1st Annual WWNA Apply Awards

Deadline for applications: 28 February 2021

Are you applying your anthropological skills, insights and experiences to make the world a better place?   

At this year’s Why the World Needs Anthropologists conference, we will celebrate change-makers who are creating movements across the globe: those who inspire us to roll up our sleeves and take action.

The annual WWNA Apply Awards recognizes outstanding achievement in translating anthropological knowledge into action as reflected in a single project or specific endeavour. This year we specifically focus on the value of applying anthropology to create sustainable and liveable futures. 

Submission Process 

The deadline for submissions is February 28, 2021 

  • The awards will be presented at the WWNA conference 10-12 September, 2021.
  • Shortlisted applicants will be notified at least a month in advance of the event. 

Applications should be submitted in PDF format, with all materials integrated into a single file, via e-mail to apply.awards@easaonline.org

If you add additional material, please use common formats and reduce the file size as much as possible. If you have any questions about the WWNA award application process, please contact us. 

Types of Awards

The WWNA Apply Awards consist of two categories, one specific to the theme of the annual conference; and a general applied anthropology award. 

In each category, the international Jury will award three applicants.

Selected applicants will receive an award made by the Czech Grand Design nominee Jiří Krejčiřík: jirikrejcirik.com

WWNA Apply Award judges can assign “Special Mention” according to their consideration.

In addition to showcasing your work (media, social media) and winning an artefact by multidisciplinary designer, as the pioneering award winner, you will become the founding member of Apply Awards Alumni community.

The Annual Apply Award

This award is open to any activity or project that applies anthropology in its work and has an impact in society. 

The Annual Apply Award is intentionally envisioned broadly and aims to include any project that demonstrates anthropological principles, practices or insights. All applied projects that translate anthropological knowledge into action can apply. The application will be assessed under the same criteria as this year’s Social Movements Award (see below). The judges will evaluate anthropological relevance, innovation, originality and impact.

The Social Movements Award

At the “Mobilizing the Planet” conference, we will address social movements that tackle challenging global issues. 

We seek applicants who are creating alternative spaces based on cooperation, inspiration and mutual learning towards socio-cultural transformation across the globe. 

This award is open to any activity or project that applies anthropology to promote just and sustainable action. The initiatives may challenge and provide solutions for overcoming segregation, inequality, polarisation, pollution, exploitative resource use, and the collapse of our democratic institutions and of our geosphere. 

Eligibility and General Specifications

  • Both Awards welcome different disciplinary backgrounds.
  • Entries are open to everyone; you do not have to be an EASA member.
  • The competition is open to individuals, organisations or companies.
  • The application can be a single project, or the action of an organisation or company. 
  • Applications can be interdisciplinary but need to show their anthropological value by demonstrating anthropological principles, practices or insights.
  • At the time of submission, projects may be ongoing. However, no more than 2 years should have passed between the project conclusion and the award entry receipt.
  • The Apply Awards ceremony will be hosted in Prague at WWNA 2021 (10-12 September).

Expert Jury

All entries will be evaluated by an expert jury. The decisions of the four voluntarily-participating jury members are final. 

In the first year of WWNA Apply Awards, the jury was nominated by the main coordinators, Ferne Edwards and Roos Gerritsen, who will preside the meetings:

  • Dr Ferne Edwards, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, EASA Applied Anthropology Network
  • Dr Roos Gerritsen, Ueber den Tellerrand, EASA Applied Anthropology Network
  • Dr Miia Halme-Tuomisaari, Senior Lecturer in Human Rights Studies at Lund University​
  • Dr Gemma John, Human City

Application Process 

To be eligible, applications must contain: 

1. A cover page (max. 1 page, 12-point font) with the following information: 

  • Project title, 
  • Name of applicants with a brief bio (max. 100 words each),
  • Project client(s)/sponsor(s) if any,
  • Project abstract (max. 500 words), 
  • Period of project, 
  • Indicate the award theme you are applying for (open call or social movement theme).  

2. A written project description (max. 2 pages, 12-point) that responds to the selection criteria. The selection criteria are applicable for both the annual and general themes. 

3. Optional additional materials. We recognise that as applied anthropologists we are participating across disciplines and sectors where a variety of methods and materials are suitable. Therefore, if your entry requires you to show material that is better expressed in another format, like a video, a portfolio, or a photo essay, you are welcome to add this. 

However, please do not add unedited materials and do not add several formats for one submission. If you add material, make sure it is relevant to the project. Please realize that the jury has to assess many applications, so make your material easy for them and not a workload. A video should not be more than 3 minutes, a portfolio not more than 5 pages. Applications should be submitted in PDF format, with all materials integrated into a single file, via e-mail to apply.awards@easaonline.org.

Selection Criteria 

1. Problem/Issue and Purpose (approx. 250 words) 

Clearly state the problem or issue being addressed. Identify the aim, participants, possible client(s) and context. For the social movements award, identify a specific question on social movements that you are addressing. Describe the project’s objective(s) and design. 

2. Anthropological Relevance (approx. 250 words, worth 20/80 points) 

Clearly state how your project applies anthropological principles, practices or insights. How has the project been designed with attention to the role of anthropologist(s) and the use of anthropological concepts in developing the approach to the problem. For example, what strategies have you employed to make sure your project is culturally sensitive? Have you built cycles of reflexivity into the project design? How are you learning from others to respond to their needs?  

3. Innovation/ Originality (approx. 250 words, worth 20/80 points) 

Describe what makes your project unique: we want to see something that has not been done before, that applies new approaches in new contexts, eliciting different outcomes. Innovation can be read in many ways: social, technological, open, frugal, disruptive, sustaining, radical, incremental, and more! It is important to describe how your innovation type endorses WWNA values that are needed to create more just and sustainable futures.  

4. Impact (approx. 250 words, worth 40/80 points) 

Clearly state the practical implications and outcomes of your work. Present an overview of how the project was implemented, and ways in which anthropological methods and data were applied in carrying it out. Describe the project’s major results and explain the relative importance of anthropology in the attainment of project outcomes (i.e., articulates the “anthropological difference”). The impact can also be considered in terms of transferability: can others apply your approach to their situations to also facilitate positive change? 

The scale of accomplishments does not have to equate to physical size or scale but could instead or also consider qualitative, experimental or innovative approaches to improve society in radical ways. 

Contingency Plan

Given the circumstances, we highlight our contingency plan i.e. if it is acceptable to travel to Prague or if one decides rather not to travel. In that case, we will create an online festive award environment as a replacement.

We are looking forward to receiving your entries! 

Ferne Edwards and Roos Gerritsen

WWNA Apply Awards coordinators