Graduate Student Paper Award

2015 AIA Grad Student Paper Award winners
Johanna Boyer (center) & Rachel Kulick (right)

Graduate students are the future of our profession and contribute substantially to the success of the Archaeological Institute of America’s Annual Meeting by delivering papers based on original research. Through its Graduate Student Paper Award the Archaeological Institute of America recognizes this contribution and encourages outstanding research by students.

Eligibility and General Information
Eligible Graduate Students in Archaeology and related disciplines are invited to submit papers that have been accepted for presentation at the 2017 Annual Meeting to be considered for the Graduate Student Paper Award.

Eligible students are predoctoral students in any discipline related to archaeology who have had a paper accepted by the Program for the Annual Meeting Committee for presentation at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the AIA and who have checked the box on the submission form indicating that they were interested in the award. Accepted papers should then be submitted by email and in their entirety to the Graduate Student Paper Award Committee for consideration for the award. The full written paper must be received by December 1, 2016. When images form part of the argument, illustrations must be included. In substance and form the paper that is delivered should be the same as that submitted (no footnotes, citations, bibliography). Papers are anonymous, so the submitter's name should not appear on or within the paper submitted.

Co-authored papers: We encourage collaborative work between students and will consider co-authored papers when all contributors hold student status. We are not able to accept papers with a senior scholar as co-author (anyone holding a PhD at the time of submission) since the committee cannot determine the amount of input from the student author(s).

The written paper and its oral and visual presentation will be judged for (1) originality, (2) concision and (3) delivery. Assessment of the presentation will not be affected either by technological format of presentation or by circumstances beyond the presenter’s control, but rather it will be judged by organization and rhetorical delivery. The selection committee consists of faculty and scholars who are members of the AIA. 

The award will include a certificate of award and a prize consisting of books from multiple presses that exhibit at the annual meeting. The winner will be announced on the AIA website. A letter will be sent to the chair of the academic department at the winner’s institution announcing the award.

Submission Requirements

  • Submissions must be in 12 pt Times New Roman, double spaced, with 1" margins
  • Presenter names should not appear on the submitted paper
  • Allotted presentation time should be included in the document immediately under the paper title
  • Paper length should be appropriate for the time slot allowed (ca. 2 minutes per page is a good rule of thumb). Any paper that exceeds the appropriate length will not be considered
  • Accompanying images must be submitted separately from the paper

Text and images should be submitted by email as either a Word or PDF document to

After reading the submitted papers, the committee shall consult by conference call early in December to choose a shortlist of up to five finalists. Finalists will be notified of their status and members of the committee will attend their presentations at the meetings. If possible, the committee will meet in person immediately following the last sessions at the annual meeting; otherwise it will decide the winner by conference call immediately after the conference.

A report containing the name and institution of the candidate, the title of the winning paper, and the session in which it was presented shall be submitted to AIA headquarters immediately after the Annual Meeting each year.

2015 Graduate Student Paper Award: Johanna Boyer

Ms. Boyer’s paper, “Two Late Roman Wells in the Athenian Agora”, is a strong, well-constructed paper that conveys both its importance and its new material in equal measure. Boyer’s paper makes an important contribution about the Athenian Agora in Late Antiquity and attempts to change the accepted historical narrative with a succinct presentation of the archaeological evidence. Furthermore, Boyer’s presentation was to a high professional standard and she successfully contextualized her discussion into the broader archaeological framework. The paper is an excellent example of an impeccably organized oral presentation pitched perfectly for her audience. Boyer made clear the importance of this material and her conclusions with clear and persuasive argumentation of evidence.

2015 Graduate Student Paper Award: Rachel Kulick

Ms. Kulick’s excellent paper “Geoarchaeology and Landscape Change in Bronze Age East Crete: The Case of Post-Theran Palaikastro” clarifies the geoarchaeological research conducted at Palaikastro starting in 2001 at the Promontory peninsula, which famously produced tsunami waves over 9 meters high. Utilizing primary evidence from the Minoan town itself, the paper presented carefully researched conclusions that were both coherent and persuasive. Kulick’s presentation was polished and her answers to questions were well crafted and demonstrated an excellent grasp of the site beyond the scope of her paper. After the AIA, Kulick’s research was highlighted on internet sources such as PBS’s NovaNext website.

2014 Graduate Student Paper Award: Christopher Hale

At the recommendation of the Graduate Student Paper Award Committee, the Archaeological Institute of America is pleased to award to Christopher M. Hale from the University of Melbourne the first prize for the best graduate student paper delivered at the 115th Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America held in Chicago, Illinois, January 2-5, 2014.

The winning paper was entitled “Central Greek and Kean Interconnections During the Middle Bronze Age: The Evidence from Mitrou, East Locris”.   The was an excellent paper with significant ramifications regarding trade in the Middle Bronze Age Aegean not only at the site of Mitrou but in the Greek mainland at large.  His presentation was well-organized and well documented resulting in a thoroughly convincing argument.  Mr. Hale was especially good during the question and answer session following his paper demonstrating an even broader knowledge of his subject and a keen ability to think on his feet.

Past Winners of the Graduate Student Paper Award

2013 Annemarie Catania
2012 Margaret M. Andrews
Allison Emmerson
2011 Natalie Abell
2010 John (Mac) Marston (first prize)
Stephanie Pearson (honorable mention)
2009 Marcie Handler and
Panagiota A. Pantou
2008 Stephan Zink
2007 Philip Sapirstein (first prize)
Mont Allen (honorable mention)
2006 Elizabeth R. Macaulay Lewis (first prize)
Nathan T. Elkins (honorable mention)

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