Committee Category

Ethics Committee

The Rural Sociological Society’s (RSS’s) Ethics Committee created the Code of Ethics which sets forth the principles and ethical standards that underlie RSS members’ professional responsibilities and conduct. These principles and standards should be used as guidelines when examining everyday professional activities. They constitute normative statements for RSS members and provide guidance on issues that RSS members may encounter in their professional work.


Awards and Endowment

The Awards and Endowment Committee shall organize and implement the Society's efforts to recognize and honor those persons whose diverse efforts have enhanced the field of rural sociology and/or improved the conditions of rural people and places.  The Society supports scholarship and practice to improve the quality of rural life through the distribution of funds from the Endowment.

For directions on how to make nominations for RSS Awards, click here.

2022 Rural Sociological Society

MA/MS, PhD, and Early Career Research Award Competition

Submission Deadline: September 20, 2021

This year the RSS Council has authorized the use of Endowment funds to support Master’s theses, Ph.D. dissertations, and Early Career Research awards to support research activities conducted during the 2021-2022 fiscal/academic year. Proposals are invited to conduct research on all topics encompassed by the field of rural sociology. The awards are 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 Endowment Committee will oversee the awards process. NOTE:  Application dates for these awards have changed.

The RSS Master’s Thesis and Dissertation Research Award Competition

Graduate student members[1] of the Rural Sociological Society are eligible to apply for master’s thesis and Ph.D. dissertation research awards. Dissertation awards can be made for up to $5,000. Master’s thesis awards can be made for up to $2,500. Proposals approved for funding may receive budget allocations below the requested amounts, based on availability of funds and recommendations of the Endowment Committee.

The RSS Early Careers Research Awards Competition

Members of the Rural Sociological Society who received their Ph.D. on or after January 1, 2016 are eligible to apply for RSS Early Career Research awards. Because the size of these awards is modest, proposals will generally involve small-scale projects that will enhance opportunities for scholars to pursue expanded research efforts in the future. The Early Career Research awards have previously been made for up to $5,000.

For more information, click here.


Publications Committee

The Publications Committee supervises the publication of the official journal, as well as any other publications sponsored by the Society.  Editors of various publications (except the membership directory) are selected by the Committee, subject to the approval of the council.  The Society publishes Rural Sociology, the official journal of the RSS, and The Rural Sociologist, the quarterly newsletter.


Program Committee

The Program Committee plans the program of events at the annual meeting.


Nomination Committee 

The Nomination Committee acts as an independent body from the Council and shortlists candidates for the carious offices and requests nominees from the membership.


Membership Committee

The Membership Committee assumes leadership in recruiting and in retaining members.  It may also recommend measures to the council for improving cohesiveness, morale and sense of involvement of members in the Society. 


Diversity Committee

Our Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity

In the context of racial violence in 2020, the RSS Diversity Committee held a series of dialogues and convened with the broader membership to discuss the issue of racial equity in RSS. We recognize and condemn past and present forms of violence and oppression that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color face in the United States and across the world. We also recognize how our own organizational history and structure has elevated the voices of white scholars, often to the exclusion of BIPOC scholars.

Our recent dialogue provides us with the building blocks necessary for addressing historical and structural issues which have not provided the support our BIPOC scholars deserve from our organization. To that end, we identified three main objectives: elevate and re-center BIPOC scholars and voices, address spaces of impact, and protect intellectual freedom. We propose 8 action items to achieve these goals and further strengthen RSS.


Development Committee

The Development Committee is concerned with the status and development of the profession of rural sociology in the areas of teaching, research and extension.  It conducts studies and deliberations as directed by the council; and may also make independent recommendations to the council for the good of the society.