Influencing Social Policy Contests  Official Contest Rules 2018

The Bruce S. Jansson MSW Award – $500 for the winning entry

The Katharine V. Byers BSW Award – $500 for the winning entry

Because of a generous grant from the New York Community Trust, the amount of each award is $500, and the faculty award is $250.

Who is eligible? Full-time or part-time BSW and MSW social work students and full-time and adjunct faculty in accredited or in-candidacy social work educational programs in the United States of America.

For Students

 Awards:  A total of 2 awards will be made to students (as individuals or collaborative groups): one at the BSW level ($500) and one at the MSW level ($500).  Cash award will be given to each of the two winners.  Group winners will share the award.

What to submit:  Describe in a two (2) page, 12pt. font, double-spaced Word document a project in which you endeavored to influence or advocate for a local, state, or national social policy or a piece of state or federal legislation. State (1) the purpose of the project; (2) the outcomes of your efforts; (3) the estimated number of persons affected by your project and (4) what you learned about policy-making. Examples of such a project might include but is not be limited to: organizing clients to present testimony at public hearings; lobbying state agencies as a member of coalition; conducting a survey of legislators’ viewpoints on an issue; getting a bill introduced by a legislator; planning a rally day; giving testimony before a subcommittee; designing and carrying out a research study on policy, etc.  Ask a faculty member of ISP for help or clarification about your idea for a project.  Check the sample student projects at the ISP website

For Faculty

Awards:  Two (2) cash awards will be made to faculty: one at the BSW level ($250) and one at the MSW level ($250).  Faculty are encouraged to promote the 2018 ISP contest among their students.  Why?  It’s the only way a faculty member can win.  In order to win the faculty award at the BSW or MSW level, (1) a faculty member’s student must win first place; and (2) the faculty member’s must be listed on the electronic entry form.  Faculty may assist the student(s) without restriction.

Where to submit entry?  Please submit all BSW and MSW entries electronically  (Visit Influencing Social Policy website: for submission details).

 Deadline:  All entries must be submitted to the website no later than midnight, April 13, 2018.  No entries received after this date will be reviewed.

Judges:  A committee of social work faculty selected by ISP will review all entries and determine the winners.  Their decisions will be final.

When and where will awards be made?  An awards ceremony will take place during the Policy Conference 2.0 in St. Louis, May 31-June 3, 2018.  Unfortunately, ISP cannot pay travel or lodging expenses, but will pay for student conference registration for two students and one faculty registration.  Hopefully, social work education programs will assist the winners, who will be notified in advance.  If students and faculty are not able to attend the 2018 Policy Conference, they will be invited to attend the 2019 Policy Conference.

What will happen to your entry?  All entries will be featured on the ISP website by Fall, 2018.