How to Apply for the Lamb Prize

DEADLINE FOR RECEIVING APPLICATIONS AND NOMINATIONS IS

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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Claire McMorris Writes About the Importance of Mentoring

 By Claire McMorris

I first learned about the Lamb Prize a few years back from my academic advisor at Oregon State University. Knowing how few opportunities there are highlighting undergraduate academic excellence in Political Science, I promised myself, “I’m going to apply for that someday.” I suspected that day would come when I started working on my capstone thesis for the University Honors College. I didn’t give myself an easy task. As my mentor, Dr. Michael Jones often reminded me, “this is more of a graduate level project,” which only made me want to dig deeper into my research. When I had a final draft ready, my next logical step was the Lamb Prize. I put my application together and submitted my hard work to the Selection Committee.

I believe one of the defining aspects of my project was the outstanding mentorship by Dr. Jones. As an undergraduate student it is easy to get lost in a sea of ideas, not understanding what would constitute meaningful research in a given field. Under Dr. Jones’s guidance I was able to take an advanced theoretical concept, the Narrative Policy Framework, and pair it with a relevant and multi-faceted issue, Oregon Measure 97. He helped me better understand the literature and work towards a paper that was sophisticated and intentional. Through my research and submission to the Lamb Prize I developed as a student, writer, and scholar. The support of my mentor was invaluable to my growth and receipt of the Prize. Claire McMorris, graduated with a degree in Political Science from Oregon State University.  You may view her short video describing her experience as an applicant and winner. “Claire McMorris on the Lamb Prize” .

McMorris & Michael Jones Edited

Claire McMorris–2017 Recipient–with her faculty sponsor Dr. Michael Jones of Oregon State University.  

Oregon State University Department of Political Science

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.

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DEPARTMENTS WITH LAMB PRIZE WINNERS

IDAHO STATE UNIVERSITY: SANDRA CARRILLO RODRIGUEZ, 2020

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.

SAINT VINCENT COLLEGE: PAUL F. WEISSER, 2019

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.

UNIVERSITY at ALBANY, SUNY: ZACHARIAH A. LEVITAN, 2018

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.

OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY: CLAIRE McMORRIS, 2017

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.

BRYANT UNIVERSITY: QUINN MASSARONI, 2016

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.

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA –DAVIS: DAVID BELCHER, 2015

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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Excellent Candidates Help Grow the Prize: Reflections on the Honorable Mention Awards.

The Bert and Phyllis Lamb Prize in Political Science honored more than just one student in 2018. The Selection Committee introduced the first Honorable Mention Awards. Although not a cash prize, Honorable Mention status secures an important place in any student CV and resume.

Since the Lamb Prize’s inaugural award in 2015, its reputation and selectivity has been growing. Although the prize has always attracted strong competition among high performing students, the number of excellent submissions in 2018 challenged the Selection Committee to choose just one student to honor. The multiple papers demonstrating top-quality research, innovation, and writing each warranted 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.  So the committee proposed to honor more than one, and the wheels were in motion for the Honorable Mention Award.  Continue reading

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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.”

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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)

Continue reading

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Honorable Mention: Outstanding Submissions Recognized in 2018

For the first time the 2018 the Lamb Prize Selection Committee recognized two undergraduate papers as deserving of Honorable Mention for the Lamb Prize.

Listed as receiving Honorable Mention are:

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

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

Although these students did not win the 2018 Lamb Prize, their scholarship was acknowledged by the Selection Committee with a letter of commendation and certificate.

The faculty nominator for these two undergraduates was Dr. Sandra Davis, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Colorado State University.* In making the nominations, Dr. Davis said Mr. Lindell’s  analysis evaluates the effectiveness of a cap and trades system and a carbon tax, “His analysis recognizes the complexity of dealing with a controversial policy issue.” The Selection Committee wrote that “…the paper is well-written and presents many of the broad issues linked to taxes, carbon emissions, and climate change.”

In her nomination for Mr. Taylor’s submission, Dr. Davis said, “One of the paper’s strengths is the recognition of the interdependence of the social, political and market components of the problem.” The Selection Committee said this is “…a well-written paper that sets out the case for the proposed solution in a very systematic fashion.  It is both innovating and practical.”

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

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Oregon State University’s Claire McMorris wins the 2017 Lamb Prize

Negotiation Guidance Associates and the extended family of Bert & Phyllis Lamb are pleased to announce that Claire McMorris, a senior majoring in Political Science at Oregon State University, is the recipient of the 2017 Prize. Her submission is entitled Corporate Oregon: A Narrative Study of Measure 97

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Claire McMorris, Oregon State University

The Selection Committee found Ms McMorris’s paper applying the Narrative Policy Framework to the outcomes of Measure 97 in Oregon to be innovative and interesting.  The paper itself was well written, well-reasoned, and thoroughly referenced.

The Selection Committee chose her paper from among the applicants due to its “strong structure to the argument,” “innovating approach to using an interesting framework to study how persuasion shapes policy,” and “well-done analysis.”  Furthermore, as noted in the paper itself, the work is the first NPF study using ballot measures as data, and “uniquely blends public opinion, hearty campaign narratives and real policy consequences” (McMorris, précis).  Overall, the Committee felt Ms McMorris’ work was not only innovative, but well designed and logical, revealing her as a promising talent.

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