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West Coast Poverty Center

Gunnar R. Almgren Prize

From School of Social Work special funds and administered through the West Coast Poverty Center, this award provides a $2000 award to the best paper on anti-poverty, health, and/or health care policies by a SSW Master of Social Work student. This prize is given in honor of Professor Emeritus Gunnar Almgren, a social worker and scholar with deep commitments to poverty and inequality, health, and the safety-net health care system.

For 2021, the Gunnar R. Almgren Prize will be awarded competitively to a continuing or graduating UW MSW student on the basis of either: 1) an MA thesis proposal (to be completed in 2021-2022); or (2) a class paper of at least 2,000 words. The application deadline is Friday, June 11.  

Application Process 

Faculty are encouraged to nominate students and work that they believe is exemplary and consistent with this award’s goal of supporting work that contributes to the Social Work profession’s knowledge about anti-poverty, health, and/or health care policies. Students may also self-nominate.

Please fill out the application form which requests basic information plus 

1) a copy of the student’s thesis proposal or paper of at least 2,000 words (approximately 8 double-spaced pages), 

2) for thesis proposals, a letter of support from the chair of the student’s thesis committee that verifies that the student is expected, with high confidence, to complete the proposed thesis by the end of the next academic year , and 

3) a brief faculty statement about the nomination.

Selection Criteria

Applications will be evaluated with respect to the thesis’ or paper’s relevance to the production or synthesis of knowledge helpful to social policies targeted toward the alleviation of poverty or health disparities, the proposal or paper’s methodological coherence and rigor, and, for thesis proposals, the proposal’s overall feasibility and likelihood of completion by the end of summer term of the next academic year. The committee will read papers and consider the input of faculty nominators/references. Awardees must be in good academic standing.

The award will be announced over the summer.