OHMAR’s Martha Ross Memorial Prize for Students

Deadline: April 1, 2024

“I believe Martha’s interest in oral history was more than academic. She was getting in on the ground
floor of a new mode of inquiry, a new field—and her enthusiasm was palpable. Coupled with
considerable social skill and generous spirit, this enthusiasm opened up for me—and for countless
others—a world of colleagues and networks that have since lain at the core of my professional
identity” – Linda Shopes, 2013

Throughout her career, Martha Ross was instrumental in encouraging students and young
professionals to practice oral history. As an educator, Martha believed, “We must be diligent in
preparing and training as oral historians, so that our duty to capture and preserve an individual’s
story contributes to and fosters the historical narrative.”

Named in honor of our late founding member, OHMAR’s Martha Ross Prize is awarded annually to
an undergraduate or graduate student creating original work in oral history. This award both
recognizes the achievements of the student and her or his contributions to the field of oral history
while providing financial assistance for the student’s current project (e.g., for travel or transcription
costs, research, archiving, technology purchases, etc.) in the amount of $500.
We are delighted that this award allows us to highlight an individual’s work in oral history and to
support the next generation of public historians. Read about past recipients of the prize and their
work here: https://ohmar.org/martha-ross-prize-recipients/


1) Applicants must be enrolled full- or part-time at a college or a university at the undergraduate- or
graduate-level and engaged in an ongoing oral-history project.

2) Students must either be enrolled in a school in the Mid-Atlantic region OR doing a project that
focuses on the Mid-Atlantic region (NY, NJ, DE, PA, MD, DC, VA, and WV).
a. Students do not have to be a member of OHMAR to apply for the award.

3) Awardee will present her or his work (even if it is a work-in-progress) at the 2025 OHMAR annual

4) Awardee will write at least one blog/social media post for OHMAR in the year following the award.

5) Awardee’s project will be listed on OHMAR’s website.

Criteria for Evaluation

1) Originality of the work.

2) The project’s relevance to the oral-history community and/or to the community on which the
project focuses.

3) The project’s research design: objectives, interviewee selection, outline of major topics, plan of
work, public access, and archiving plans.

Application Process

1) Applications must include:
a. A 750-1,000-word description of the project and its expected outcomes.
b. A response to the following question, answered in 250 words: “If you had more time and
resources to build upon or expand the project, what would you do?”
c. Any supplemental materials (e.g., links to a website or to video or audio clips, a portion of
a transcript no longer than 250 words, etc.) within reason and as appropriate.
d. The name of an academic mentor or advisor who will be supplying a letter of
e. One letter of recommendation from an academic mentor or advisor submitted directly to
OHMAR at ohmar.conference@gmail.com.

2) Applications will be accepted through 11:59pm EST April 1, 2024. We must receive all letters of
recommendation by April 10, 2024. The recipient will be notified by April 15, 2024.

3) Please note: Projects DO NOT have to fall under the scope of the annual conference theme.

4) Only complete applications will be considered. Documents should be submitted as a single PDF,
but we will also accept Word Docs, Google Docs, and links to Google Folders that allow anyone with
the link to view them.

Please submit all materials electronically to ohmar.conference@gmail.com

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