees while the 2019 selection committees met to select the 2020 winners. The extended timeline also creates a lag for some honors. Books eligible for the 2019 Distinguished Scholarly Book Award, for example, were published in 2016 or 2017. 

The new timeline addresses these and related issues by consolidating a cycle into a single year which will begin with a September call for nominations and culminate with an August award ceremony at our Annual Meeting. This change applies to all awards except the ASA Dissertation Award, which already follows the shorter timeline and served as a model for the broader revision. 

Because the 2019 selection committees have already selected the 2020 awardees for most awards, no calls will be published this fall (except for the 2020 Dissertation Award which has a January 1, 2020 deadline for nominations). ASA members should look for the next full call for nominations in September 2020 when we will begin the process of choosing 2021 award winners. The deadline for nominations for 2021 awards will be January 1, 2021. The 2021 award winners will then be announced in June and honored at the Annual Meeting in August. 

A few temporary changes will be made to procedures for individual awards to facilitate a smooth transition. These will be clearly articulated with the new calls. For example, given that no nominations will be accepted in January 2020 for the Distinguished Scholarly Book Award, books published in the preceding three years will be considered for the 2021 and 2022 award cycles rather than the usual two years. 

We expect a smooth transition period and look forward to working with a more streamlined process. If you have any questions about this transition, please contact Director of Governance and Administration Mark Fernando at