Regional Scholars Program

The Regional Scholar’s award is a program developed by the Society of Biblical Literature’s Council of Regional Coordinators to recognize and promote promising entry-level scholars in the field of biblical studies. Its objective is to encourage their intellectual and professional development and to lend practical assistance by providing venues in which to present their work at the Society’s Regional and Annual Meetings. To qualify for the SBL Regional Scholars Program scholars should be at least ABD and no more than four years past the receipt of their Ph.D (at the time of application), and present a paper at a Regional Meeting of the Society.

Each Region of the Society of Biblical Literature may select one candidate for the Regional Scholar award. When evaluating candidates’ paper submissions, the criteria to be considered will include (where appropriate):

  1. knowledge of scholarly resources and publications;
  2. knowledge of the relevant languages;
  3. knowledge of the primary sources;
  4. ability to think critically;
  5. ability to use scholarship critically by following the argument and evaluating its foundations and the validity of the reasoning;
  6. clarity of writing style; and
  7. originality of fresh ideas without far-fetched speculation.

If no applicant satisfies the committee’s expectations, then no Regional Scholar candidate will be selected. Regional nominations for the RS award are reviewed by a National Selection Committee of the Council for Regional Coordinators who make the final selection. Regional Scholars, once chosen, may under the auspices of the program choose a mentor to provide advice concerning their paper in preparation for the Annual Meeting and/or for publication. Officers of the regions from which the Regional Scholars are chosen will assist with extending an invitation to a mentor, if necessary.

In addition to the recognition and honor of being a Regional Scholar, each scholar will receive an award in the amount of $1000.00 to facilitate attendance at the Annual Meeting.