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William S. Pollitzer Student Travel Award Essay question announced (2014)

by Ed Hagen last modified Dec 08, 2013 12:20 PM
The Pollitzer Student Travel Awards are designed to help students defray the costs of attending the AAPA meetings. They are named in honor of William S. Pollitzer, a Human Biologist who taught at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, a Darwin Lifetime Achievement Awardee, and past president of the AAPA.


Qualifications: This award is open to all AAPA student members (undergraduate and graduate) who are attending the annual meeting. You DO NOT have to be giving a paper to compete or receive an award. You DO need to be a MEMBER of the AAPA at the time of the meeting and may not have been granted your PhD before the submission deadline.

Award: Up to $500 to defray travel costs to the meetings.

Application and Essay: Awards are made on the basis of an essay of no more than 750 words long (excluding references). The essay question changes each year. The essay should be submitted electronically as a Microsoft Word file. Any submission over 750 words will be automatically disqualified.

Send essays to Anthony Di Fiore ( by January 15, 2014. Please follow the e-mail with the attached essay with a second e-mail alerting Dr. Di Fiore to the fact that the essay was sent. Within 48 hours, students should expect to receive an e-mail acknowledging receipt of their essay.

Essay topic:

In the past year, droughts, floods, tsunamis, and superstorms have made headlines around the world, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has begun rolling out its 5th Assessment Report on global climate change and possible response strategies. In a short essay (750 words maximum), discuss the significance of climate change in human and nonhuman primate evolutionary history. Depending on your interests, you may wish to focus on a specific period of time (i.e., you need not constrain yourself to the contemporary!) and/or a specific taxonomic group.

Essay evaluation and scoring procedures:

The AAPA student prize committee will evaluate each submission with an identification number to mask authors’ identities. When distributed to the judges, each essay will be identified by a number assigned by the committee chair.

The scoring criteria are:

  1. Clarity and focus. 45 points possible
  2. Originality of thought and insight. 45 points possible
  3. Grammar and spelling. 10 points possible
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