The Neil Rosenberg Bluegrass Scholar Award

The Neil Rosenberg Bluegrass Scholar Award is an annual cash award, presented to the developing academic scholar who presents the best paper accepted by a juried academic conference on an aspect of bluegrass music. The recipient will receive a $500 honorarium plus admission to the next IBMA Business Conference and Awards Show. 

“Developing academic scholars” eligible for this award are defined as graduate students in MA or PhD programs and recent PhDs (within five years of degree completion). The committee tasked with overseeing the  Rosenberg Bluegrass Scholarship Award process is headed by a committee chaired by Dr. Ben Krakhauer at Warren Wilson College.

The “IBMA Academic Prize” (as it was then known) was presented in 2011 to Krakauer when he was working on his docorate. The IBMA Foundation took responsibility for the award in 2018, re-naming it in honor of renowned bluegrass music historian, author and Bluegrass Hall of Fame member Neil Rosenberg. Recipients of the Rosenberg Bluegrass Scholar Award are pictured below.   

Our gratitude is extended to Jon Weisberger and John & Trisha Tubbs who sponsored the award in 2023, to Laurie Greenberg who sponsored the award in 2022, to the John Hartford Family for sponsoring in 2021, and to Mary Tyler Doub, who sponsored the Rosenberg Award in 2019.

The deadline to be considered for the 2024 Rosenberg Bluegrass Scholarship Award from the IBMA Foundation is June 30. Entries may be emailed to review committee chair Ben Krakauer, PhD, at Dr. Krakauer is chair of the music department at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, North Carolina; he was the first recipient of the Rosenberg Scholar Award. 


Previous Recipients

Benjamin Krakauer, PhD – 2011 (assistant professor, now chair of music department, Warren Wilson College) Faculty link here. Read the 2018 article based on the 2011 paper here. 

Jordan Laney, PhD – 2019 (PhD in cultural and social theory from Virginia Tech) 2019 sponsor: Mary Tyler Doub. Read Jordan’s paper HERE.

Heather Grimm – 2021 (PhD candidate in interdisciplinary theatre/drama department at Northwestern University) 2021 sponsor: The John Hartford Family. Read Heather’s paper HERE.


Gabby Cameron – 2022 (MA ethnomusicology student at the University of Maryland), 2022 sponsor: Laurie Greenburg. Read Gabby’s paper HERE.

Cade Botts – 2023 (MA music theory at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville), 2023 sponsors: Trisha & John Tubbs and Jon Weisberger. Read Cade’s paper HERE.

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