Kenneth Sherrill Prize

Please visit the new Centennial Center website to learn more about the Kenneth Sherrill Prize

Through APSA's Centennial Center for Political Science and Public Affairs, the Kenneth Sherrill Prize recognizes the best doctoral dissertation proposal for an empirical study of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) topics in political science.  The purpose of this prize is to encourage and enable empirical work on LGBT topics by graduate students, and to broaden the recognition of this work within political science.

Nominations are now closed. 
About the 2021 Winner:

Joseph Saraceno is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science and International Relations department at the University of Southern California. Joseph Saraceno’s proposed dissertation (Three Essays on the Representation of LGBT Americans) applies a variety of methodologies to the empirical study of LGBT politics and promises to make a significant contribution to our understanding of the representation of LGBT Americans. The first essay applies multiverse analysis to probe whether the size of the LGB population in legislative districts is significantly related to levels of pro-LGB bill sponsorship.  The second essay examines support for LGBT rights initiatives in the U.S. Congress by party, political ideology, legislator identity and constituent interests.  The third essay uses experimental audits to see if responsiveness to requests for services vary when constituents self-identify as heterosexual or homosexual (and black or white within those categories) across Republican and Democratic officeholders. 

Prize Requirements

Applicants must have successfully defended the prospectus for their dissertation, or intend to defend their prospectus by July 31, 2021.  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.

Kenneth Sherrill Prize Committee

Sherrill Award Committee

Dr. Logan S. Casey
Harvard University
[email protected]

Dr. Gregory B. Lewis
Georgia State University
[email protected]

How to Apply

Applications for the program should include:

  • A curriculum vitae.
  • An abstract of the dissertation proposal.
  • A copy of the applicant’s dissertation proposal.
  • A letter of recommendation from the chair of the applicant’s dissertation committee.  The letter must attest that the prospectus will be defended by July 31, 2021.

Contact Us

For questions or concerns about the Kenneth Sherrill Prize or the application process, please contact the Centennial Center for Political Science and Public Affairs at [email protected].


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