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ABELL AWARD IN URBAN POLICY SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

I. GENERAL INFORMATION:

The Abell Award in Urban Policy is given annually to the student who authors the most compelling paper on a policy problem facing the City of Baltimore and feasible solutions. The Selection Committee decides on the allocation of the $5,000 award.

The award is sponsored by the Baltimore-based Abell Foundation and the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies. The contest is intended to encourage fresh thinking about the challenges facing Baltimore City.

Please note that the Abell Award requires papers that address a timely issue, provide careful analysis, propose a feasible solution, and are written in a straight forward and clear style.  It is unlikely that a term paper will meet these requirements without substantial additional research and revision to the narrative style.

II. ELIGIBILITY:

Applicants must be full-time, matriculated students at the following schools at the time of the final paper deadline -- February 24, 2014.  If a team (no more than two students) is submitting a paper, both individuals on the team must be full-time students.

  • Coppin State University
  • Goucher College
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Loyola University Maryland
  • McDaniel College
  • Morgan State University
  • College of Notre Dame in Maryland
  • Towson University
  • University of Baltimore
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • UMBC
  • University of Maryland, College Park
  • Stevenson University

Click here for more information on the 2013 Abell Award Competition

III. SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:

To facilitate the review and selection process, all entries must adhere to the following guidelines; papers that do not will not be reviewed.

A. Entry Form:  Deadline October 18, 2013

Entry forms must be emailed to abellaward@jhu.edu no later than 4:00pm Friday, October 18, 2013.  The Entry Forms will be reviewed for completeness and suitability.  A representative of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies will be in contact if the information provided is found to be lacking.  Prior to submitting the Entry Form, it is strong suggested that you review  Winning Papers from prior years. Submitters with topics that are far afield of the focus of the competition will not be invited to submit an abstract.

B. Abstract Deadline:  November 18, 2013

Guidelines:

  • Abstracts should be emailed to abellaward@jhu.edu no later than 4:00pm Monday, November 18, 2013.
  • Abstracts must be no longer than 250 words and must address the following questions:
  1. What issue will your paper address?
  2. Why is it important to Baltimore?
  3. What is your research approach and is it feasible within the contest's timeframe?

Submission of a well thought-out abstract is a critical step. If your abstract does not adequately answer these questions, you will not be invited to submit a final paper.  Please avoid jargon or highly technical language.

Sample abstract:

My paper will address the issue of arrests made by police that do not result in charges, the policies that encourage high numbers of “quality of life” arrests, and the validity of the theories, such as “Broken Windows,” behind these policies. Baltimore police arrest about 1,800 people each month who are held in the central booking facility for hours or days before being released without charges. The ACLU estimates that over 50% of warrantless arrests in Baltimore result in no charges being filed, or charges being dismissed. The resulting economic, psychological, and physical harm to citizens and their families caught up in these arrests*and the substantial cost to taxpayers to process these arrests*may offset any public safety benefits. My primary research approach will be to review literature and data on the subject of quality of life arrests and the broken windows theory. I will augment this research with arrest data from Baltimore City, and compare this with other cities that have adopted different approaches to community policing.

C. Paper Submission Deadline: Deadline Monday, February 24, 2014

Papers must be received by 4:00pm on Monday, February 24, 2014 and adhere to the formatting detailed below. PLEASE NOTE:  You must submit SEVEN(7) HARD COPIES of your final paper PLUS an electronic copy emailed to abellaward@jhu.edu.  These copies must be delivered in one of three ways: 

Hand Delivered:

Institute for Health and Policy Studies (IHSP)

Sandra Newman, Ph. D.

5th Floor

Room 526

3100 Wyman Park Drive

Baltimore, MD 21211

Standard Mail:

Abell Award in Urban Policy
ATTN: Sandra Newman, Ph.D.
Institute for Policy Studies
Johns Hopkins University
Wyman Park Building
3400 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218

Express Mail:

 

Institute for Health and Policy Studies (IHSP)

Sandra Newman, Ph. D.

5th Floor

Room 526

3100 Wyman Park Drive

Baltimore, MD 21211
Tel. (410) 516-7174

 

If you choose to mail your seven papers please ensure enough time for delivery.  Your papers must be received by 4:00pm Monday, February 24, 2014 NOT postmarked by this time.

(1)  LENGTH & FORMAT:

a. Maximum of 25 double-spaced pages
b. Twelve-point font,
c. One-inch margins (horizontal and vertical),
d. Paginated,
e. Indent paragraphs, five(5) spaces
f. Numerical (Arabic) endnotes should be used for citations to references    (see example),
g. Superscript letters should be used for explanatory footnotes (see    example),
h. The body of the paper should contain no identifying information about the author (see below).

DO NOT USE:

a. Colored graphics (the judges receive black and white copies).  Make sure the graphics are clear and distinct.

b. Borders or any decorative formatting.

(2)  COVER PAGE:
Because this is a blind review, you should include two cover pages:

a. One stating the title of the paper and your identifying information (name, school & department, year in school and degree you are pursuing, address, phone number, and email address); and

b. One stating only the paper’s title, with no identifying information.

(3)  EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:
Each paper must include an Executive Summary of no more than 500 words that briefly states:

a. The problem studied
b. Key arguments/evidence for its importance
c. The most important conclusions emerging from the analysis, and
d. The main policy recommendations

(4)  CONTENT:
Every paper must

a. Clearly describe the problem and its significance.  Be sure to establish a direct link between your definition of the problem and how your proposed solution(s) will address them.
b. Present a thorough and careful analysis of empirical and other evidence;
c. Propose specific policies, programs, or other action steps to redress the issue. If discussing an approach that has already been implemented, you must provide an assessment or evaluation of it.  (NOTE: Be sure to devote sufficient attention in your paper to policy recommendations. Roughly 20 percent of the paper should focus on what should be done about the problem.)
d. Use of charts, such as tables, graphs, and maps, can be helpful in making arguments more vividly.
e. Avoid jargon and highly technical language.  If unavoidable, definitions may be included in an appendix, which will not count against the 25 page limit.
f. Proofread the paper multiple times. It is recommended that you have someone other than yourself do a final proofreading before you hand in the paper.  Papers that contain numerous typos will be viewed unfavorably.

A reminder: Please do not include any identifying information in the body of the paper.

(5)  QUANTITY:
Please submit seven (7) hard copies and one (1) electronic copy of your paper.

(6)  FORMATTING:  

Here is the link to formatting guidelines:  EXAMPLE OF CITATION FORMAT

IV. SELECTION PROCESS:

The winning papers are selected through a “blind” review by a panel of judges comprised of Baltimore policymakers, opinion leaders, and practitioners, and IPS faculty. Papers will be judged based on the following criteria:  importance of issue, quality of analysis, quality of writing, and feasibility of solution.  The judges reserve the right not to make an award if none of the contest entries meet the criteria

Winning entries will be circulated (after revision and with the author’s permission) to relevant city and state policymakers and posted on the IPS and Abell Foundation websites.

V. DEADLINES:

Entry Form Deadline:  4:00pm October 18, 2013
Abstract Deadline:  4:00pm November 18, 2013
Final Paper Deadline:  4:00 February 24, 2014

Submit your seven (7) hard copies to: 

Hand Delivered:

Institute for Health and Policy Studies (IHSP)

Sandra Newman, Ph. D.

5th Floor

OFFICE NUMBER

3100 Wyman Park Drive

Baltimore, MD 21211

Standard Mail:

Abell Award in Urban Policy
ATTN: Sandra Newman, Ph.D.
Institute for Policy Studies
Johns Hopkins University
Wyman Park Building
3400 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218

Express Mail:

 

Institute for Health and Policy Studies (IHSP)

Sandra Newman, Ph. D.

5th Floor

OFFICE NUMBER

3100 Wyman Park Drive

Baltimore, MD 21211

Tel. (410) 516-7174

Submit your one (1) electronic copy to: abellaward@jhu.edu

VI. QUESTIONS:

If you are uncertain about the suitability of your topic, you may email abellaward@jhu.edu. with your concerns.  You are also strongly encouraged to visit the FAQ page for additional information.  We also suggest that students consult with their academic advisors for substantive guidance.  

VII. CONTACT:

The Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies manages this competition. All inquiries and questions should be sent via email to abellaward@jhu.edu. Please do not contact the Abell Foundation for additional information.