The deadline to apply for the 2020 Beth B. Hess Memorial Scholarship was April 1. Please check back this fall for information regarding the 2021 Beth B. Hess Memorial Scholarship.  Please see below for information on scholarship eligibility and a list of previous winners.


The Beth B. Hess Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to an advanced sociology Ph.D. student who began their study in a community college or technical school. A student advanced to candidacy (ABD status) in an accredited Ph.D. program in sociology is eligible to apply if they studied at a U.S. two-year college either part-time or full-time for the equivalent of at least one full academic year that was not part of a high-school dual-enrollment or enrichment program. Students who attended the international equivalent of U.S. two-year college are also welcome to apply.

The Scholarship carries a stipend of $18,000 from Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS) with assistance from the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) to be used to support the pursuit of a Ph.D., as well as one-year memberships in SWS (including a subscription to Gender & Society) and SSSP. The first award payment of $9,000 will be given at the SWS Summer Meeting banquet, with the second $9,000 payment to come at the SWS Winter Meeting. Recognizing Beth Hess’s significant contributions to the American Sociological Association (ASA), ASA joins SWS and SSSP in supporting and celebrating the awardee at their Annual Meeting. The awardee’s economy class airfare, train fare or driving mileage/tolls will be paid jointly by SWS and SSSP. ASA also supports applicants for this award via their student travel award program (more than one such award may be given, but students must apply to ASA separately). Each association will also waive its meeting registration and provide complementary banquet and/or reception tickets for the awardee.


To honor Beth Hess's career, the committee will be looking for:

  • Commitment to teaching, especially at a community college or other institution serving less-privileged students.
  • Research and/or activism in social inequality, social justice, or social problems, with a focus on gender and/or gerontology being especially positive.
  • Service to the academic and/or local community, including mentoring.
  • High quality research and writing in the proposal and letter of application.

All else equal, candidates who are already in the writing stage and apparently close to completion will be preferred. While repeat applications are not prohibited, the odds of success are improved by waiting to apply until the applicant is obviously no more than 18 months from defending the dissertation, making the award available to the recipient in the last full year of the Ph.D. program.


Review the list of the past winners for the Beth B. Hess Memorial Scholarship.

Please address all questions to:

Barret Katuna, SWS Executive Officer, or Sarah Bruch, Chair of the Beth Hess Memorial Scholarship Subcommittee