Student Paper Competition

2021 Student Paper Competition

Sponsored by the ASA Consortium of Sections (GSS/SRMS/SSS) 

The Social Statistics Section (SSS), Government Statistics Section (GSS), and Survey Research Methods Section (SRMS) of ASA are pleased to announce a competition for student and post-graduate papers. Competition winners will present their papers at a topic-contributed session during the Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM), August 7 through August 12, 2021. Competition winners will also be highlighted during the 2021 SRMS, GSS, and SSS business meetings at JSM. A subsidy of up to $1,000 is provided to each winner to cover JSM 2021 expenses, and five awards will be granted. We ask faculty members as well as supervisors and mentors of recently-hired graduates to encourage students and mentees to apply for these awards. 

Applications were due at 11:59 p.m. EST, December 19, 2020, and winners were notified within four weeks of that date. 


To be eligible to participate, you must be a current undergraduate or graduate student at any level, or a recent 2020 graduate who wishes to present research that was conducted as a student. Previous student paper competition winners will not be eligible for this award. 

Papers entered in this competition must involve either a new statistical methodology or a creative application of statistical analyses to a problem, issue, or policy question pertinent to the subject areas of one of the sponsoring sections. The research does not have to be complete, but competitors must be able to submit an abstract prospectus that describes the planned research and nature of the intended innovation(s). 

More than twelve sections of ASA sponsor Student Paper Competition / Travel Awards to assist students with travel expenses to attend JSM. Students may submit papers to no more than two competitions and may accept only one section’s award. Students must inform all sections applied to when s/he wins and accepts an award, thereby removing the student from the award competition for the other section. 

Application Process 

Applications must include: 

  1. A cover letter with the applicant’s name, current affiliation and status, and contact information (address, telephone, email); 
  2. An abstract (300 words maximum); 
  3. A draft paper (if available); or otherwise a 3-page research prospectus; 
  4. A letter from their adviser that certifies the applicant’s status (e.g., current student or new graduate who completed the degree within the past year), and describes plans to complete the research. 

To apply, please email the package containing the first three items above (the adviser letter should be sent separately by the adviser) to the 2021 section officers listed below: 


Please note the tight turnaround times in December 2021 - January 2022 for notifications and submissions, and plan to be available and responsive: 

  1. Applicants email the application package to the three program chairs-elect by 11:59 p.m. EST on December ??, 2021. 
  2. Competition winners are notified by January ??, 2022. 
  3. Competition winners must confirm their acceptance of the award, and immediately inform other sections that they applied to by January ??, 2021. Failure to confirm the award may lead to removal from the list of winners. 
  4. Competition winners submit their winning paper abstract through the regular JSM abstract submission process by February 1, 2022. (Winners will be provided with the ID number of the topic-contributed session at which they will deliver their presentations.) 
  5. Competition winners come to the JSM in Washington, DC, in August 2021 to present their winning papers! 

2021 Award Recipients

Five winning papers were presented in JSM 2021 session 220492. The 2021 award recipients are: 
  • Yutao Liu, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Neha Agarwala, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • Claire Kelling, Penn State
  • Eli Ben-Michael, Harvard University
  • Sheridan Lloyd Grant, University of Washington