The AAPA has long recognized the important contributions made to our discipline by students. Their work reflects the promise and future of our field. Conferring awards for outstanding presentations delivered at the annual meeting celebrates innovative and rigorous research by young scholars. We urge all students eligible for an award to submit an application.

AAPA Student Awards:

American Association of Physical Anthropologists Awards for Outstanding Student Presentations.
American Association of Physical Anthropologists Honorable Mention for Student Presentations.

Mildred Trotter Prize for outstanding presentation on bones or teeth
Patricia Whitten Prize for outstanding presentation on primatology
Journal of Human Evolution Prize on human or primate evolution
The AAA-AAPA Anatomy in Anthropology Prize for outstanding poster and podium presentations best implementing traditional or state-of-the-art anatomical methodologies in innovative anthropological research (subject to co-funding by the Association of Anatomists). 

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Eligibility: To be eligible for a prize, a paper or poster must meet the following criteria:

[Please note that only abstracts submitted for the October 15 deadline are eligible. Abstracts submitted for other types of symposia (e.g. workshop or the undergraduate student research symposium) do not fall under the purview of this competition.]

  1. The first author must be a student member (or special member who is a student) of the AAPA at the time of abstract submission who has not previously won a prize for an AAPA presentation. 
  2. Individuals who have completed all terminal degree requirements before the abstract submission deadline are ineligible for a student prize. However, the first author may be a Regular Member at the time of presentation.
  3. The first author must be a member of the AAPA at the time the meeting is held (Student or Special).
  4. The paper and the project to be presented must be primarily the work of the first author.
  5. The abstract must have been accepted for either a podium or poster presentation of the main AAPA meeting (exclusive of the COD Undergraduate Research Symposium).
  6. The first author student must personally make the presentation of the paper or poster.
  7. A summary of the presentation must be submitted to the competition by March 1, 2020.

You will need the following information to submit your application: 

  1. Title; 
  2. Full names of authors and institution addresses; 
  3. If the paper is multi-authored, state the contributions of each of the authors in terms of intellectual and/or methodological investment; 
  4. If two student co-authors contributed equally to the paper, and wish to be considered as co-principal investigators (co-PI’s) of the paper, indicate that this is the case. Should they win an award, they will each receive a check for half the amount of the total award. 
  5. The date, time, and session number of your presentation.
  6. A brief summary of the presentation (up to 1000 words, excluding references) organized under the following headings a) Research questions or hypotheses; b) Background to questions; c) Methods used to answer the questions; d) Results; e) Discussion; f) Conclusions; g) Bibliography

Deadline to enter the 2021 competition is March 1, 2021.

Review and Decisions: The Student Program Committee judges the written summaries and the visual/oral presentations given at the AAPA meetings for quality of ideas and clarity of presentation. Prizes are awarded at the Closing and Awards Reception on the last evening of the Annual Meetings. The value of the each award is $500.  Everyone who enters the competition will receive a short review of their presentation from one of the judges.

Further information may be obtained from the Student Programs Committee Chair Dr. Christina Torres-Rouff: [email protected] 

Past Awards and Awardees:

For decades, student awards for outstanding podium and poster presentations were conferred based on the type of presentation delivered by the student and in honor of past leaders of the AAPA. In 2019, the Executive Committee of the AAPA, based on discussion over several years and with input from standing committees and our membership, voted to change the names of student prizes to better reflect the core values and ethical responsibilities of our discipline, and to celebrate the increasing number of student contributions to the scientific content of our meetings.

We do not by this decision attempt to erase historical scholarship, the use of which we anticipate will continue with a critical eye, as we seek to build an inclusive and equitable science. Nor do we intend to erase or neglect to recognize the role individuals, and our association, played in the active production of racist science. Rather, we wish to celebrate student achievement that implicitly and explicitly reflects core values of the current and future AAPA.

Hence, the AAPA Executive Committee will bestow all AAPA-supported awards as American Association of Physical Anthropologists Awards for Outstanding Student Presentation and the American Association of Physical Anthropologists Honorable Mentions for Student Presentation. Endowed awards, awards supported by journals and publishers, along with awards co-sponsored with other organizations, will remain unchanged in name. As always, all awards will be announced and celebrated during the closing reception of the AAPA Annual Meeting.

For an excellent poster or podium presentation on bones or teeth

For an excellent poster or podium presentation on primatology

For an excellent poster or podium presentation on human or primate evolution

  • Awardees of the Journal of Human Evolution Prize

    For excellent poster and podium presentations that are judged to best implement either traditional or state-of-the-art anatomical methodologies in innovative anthropological research (subject to co-funding by the Association of Anatomists). 

There are many more excellent student poster and podium presentations than we have named awards. As the result, a number of Honorable Mention Prizes are awarded each year to celebrate strong scholarship.


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