Lawrence Busch Award for Graduate Student Research on Food and Agriculture

2022 Rural Sociological Society

Lawrence Busch Award for Graduate Student Research

on Food and Agriculture

Submission Deadline: September 20, 2021

This year the RSS Council has authorized the use of Endowment funds to support the Lawrence Busch Award for Graduate Student Research on Food and Agriculture conducted during the 2021-2022 fiscal/academic year. Proposals are invited to conduct research with a focus on food and agriculture. The award is designed to stimulate research that will help develop the careers of future rural sociologists and support the broader mission of the Rural Sociological Society. Award winners are strongly encouraged to submit papers based on their research at future RSS Annual Meetings. The RSS Awards and Endowment Committee will oversee the awards process.

Award Guidelines

The recipient of this award shall engage in social research on issues related to food and/or agriculture. The research may be of domestic or international relevance and shall have been approved by the appropriate offices of the student’s institution. The award shall be given directly to the recipient and not to any institution.

The awardee shall be a member[1] in good standing of the RSS at the time of the award. The awardee is encouraged to attend the meetings of the Society and to present research conducted under the award. Moreover, the award shall be available to anyone without regard to nationality or citizenship. The awardee need not be a sociologist, but must be someone with a strong and demonstrable interest in social issues surrounding food and agriculture.  The amount granted in 2022 will be no more than $2,000.00 and may be less depending on the availability of funds.

Submission Guidelines for the Busch Award

Applicants shall submit a short CV of no more than three pages and a summary of no more than 5 single-spaced pages of the research to be undertaken.

The deadline for submission of proposals and required supporting materials is September 20, 2021. Proposals received after that date will not be reviewed or considered for funding. All proposals must be compiled into a single Adobe Acrobat .pdf format and submitted to Stephen Gasteyer ([email protected]) chair of the Awards and Endowment Committee. Nominees who are unable to meet these submission requirements and/or who cannot save their files in .pdf format should contact Stephen at (517) 355-2856 or at the email listed above at least two weeks in advance of the due date so that alternative arrangements for submission can be made.

When nominating someone for any award, nominators should consider whether the candidate meets the standards outlined by the RSS Code of Ethics. RSS award winners are expected to meet these standards: https://www.ruralsociology.org/rss-ethics.

Submission Deadline: September 20, 2021

Notification Date: December 13, 2021

Award Date:  As early as January 17, 2022 or by special arrangement

Proposal packets should include all of the following:

1. A short cover letter. The cover letter should include a paragraph explaining how the thesis/dissertation/research will influence the applicant’s future work related to food and agriculture.

2. The proposal. The proposal, which includes the budget and budget justification, is limited to no more than 5 single-spaced pages of the research to be undertaken using a 12-point font and 1inch margins. The applicant should include an itemized budget and a brief budget narrative. Note: references are not included in the 5-page limit. The proposal should include:

  • A well-defined problem statement
  • An abbreviated literature review
  • A section detailing research methods
  • A work-plan schedule
  • Plans for dissemination of findings
  • An itemized budget for the work planned
  • A brief budget justification narrative

3. Budget notes

  • Proposal must include a narrative budget justification.
  • Equipment purchases are not permitted with Endowment funds.
  • Because of limited funds and the relatively small dollar total of awards, RSS will not pay overhead charges to the host institution of the recipient.
  • The RSS Endowment Committee understands that individuals submitting proposals may seek additional funding from other sources. The committee requests that the budget narrative describe exactly which parts of the project would be supported by additional funds and which parts would be supported by Busch Award.

4. A short CV of no more than three pages.

5. Proposal packets submitted for the Lawrence Busch Graduate Student Research Award on Food and Agriculture must also include a letter from the student’s major professor or thesis/dissertation chair that addresses the project’s intellectual significance and the likelihood that work on the thesis/dissertation will be actively pursued during the current academic year. When nominating someone for any award, nominators should consider whether the candidate meets the standards outlined by the RSS Code of Ethics. RSS award winners are expected to meet these standards: https://www.ruralsociology.org/rss-ethics.

Complete applicant packets should be sent via email as a single .pdf file to Stephen Gasteyer, Chair of the RSS Awards and Endowment Committee, [email protected]

Upon completion of his or her project, the award recipient is encouraged to provide a 500-word summary, which will be published on the Rural Sociological Society website.


[1] Applicants must be RSS members when they apply for the award in 2021 and to receive the award in 2022.