ASA announce Student Competition in Bayesian methodology


  • Author: Statistics Views and Kate Calder
  • Date: 31 October 2013
  • Copyright: Image appears courtesy of iStock Photo

The Section on Bayesian Statistical Science (SBSS) of the American Statistical Association (ASA) has announced that it will  sponsor a student paper competition for research on Bayesian methodology. Bayesian methodology may be broadly construed and includes applied, computational, or theoretical work. This paper competition is for completed research. A manuscript suitable for journal submission is required to enter the competition. Winners of the competition will receive partial support to attend the 2014 Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) in Boston, MA.

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To be eligible for this award, the candidate must have been a full-time student (undergraduate, Masters, or Ph.D.) on or after September 1, 2013.

The candidate must be first author on the paper, and the advisor or other co-author will need to write a letter stating that the candidate had primary responsibility for the research and write-up. The candidate must be a member of SBSS or ISBA (International Society for Bayesian Analysis). Students who have previously received travel support from SBSS are not eligible to participate.

Application materials:

The deadline for application is Dec. 15, 2013. Formal application should be made in electronic form to Professor Kate Calder (e-mail: and include the following:

1. A curriculum vita.
2. A letter from the major professor (advisor), verifying the student status of the candidate and briefly describing the candidate's role in the research and writing of the paper.
3. The paper, including all tables, figures and appendices, as a single .pdf file.

Candidates are not required to submit a contributed paper abstract to the 2014 JSM prior to applying for the travel award.

Selection of winners:

Papers will be reviewed by a committee determined by the officers of the SBSS. Criteria for selection will include, but are not limited to, novelty in theory/methods/applications, significance and potential impact of the research, and clarity of writing and presentation.

Decisions of the committee are final, and will be announced in the spring before the JSM. As noted on the ASA website (, after the SBSS winners are selected, they will be notified by January 15, 2014.

NOTE: Winners of the SBSS student paper competition must submit abstracts and register for JSM by February 4, 2014 through the official JSM abstract submission system. It is required that winners of the student paper competition register for the conference and present a talk or poster under the auspices of the SBSS on the topic of their winning paper at JSM to get an award.


SBSS anticipates awarding several prizes in the competition, which will consist of a certificate to be presented at the SBSS section meeting and partial support for attending the JSM. In 2013, SBSS gave awards of $800 to 9 students and $1000 to the winner of the new "Laplace Award", awarded to the top paper among the student travel award winners. The awards for the 2014 competition are expected to be similar. Note that the financial award may not cover the entirety of any winner's travel, so winners may need to supplement the SBSS award with other funds.

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