Scholarships & Awards

Awards for academic excellence

Our department offers several awards and activities related to Political Science research. The faculty selects the winners of scholarships and awards on the basis of academic performance and specific criteria for each award.

Political Science scholarships + awards

William Jennings Bryan Award for Outstanding Honors Thesis

The William Jennings Bryan Award was founded in 1888 by the Honorable William J. Bryan, to be given annually for the best essay on a subject relating to “The Principle Underlying our Form of Government.” Today, the prize is awarded to Political Science students with outstanding honors theses defended in the previous academic year.

Wendell Willkie Scholarships

This scholarship was established in 1948 to honor Wendell L. Willkie, an IU alumnus who received his B.A. in 1913 and became an outstanding public figure and presidential candidate. The Wendell L. Willkie Scholarship is intended to support scholarships for students enrolled in the Department of Political Science.

Louis E. Lambert Scholarship

This award was established in 1990 by the estate of Mrs. Gale W. Lambert in honor of her late husband, Louis E. Lambert, who was a long time professor in Political Science. The recipients of this award must have completed at least 75 credit hours (15 in Political Science) and maintain at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA.

Stephen R. Patton Scholarship

Steve and Linda Patton established the Stephen R. Patton Scholarship in 1999 to support undergraduates in Political Science who demonstrate a meritorious academic record. Stephen Patton received his B.A. in Political Science from IU in 1975 and went on to earn his law degree in 1978 from Georgetown University. Stephen Patton is executive officer in the Law Firm of Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago.

The Ford P. Hall Scholarship

The Ford P. Hall Scholarship was established in 1957 by Frances P. Hall in memory of her husband, former chairman of the Department of Government and dean of the Division of Adult Education at IU. The intent of the Ford P. Hall Scholarship is to support outstanding students in the Department of Political Science.

Dr. J. Bryan Collester Scholarship

This scholarship was established in 2007 by Dr. Janet Sue Collester (IU Ph.D. in History 1977) in memory of her late brother Dr. J. Bryan Collester, who received his M.A. from Indiana University Political Science in 1963 and his Ph.D. in 1969. Dr. Collester received teaching awards and was author of numerous articles and publications during his academic career. The Collester Scholarship supports incoming freshmen students majoring in Political Science and is renewable from year-to-year to students making sufficient progress toward their baccalaureate degree.


Truman Scholarships

Our students have an exceptional record of winning Truman Scholarships. This scholarship program seeks to promote public service, defined "as employment in government at any level, uniformed services, public-interest organization, non-governmental research and/or educational organizations, public and private schools, and public-service oriented nonprofit organizations such as those whose primary purposes are to help needy or disadvantaged persons or to protect the environment." Scholars are required to work in public service for three of the seven years following completion of a graduate degree program funded by the Truman.

Each scholarship is worth up to $30,000 and the Truman Scholarship Foundation assists Truman Scholars "with career counseling, internship placement, graduate school admissions, and professional development". To compete for the award, students must be nominated by their undergraduate institutions. Watch for the announcement of the campus competition in October of each year.

Visit the Truman Scholarship website

Travel awards for undergraduate conferences


Held in November of each year at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.


Applications are released in early January of each year for a conference in Annapolis, Maryland in later spring.