How to Apply for the Lamb Prize


FEBRUARY 18, 2022

Steps in Preparing and Submitting an Application:

  1. Check out the selection criteria.
  2. Revise your paper with the help of your Advisor or Mentor.
  3. Download the Application Form.
  4. Prepare a cover letter and obtain a support letter from your Advisor or Mentor.
  5. Submit your Application no later than close of business on the third Friday in February.

Helpful Links:    

Innovation and Good Writing for the Lamb Prize     

More about Good Writing

More about Innovation

What is an “Abstract?” Guidance for writing a good descriptive abstract. How to write an abstract.

Examples of winning Papers: 

Example– Full Paper: A United States Sustainable Energy Transition Based Successful International Models

Example–Full Paper: Corporate Oregon: A Narrative Study of Measure 97

Example–Full Paper: “I Believe We are Lost:” The Worst Casualties of the Great War

Useful Videos

Presenting the Prize-winning Paper at the WSSA

Strategies for Lamb Prize Applications

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“No Home for the Brave” — 2021 Winning Paper is Published

“No Home for the Brave: Understanding America’s Veteran Deportation System”

by Andrew Steinberg

Brown University

Published by Negotiation Guidance Associates.

The paper is available using this link.

Award Plaque for the 2021 Lamb Prize Recipient

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The 2021 Winner is Andrew Steinberg of Brown University

Andrew Steinberg of Brown University is the winner of the 2021 Bert & Phyllis Lamb Prize in Political Science. His winning paper, entitled “No Home for the Brave: Understanding America’s Veteran Deportation System,” discusses the complex legal system affecting the status of immigrant members and veterans of the U.S. military. The system, which has developed over several decades, prevents them from achieving citizenship, avoiding deportation, and accessing proper healthcare.

Andrew Steinberg with His Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Dawn King.

The Lamb Prize consists of a $1000 award, publication of the winning paper in June each year on, one-year membership in the Western Social Science Association (WSSA), a plaque, and travel expenses to attend the WSSA annual meeting, where the plaque is formally presented. In addition, the winner presents the paper at a roundtable panel at the WSSA meeting.  In 2021, the WSSA is holding a virtual conference, during which Mr. Steinberg will present his paper.

Every year, the Selection Committee is highly impressed by the innovation and good writing displayed by applicants for the Prize. Andrew Steinberg is no exception! His application is another example of first-rate undergraduate work. The Selection Committee commented that “This is a remarkable paper reflecting a genuinely ‘life altering’ experience studying the issue of deported veterans.  Few undergraduate students could be expected to take on such a study and accomplish the comprehensive data collection project required; fewer yet could be expected to carry it out so well and write about it so eloquently.”

Mr. Steinberg’s faculty sponsor (Dr. Dawn King) wrote that “I believe Andrew’s pairing of interviews and  participant observation with legal scholarship allows him to make a compelling and innovative argument for a multi-pronged approach to ending veteran deportations.” 

Award Plaque for the 2021 Lamb Prize Recipient
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Honorable Mention Announced for the 2021 Lamb Prize

The 2021 Honorable Mention Award for the Lamb Prize has been presented to Andrew Hinckley of Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island.  Mr. Hinckley’s award-winning paper is entitled “Ending Partisan Gerrymandering.” His application was sponsored by Professor Richard Holtzman, who wrote, “Andrew is an excellent writer and critical, analytical thinker.” 

The Selection Committee was unanimous in awarding Honorable Mention. The Committee commented that Mr. Hinckley’s paper responded “to the call for ‘innovation’ in both the selection of topics and approach to writing about the longstanding problem of partisan gerrymandering.” 

Andrew Hinckley of Bryant University

Since the Lamb Prize’s inaugural award in 2015, its reputation and selectivity has been growing. One purpose of the Prize is to encourage undergraduates and promote creativity. The Prize has always attracted strong competition among high performing students. However, the number of excellent submissions in 2021 challenged the Selection Committee to choose just one student to honor. Multiple papers demonstrated top-quality research, innovation, and writing. 

Although he didn’t win, Mr. Hinckley’s application deserves recognition. “We wanted to give students proper recognition of a strong field of submissions,” said Nicholas P. Lovrich, Jr., Regents Professor Emeritus at Washington State University and member of the Selection Committee. Mr. Hinckley’s “strong submission to the competition” fits that purpose.

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The 2021 recipient, Andrew Steinberg, is a Junior in the  International and Public Affairs (IAPA) program at Brown University.

The International and Public Affairs  program at Brown University is the Watson Institute’s multidisciplinary and globally-comparative undergraduate concentration. The concentration equips students with the knowledge and skills necessary for engaged global citizenship at a time of rapid transformation and mounting societal challenges. The IAPA offers three tracks: Development, Policy & Governance, and Security.  Across all three tracks, it is committed to engaging students in the classroom, enabling research opportunities with faculty and in the field, and supporting experiential work opportunities.


The 2020 recipient, Sandra Carrillo Rodriguez graduated in the Spring of 2020 with a degree in Political Science from Idaho State University.

Idaho State University is a public research university that offers more than 280 programs. Offering Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees in Political Science, along with a Master’s of Public Administration degree, ISU’s Political Science department provides coursework in the fields of U.S. Politics, Comparative Politics and International Relations, Public Law, Public Administration and Political Theory. We prepare students with the knowledge and skills needed to participate in civil society, address the future of our ever-changing political climate, and confront current issues such as human rights, climate change and socio-political and economic development. Students can access unique opportunities through internships and research to experience how the theoretical world interacts with the reality.  The main campus is in Pocatello, Idaho with other campuses in Meridian, Idaho Falls and Twin Falls, Idaho.


The 2019 recipient, Paul F Weisser, graduated in the spring of 2020 with a degree in Politics from Saint Vincent College.

The politics department at Saint Vincent College approaches the study of politics as both philosophical reflection and analytical art. From the study of ancient, modern and contemporary sources, students are led to examine critically the ideas and events that have influenced the formation of political principles, government organization, characteristics of citizenship and social policy. Along with philosophical grounding, the program seeks to provide the analytical competence to understand the contemporary political environment, to address effectively public policy issues, and to contribute intellectually and practically to the sociopolitical challenges of our times.  In this way, the department contributes to Saint Vincent College’s mission as a Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts institution of higher learning.


The 2018 recipient, Zachariah A. Levitan, graduated from the University at Albany, SUNY in the spring of 2018 with a degree from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy.

Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy at the University at Albany, SUNY has consistently been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s premier schools of public affairs. The College offers undergraduate, masters, and doctoral level degree programs in public administration, public policy, international affairs, and political science. Talented students come to Rockefeller for the knowledge and tools to make a difference in the world. Rockefeller College prides itself on preparing dynamic leaders who will shape the public policies of the future. Students are able to benefit from academic and experiential learning opportunities in the New York Capital Region and beyond to develop a strong foundation for careers in the public, nonprofit and private sectors as well as careers in teaching and research. The University at Albany is the premier public research university in the Capital Region and offers more than 17,000 students the expansive opportunities of a large university in an environment designed to foster individual success.


The 2017 Lamb Prize Recipient, Claire McMorris, graduated in spring of 2017 with a degree in Political Science from Oregon State University.

Oregon State University is a public research university and the largest university in the state of Oregon. The main campus for OSU is in Corvallis, with other campuses in Bend, Newport, Portland, and online.  The Political Science department at OSU offers coursework in four sub-fields:  American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations and Political Theory.  As a Land Grant University, OSU offers students unique opportunities through internships, practical real-world work experience, and research with extension offices throughout the state.  OSU is one of only two universities in the United States to have Sea, Space, and Sun Grant designations. The political science program at Oregon State is housed in the School of Public Policy. In addition to its undergraduate programs in economics, sociology, and political science, the School offers Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Public Policy.


Quinn Massaroni received the 2016 Lamb Prize and graduated with a degree in Political Science and Legal Studies from Bryant University in Spring of 2016.

The Politics and Law program at Bryant University is an interdisciplinary program that brings together Political Science and Legal Studies in order to prepare students with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the terrain of a world shaped by persistant change, shifting power and debates about critical questions regarding the role of government, the importance of human rights and peacekeeping as well as current issues such as climate change. Students in this major also will develop and master a set of critical skills. These include the ability to: (1) define or describe key concepts, specific facts, and critical issues of U.S. and global politics and law, and correctly apply this information to particular examples; (2) use conceptual models and theories to analyze political and legal events and decisions; (3) identify and discuss the methods used in political science and legal studies research; and (4) apply political and legal science methods in making convincing arguments supported by evidence and reasoning.


David Belcher was the first recipient of the Lamb Prize. He graduated with a degree in Political Science from the University of California, Davis in December 2015.

The University of California, Davis is a public research university and part of the University of California system.  The university has over 36,000 total students and has numerous internationally recognized program across the university.  The Department of Political Science offers a cutting-edge education on the undergraduate and graduate levels.  At the undergraduate level, our department houses three majors: International Relations, Political Science, and Public Service, with a total of nearly 1500 majors.  In addition to a solid liberal arts education, we offer opportunities for undergraduates to do internships in Sacramento and Washington, DC, and to do research in political science, whether independently through our senior honors thesis program or through working with professors.  Our graduate program is highly ranked and respected, having been ranked 16th in the nation by the National Research Council and 17th by the most recent US News rankings of political science graduate programs.

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The Winner of the 2020 Lamb Prize is Sandra Carrillo Rodriguez

Sandra Carrillo Rodriguez of Idaho State University has won the 2020 Bert & Phyllis Lamb Prize in Political Science. She becomes the sixth recipient of the Prize. Her winning paper seeks to understand how perceived discrimination and partisanship influences Latina/o/x linked fate. “Linked fate” refers to the belief that individual fates are connected to those of someone’s racial or ethnic group.

Sandra Carrillo

Sandra Carrillo Rodriguez of Idaho State University

The Lamb Prize consists of a $1000 award, publication of the winning paper, one-year membership in the Western Social Science Association, a plaque, and travel expenses to attend the WSSA annual meeting, where the plaque will be formally presented.

This excellent paper was well received by all members of the Lamb Prize Selection Committee. Many of the reviewers commented on the innovative and timely questionposed by Ms Carrillo Rodriguez.  The paper was noted to be “interesting and forward looking.”  Furthermore, the Selection Committee commended the work for its description “of potential voting behaviors based in perceived discrimination.”  The findings imply a variety of possible policy implications. Overall, Selection Committee members believe this is another example of outstanding, innovative research that adds to discussions within Political Science.

The extend Lamb Family and Negotiation Guidance Associates join the Selection Committee in congratulating Sandra Carrillo Rodriguez for her excellent work and welcome her to the outstanding group of young scholars who have won the Lamb Prize.

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Bryant University’s Quinn Massaroni wins the 2016 Lamb Prize

Negotiation Guidance Associates and the extended family of Bert & Phyllis Lamb are pleased to announce that Quinn Massaroni, a senior majoring in Law & Politics at Bryant University, is the recipient of the 2016 Prize. Her submission is entitled A United States Sustainable Energy Transition Based on Successful International Models.”

Massaroni & holtzman

Quinn Massaroni with her faculty sponsor Dr. Richard Holtzman. Ms. Massaroni is a senior at Bryant University, Springfield RI.

The Selection Committee was favorably impressed by an excellent submission. The paper is well written, clearly presented, and creative. The Selection Committee commended the focus on the need for energy transition and climate change including its link to renewables.

Reviewers saw this as an ambitious paper that was logically organized and had excellent follow-through on a difficult task. According to one reviewer, Quinn’s “…use of the ‘best practices’ framework and search for novel ideas for a staged approach to change are indicative of a thoughtful person mature beyond her age.” Furthermore, the paper does a nice job of summarizing what three E.U. nation-states are doing to address issues of energy sustainability. The second part of the paper points out that although the culture of the United States is different from that of Europe, it may still be possible for the United States to adopt some European techniques. The solution presented is based on getting individual states and investors to adopt technical innovations from European countries that, if adopted, would help the United States reduce carbon emissions and increase reliance on renewable energy. This solution veers from the more common U.S. approach, and is thus innovative. Overall, the Selection Committee agreed Ms Massaroni’s paper was innovative by suggesting a solution that while not new, is one not currently taken by the United States.


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And the 2019 Winner Is: Paul F. Weisser of Saint Vincent College

Paul F. Weisser of St. Vincent College Has Been Selected for the 2019 Prize

The Lamb Prize is pleased to announce Paul F. Weisser as its winner for 2019. Mr. Weisser, a junior majoring in Politics at Saint Vincent College, is the fifth  undergraduate to win the Bert & Phyllis Lamb Prize in Political Science.

The Lamb Prize, worth $1000. In addition, the winner receives a one-year membership in the Western Social Science Association, a plaque, and travel expenses to attend the WSSA annual meeting, where the plaque will be formally presented.

Weisser & Advisor

Paul F. Weisser with his faculty advisor Dr. Jerome C. Foss of Saint Vincent College

Mr. Weisser’s winning essay is entitled “I Believe We are Lost: the Worst Casualties of the Great War.”  It examines totalitarianism through the political philosophy and writings of Hannah Arendt, including The Origins of Totalitarianism. He uses the novel by Erich Maria Remarque entitled All Quiet on the Western Front to bring to life the theories Arendt described. Mr. Weisser’s comparison  of these two literature classics is a unique approach illustrating the rise of totalitarian movements in a post-Great War world.

The full paper by Paul Weisser was published in May, 2019, the Précis has also been published.

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Zachariah Levitan wins the 2018 Bert & Phyllis Lamb Prize in Political Science

Zachariah A. Levitan of Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, University at Albany, SUNY has been awarded the 2018 Lamb Prize, becoming the fourth undergraduate to win this coveted award.  The prize, worth $1,000, plus travel expenses and a one-year membership in the Western Social Science Association (WSSA) marks a career milestone for Mr. Levitan. The paper has been published by Negotiation Guidance Associates and may be found at “Levitan Paper.

His winning article is entitled “The YouTube ‘Adpocalypse’ and ‘Adcquisition’: Proposing a Change in YouTube’s Political Content Monetization Methodology.” The paper describes how a private market problem can have implications in the public realm. Read the précis.

In announcing the 2018 Prize recipient Dr. Berton Lee Lamb, chair of the Lamb Prize Steering Committee, observed “The paper is an excellent example of a submission that presents a challenging problem and offers a potential solution.”


Prabha Unnithan (WSSA Past President), Barbara Bonnekessen (2018 WSSA President), Zachariah A. Levitan (2018 Lamb Prize Recipient) and Berton Lee Lamb (WSSA Past President & Chair, Lamb Prize Steering Committee)

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Honorable Mention Recognized in 2018 and 2021

Honorable Mention Awards Have Been Presented to:

Andrew Hinckley, Bryant University for his submission entitled “Ending Partisan Gerrymandering.” 2021

Joshua Lindell, Colorado State University for his submission entitled “Carbon Tax.” 2018

Anthony Taylor, Colorado State University for his submission entitled “Diffusion of Renewable Energy Technology in Contemporary Society.” 2018

Although these students did not win the Lamb Prize, their scholarship was acknowledged by the Selection Committee with a letter of commendation and certificate.

The faculty nominator for the 2021 Prize Honorable Mention was Dr. Richard Holtzman, Associate Professor of Political Science, Bryant University.

The faculty nominator for the 2018 Prize was Dr. Sandra Davis, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Colorado State University.*


*Members of the Selection Committee who nominate students for the Lamb Prize recuse themselves from the evaluation process.

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