Robert J. McNamara Student Paper Award

Award Objective and Requirements:

This award, which comes in the form of a certificate of honor and a monetary grant of $500, recognizes outstanding scholarship in the sociology of religion conducted by a graduate student. Only one paper may be submitted by each graduate student for each year’s competition. Authors (and co-authors, in the case of co-authored submissions) must be members of the Association for the Sociology of Religion and currently enrolled graduate students who have not defended their doctoral dissertation at the time their paper is submitted. All submissions must be in English or translated into English for the committee to review. Papers may be unpublished, accepted for publication, or already published as an article.

Application Procedure:

Submissions should be in the form of articles with a maximum length of 40 double-spaced, single-sided pages inclusive of all materials: text, title, notes, tables, figures, and works cited. The title page should include an abstract of no more than 200 words. The text should not exceed 12,000 words, i.e., approximately 36 double-spaced pages in 12-point font.

All submissions must be submitted electronically using the online member portal by June 1 of the conference year at 11:59 PM EST. You can access the member portal by logging into your ASR account. The winner will be notified by July 1 via email.

Submission for McNamara consideration is separate from submission for ASR program participation; students who wish their papers considered for the program must submit paper abstracts to the Program Chair following the guidelines presented in the “Call for Papers.”

For any questions, please contact the Chair of the committee. Information about the committee and the Chair is located on this website’s “Current Officers, Council Members, and Committees” Page.


The award will be presented at the opening reception of the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Sociology of Religion. The award includes a certificate of honor and $500. In the case of multiple authors, the monetary award will be divided among the authors. The award recipient(s) need not be present at the annual meeting to accept the award, although he/she is highly encouraged to present his/her paper at the annual meeting and to submit the paper to the Association’s journal Sociology of Religion for consideration of publication, if it has not already been published. The award recipient(s) may also apply for up to $500 travel assistance to present his or her paper at the annual meeting through the Gallagher Travel Grant Competition.

Past Winners:

The conference was cancelled in 2020 and was online in 2021.

Eman Abdelhadi, “The Hijab and Muslim Women’s Employment in the United States,” 2019

Helana Darwin, “Redoing Gender, Redoing Religion,” 2018

Landon Schnabel, “The Gender Pray Gap: Wage Labor and the Religiosity of High-Earning Women and Men,” 2017

Landon Schnabel, “Secularism and Fertility Worldwide,” 2016

Orestes P. Hastings, “Not a Lonely Crowd? Social Connectedness, Religious Attendance, and the Spiritual But Not Religious,” 2015

Graham Hill, “Giving and Receiving Testimony: Self-discipline and the Supernatural in the Case of the Hombres de Negocios,” 2014

Bethany Weed, “Lived Religion: Islam in a West African Take-out Restaurant,” 2013