The Neil Rosenberg Bluegrass Scholar Award annually recognizes the best bluegrass-related paper accepted by a juried academic conference during the previous year. Developing academic scholars eligible for this award include graduate students in MA or PhD programs and recent PhDs (within five years of degree completion). The award’s name honors Bluegrass Hall of Fame member Neil V. Rosenberg, PhD, a noted bluegrass author and historian. 

The objective of this award is to grow the academic awareness of bluegrass music by encouraging developing academic scholars to present research of high quality to fellow scholars on any aspect of the genre. The recipient of the Rosenberg Bluegrass Scholar Award, to be announced in early August, will receive a $500 honorarium plus admission to the next IBMA Business Conference and Awards Show. 

The first IBMA Academic Prize (as it was then known) was presented in 2011 to Benjamin Krakauer, PhD,  who now teaches on the faculty of Warren Wilson College. The IBMA Foundation took responsibility for the award in 2018, renaming it in honor of Neil Rosenberg. The 2019 recipient was Jordan Laney, PhD, at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. The award was not presented in 2020 because academic conferences were cancelled during the COVID pandemic. The 2021 recipient was Heather Grimm, a PhD candidate in the interdisciplinary theatre/drama department at Northwestern University. We are grateful to the John Hartford Family who sponsored the Rosenberg Scholar Award in 2021 and to Mary Tyler Doub, the sponsor in 2019.

The deadline to be considered for the 2022 Rosenberg Bluegrass Scholarship Award from the IBMA Foundation is June 30. Entries may be emailed to review committee chair Travis Stimeling, PhD, at, or mailed to him at 142 Ridgeley Road, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA. For more information, please contact Dr. Stimeling directly or email

RETURN to the May 2022 issue of The Cornerstone.