Rising Scholar Award

American Journalism, the academic journal of the American Journalism Historians Association, seeks applications for its Rising Scholar Award. The award is presented at the AJHA annual convention.

The award is intended to provide research assistance of up to $2,000 for a junior faculty member who has not yet achieved tenure. Media professionals who have transitioned within the last four years to full-time work in the academy also are eligible to apply.

The proposed research project must be related to media history. All methodological approaches are welcomed. Funding may be used for travel to work with archival collections, copying/digitization expenses for archival material, or to pay a research assistant. Funds may not be used for faculty salary, travel to attend conferences, equipment, or software. Funding may not be requested to reimburse expenses incurred prior to this award.

For the proposal selected, a 2- to 3-page report is due to AJHA by Aug. 1, 2020 describing work accomplished and presentations/publications planned or accomplished.


  • Applicants must be current AJHA members at the time the proposal is submitted.
  • Proposals may be for sole-authored or co-authored work. If two or more individuals apply together, the award amount will be shared.
  • The award is not intended for dissertation completion research.
  • Undergraduate and graduate students are not eligible for this award.

Application requirements:

  • A cover letter with name and contact information for applicant(s).
  • A three- to five-page prospectus/overview of the project. Describe and explain the project's topic and justify its contribution to the historiography of media. Describe the scope of the project. Identify and describe the primary sources to be used, if any, and explain their importance to the project. Identify and justify the project's objectives. Provide a timeline for the project.
  • An itemized budget of no more than one page. If additional funding will be used for the proposed project, indicate source and amount.
  • If appropriate, include Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval from the university.
  • A list of possible publication venues for the finished project. (Note: The award recipient is not required to submit the resulting work to American Journalism, nor would acceptance be guaranteed if the work is submitted. However, grantees must acknowledge the American Journalism Historians Association in any publication(s) resulting from the award.)
  • A letter of support from the applicant's department chair or dean.
  • A curriculum vita of no more than three pages.

Send proposals no later than June 15, 2020 to:
Vanessa Murphree
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
105-C College Hall
University of Southern Mississippi
Hattiesburg, MS 39406 
or via email

Cristina Mislán receives the 2019 Rising Scholar Award from Ford Risley. Read about her recognition.

2019 Winner: Cristina Mislán, Missouri

Past Winners
2018 - Susan Swanberg, Arizona
2017 - Christina Littlefield, Pepperdine
2016 - Candi Carter Olson, Utah State
2015 - Tracy Lucht, Iowa State
2014 - Amber Roessner, Tennessee

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