About the 2023 Winner:
Rachel O’Neal is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Colorado Boulder. O’Neal has a Master’s degree in political science from CU Boulder and a Bachelor’s degree from Creighton University in political science and journalism. Their research focuses on transgender rights, hetero-cisnormativity, and quantitative queer comparative politics more broadly. More specifically, O’Neal is interested in how de jure policies unrelated to gender, sex, and sexuality enforce our understanding of each concept. Currently, they are working on projects related to conversion therapy bans in the US, global gender marker policies, and hetero-cisnormativity in US court cases. O’Neal’s proposed research agenda also includes research on transgender sex work, initially at the US level with hopes to expand to the global level.
Applicants must have successfully defended the prospectus for their dissertation, or intend to defend their prospectus by July 31, 2024. To qualify, an applicant’s dissertation prospectus must be an empirical study of LBGT topics; a prospectus in political theory is not eligible for the Kenneth Sherrill Prize.
Each year after receiving the Prize, the Prize committee must receive a report from prior recipients stating if the dissertation has been completed and if so, receive an abstract of the completed dissertation, and if not, a timetable detailing expected trajectory to completion.