Ralph A. Gallagher Travel Grant Competition

Grant Objective and Requirements:

Gallagher Travel Grants are awarded annually to ASR members to help defray the cost of attending the Annual Meeting and presenting their research. These grants are available to:

  • International scholars and doctoral students who are members of the Association living outside the U.S. and Canada;
  • U.S./Canada-based members who are either doctoral students or are early-career scholars who lack stable institutional support for conference travel.

(Early-career scholars are those who have completed their Ph.D. within the last 5 years – a period that may be extended to 8 years in consideration of career breaks or part-time work.)

There are separate award levels for these two categories:

  • International scholars and doctoral students residing outside the United States and Canada) may apply for up to $500 reimbursement for airfare plus 2 nights in the ASR conference hotel.
  • Doctoral students and early-career scholars residing in the United States and Canada may apply for up to 2 nights in the ASR conference hotel.

The ASR budgets $12,000 to cover the total amount of each year’s grants. This award is distributed among several of the leading applications in each year’s competition.

At the time of application, applicants must be members of the Association for the Sociology of Religion, must commit themselves to presenting a paper, and must commit themselves to staying at the conference hotel as part of the grant. Grant recipients should also be available to serve as conveners of a session other than the one at which they will present their paper, if asked.

IMPORTANT NOTE: To be considered for the grant, please ALSO submit a paper proposal (with title and abstract) through the regular submission process, noting on it that you have applied for a Gallagher Grant. Applying for a Gallagher Grant DOES NOT automatically place your paper on the annual meeting program.

Application Procedure:

  1. Applicants should prepare a single MS Word or PDF document in English containing:
    • Their CV.
    • A title and extended abstract (1,000-1,500 words) of their presentation.
    • A statement of their financial need.
    • Evidence that they could afford to come to the meeting should a Gallagher Travel Grant be awarded.  (This evidence might be a letter from their institution indicating that their institution will partially subsidize the cost of the trip).
    • In addition, all applicants should state their specific requests regarding the number of room nights for which they are applying, and international applicants should also state the specific amount of money (up to $500) be used toward airfare.
    • They should also state their willingness (or unwillingness) to share a room at the hotel.  This may expand the number of applications the ASR can approve.
  1. Submit the above document by March 15th through the online member portal on the ASR website. 
    This application goes to the International Liaison Committee, which determines if your presentation is worthy of a grant.  The ILC will send a list of approved grantees to the Program Committee, who will determine whether the grantees’ proposals are worthy of appearing on the program.
  2. Submit your proposed presentation (title and abstract only) by March 15th through the online member portal using the “Submit a Paper Proposal” button.  Check the box on the submission form indicating that you have applied for a Gallagher Grant. This submission allows the Program Committee to place your paper in a session, if it is accepted.

Scholars whose application is approved by both the International Liaison and the Program committees will receive a letter on or about April 15th notifying them of their papers’ acceptance and of the ASR’s intent to provide financial assistance to support their participation in the conference. International awardees should use these official letters to apply immediately for travel visas. The amount of assistance will not be determined until we know how many potential awardees received visas. Awardees will receive notice of their award amount by the end of June.

For questions about the award, please contact the International Liaison Committee Chair or the ASR Executive Officer. Both are listed on this website’s “Current Officers, Council Members, and Committees” page.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Applications that do not include all requested documents in the required format or length will not be considered by the committee.

Evaluation Criteria and Grant Distribution Process:

The International Liaison Committee evaluates the applications both from U.S./Canada-based doctoral students and early-career scholars and from international members based on the quality and contribution of their papers. Assuming equal quality, the Committee gives priority (not in rank order) to:

  • Doctoral students and early-career scholars coming to the conference from outside the larger region where the conference is located (under the assumption that they will have higher travel costs).
  • International applicants who have a research and publication record.
  • International applicants from countries that have historically lacked regular support for international conference travel.
  • Applicants who are attending the conference for the first time.
  • Applicants from groups that have been historically underrepresented at the ASR.
  • Applicants who are willing to share a room at the conference (thus increasing the number of grants that can be made).

The committee then submits its recommendations to the Program Committee (i.e., the President, the Executive Officer, and the Program Chair), which makes the final decisions about allocating the funds.

No one receives Gallagher moneys in advance of the conference; instead, Gallagher Travel funds are applied to each applicant’s hotel bill at the time they check out from the hotel, or in the case where airline flights are subsidized, through a reimbursement after receipts are presented to the Executive Officer. Also, Gallagher awardees who do not stay in the conference hotel will not receive reimbursement for their travel and/or hotel costs.

About Ralph Gallagher:

Rev. Ralph A. Gallagher, S.J., was the first President and co-founder of the American Catholic Sociological Society – the precursor to the Association of the Sociology of Religion. He served as the organization’s Executive Secretary from 1938 until 1962. He was undoubtedly the man most responsible for the development of the Society during the first twenty years of its existence. From 1939 until 1954, Father Gallagher served as editor of the Society’s journal, The American Catholic Sociological Review. That journal was renamed Sociological Analysis in 1964 and again renamed Sociology of Religion in 1993.