Awards & Prizes


The Society for Applied Anthropology proudly sponsors prestigious awards including the Malinowski Award, the Peter K. New Award, and the Sol Tax Award; as well as co-sponsoring the Margaret Mead Award with the American Anthropological Association. In addition, the Society offers 12 student travel awards to help offset the costs of attending the Annual Meeting.

Distinguished Awards

Bronislaw Malinowski

Malinowski_Pic.jpegBronislaw Malinowski Award

The Bronislaw Malinowski Award is presented to an outstanding social scientist in recognition of efforts to understand and serve the needs of the world's societies, and who has actively pursued the goal of solving human problems using the concepts and tools of social science during one's entire career. Each nomination should follow the criteria for selection set forth by the SfAA.

Margaret Mead

mead awardMargaret Mead Award

Margaret Mead, for years among the best known women in the world, was also the best known anthropologist with a particular talent for bringing anthropology fully into the light of public attention. The Margaret Mead Award, initiated by the Society for Applied Anthropology in 1979, and awarded jointly with the American Anthropological Society since 1983, continues to celebrate the tradition of bringing anthropology to bear on wider social and cultural issues.

Sol Tax Distinguished Service

Sol Tax AwardSol Tax Distinguished Service Award

Sol Tax was an anthropologist who provided distinguished and innovative service to applied anthropology and to anthropological societies. The Sol Tax Distinguished Service Award is to be presented annually to a member of SfAA in recognition of long-term and truly distinguished service to the Society. The Sol Tax Award Committee encourages members of the SfAA to nominate individuals who are deserving of this award.

Other Awards

Peter K. New Award

PK New AwardPeter K. New Award

The Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) announces an annual student research competition in the applied social and behavioral sciences. The award honors the late Peter Kong-ming New, a distinguished medical sociologist-anthropologist and former president of the SfAA. The award will be given to the best paper which reports on an applied research project in the social/behavioral sciences. The research question should be in the domain of health care or human services (broadly construed).

Bert Pelto International Travel Award

PeltoPelto International Travel Award

As part of the SfAA’s international initiative, the Pelto International Award intends to strengthen and expand relationships between the SfAA and countries outside the United States, where the SfAA is headquartered.  The award seeks to support the development of applied social science abroad, specifically in the awardee’s home country. 

The award provides financial and networking support to a mid-career international scholar/practitioner in three distinct ways:

(1) Funding of US $1,500 to support applied anthropology activities in the awardee’s country 
(2) Three years of membership in the SfAA 
(3) Three years of registration at the SfAA annual meetings 

Robert A. & Beverly H. Hackenberg Prize

Hackenberg.jpgRobert A. & Beverly H. Hackenberg Prize

The Robert A. and Beverly H. Hackenberg Prize recognizes SfAA members and their community partners whose work demonstrates sustained and meaningful collaboration to improve the communities where they live and work.  

J. Thomas May Memorial Internship

J. Thomas May Memorial Internship

The Board of the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) established the J. Thomas May Memorial Internship to honor the legacy of its long-term Executive Director. Many colleagues and friends have experienced Tom’s dedication to supporting and encouraging young people in developing their careers. Tom never lost sight of what he considered to be his most important mission – being an educator and mentor to our future leaders in interdisciplinary applications of social sciences. He felt it was extremely important to introduce young scholars to the myriad of applied social science opportunities that are available in the real world.

Student Annual Meeting Travel Awards

John Bodley

John Bodley Travel Award

The John Bodley Student Travel Award was initiated by former students and honors an international scholar whose career focused on the impact of development on indigenous peoples. One travel award of $750 will be presented each year to a student presenting a paper/poster at the SfAA Annual Meeting.

Chambers Tourism & Heritage

Erve Chambers Tourism and Heritage Student Paper Award

The SfAA has established the Erve Chambers Tourism and Heritage Student Paper Award to honor the legacy of Dr. Erve Chambers and encourage new and innovative avenues of inquiry within the anthropology of tourism and heritage. 

Human Rights Defender

Human Rights Defender Travel Award

The Human Rights Defender Travel Award provides one $750 travel scholarship each year for a student to attend the annual meetings of the Society.

Involuntary Resettlement

Michael M. Cernea Travel Award for Involuntary Resettlement

The Michael Cernea Resettlement Fund will provide one travel award of $750 for a student with an interest in issues associated with displacement/resettlement to attend the annual meeting of the SfAA. 

Del Jones Memorial

Del Jones Memorial Travel Award

Following his death in 1999, close friends and members of the Society established the Del Jones Memorial Fund. Two travel grants of $750 each are awarded for a student to attend the annual meeting of the Society. 

Gil Kushner Memorial

Gil Kushner Memorial Travel Award

Gilbert Kushner was a longtime SfAA Fellow and winner of the Sol Tax Distinguished Service Award in 2005, and was internationally recognized for his groundbreaking work in establishing applied anthropology as a graduate discipline.

Beatrice Medicine

Beatrice Medicine Award

The Society for Applied Anthropology honors the memory of Dr. Beatrice Medicine with an annual student travel scholarship. The scholarship provides financial support for three students (graduate or undergraduate) to attend the annual meeting of the Society. Three awards of $750 each will be made to attend the Annual Meeting of the SfAA.

Edward H. & Rosamond B. Spicer

Edward H. & Rosamond B. Spicer Travel Award

The Spicer Student Travel Fund Awards commemorate the lifelong and very special concern of Edward H. and Rosamond B. Spicer in furthering the maturation of students in the social sciences, both intellectually and practically; and their lifelong interest in the nature of community as both cause of, and solution to, problems in the human condition. Two awards of $750 each are available to students who meet the eligibility qualifications.

Student Endowed

Student Endowed Award

The Student Endowed Award consists of a $750 travel stipend to cover costs of attending the annual meeting, plus a one-year SfAA membership, which includes a year’s subscription to the journals Human Organization and Practicing Anthropology. Current SfAA student members who have already paid dues for the current year will receive membership for the upcoming year. 

Valene Smith

Valene Smith Prize for Student Posters on Tourism

Students at all levels (graduate and undergraduate) who are registered and presenting a poster at the SfAA Annual Meeting with the theme of “tourism/heritage” are eligible for a competition honoring long-time member, Valene Smith.

Three cash prizes will be awarded - $500 for first prize and $250 for two honorable mention prizes. In order to qualify, the posters should be concerned in some way with the applied social science of tourism/heritage.

Student Poster

poster session.jpgStudent Poster Award

The poster presentation makes use of graphics, such as maps, photographs, and charts to describe your research project, leaving you available for more personal interaction and in-depth discussions with colleagues. 1st place receives $300, 2nd place $200, and 3rd place $100.

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P.O. Box 2436 • Oklahoma City, OK 73101 • 405.843.5113 •