Betty Kirke

Excellence in Research Award



The Betty Kirke Excellence in Research Award recognizes exceptional scholarship. It is given every year to the author(s) of one abstract proposal accepted at the annual symposium. It is open to all CSA members who conduct research from different perspectives and advance knowledge in the areas of studies covered by CSA. The Abstract Committee for each symposium selects the winning abstract proposal before the symposium based on the highest rated selection in the peer-reviewed process.

The authors of the research receive a $750 honorarium, endowed by Mrs. Betty Kirke and managed through the CSA Endowment. The honorarium will be divided and distributed evenly amongst the authors.

The award was established in 2015 and is named for its contributor, Mrs. Betty Kirke, who had careers as a fashion designer, costume conservator and author in New York City. Her book, Madeleine Vionnet, generated one of the most fascinating and unconventional assessments of a designer’s mind and won CSA’s Millia Davenport Publication Award in 1999. Her careful measuring of distorted garments cut on the bias led to the production of multiple patterns that were then analyzed to produce new knowledge on Vionnet’s approaches, unattainable through traditional research.

To be eligible for an award:

  • the author(s) of an abstract must be CSA member(s) at the time of the abstract due date
  • one or multiple authors must send an abstract proposal to an annual symposium (please follow instructions and deadlines to comply to this requirement)
  • when an abstract is selected, one or multiple authors must present it in person at the symposium
  • abstracts for oral research papers, oral design research papers, panels or discussion sessions, virtual exhibition tours, and research exhibits, including design research exhibits, will be considered

Abstracts will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  • topic is original and will add to the body of knowledge in the field
  • purpose is clearly stated and accomplished
  • research methods are appropriate to the purpose
  • research sources are varied
  • conclusion is clearly articulated

Click here to view the evaluation rubric.

The top 5% of scoring abstracts are eligible for consideration to the Betty Kirke Research Award. The abstract author(s) will be notified and asked to submit an extended abstract. The winning recipient, as evaluated by three reviewers, guided by the rubric, will be notified prior to the conference.

Click here to view the form for submitting extended proposals.

The Abstract Submittal/Application Deadline is August 21, 2017.


The deadline for submittals is August 21, 2017.

Contact Sarah Woodyard, Symposium Co-chair, for more information.

2017 Recipient:
Dr. Claire Nicholas
Lincoln, Nebraska

Inaugural Recipient, 2016:
Lynn Sorge
Halifax, Novia Scotia, Canada