George Julnes Endowed Social Betterment Conference Award

 “Evaluation can and should support efforts to transition to a better world”- George Julnes, 2021

The family and friends of Dr. George Julnes and the American Evaluation Association are pleased to offer the George Julnes Endowed Social Betterment Conference Award, an endowed award established to honor the life and legacy of Dr. George Julnes. George had a distinguished career in program evaluation and contributed outstanding service to AEA, including as Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Evaluation.

This award will be given annually to recognize one or more accepted paper proposals to be presented at the AEA annual conference. The award(s) will be given to benefit emerging evaluators to attend and present at the conference. Students and those who have entered the field of evaluation within the last 5 years are encouraged to apply for consideration. This year we anticipate issuing two awards to eligible applicants who meet the criteria below and best respond to the application prompts. 

Submitted paper proposals and applications should be directly aligned with one or more of George’s areas of interest and with his aspirations for evaluation to support efforts to transition to a better world.  Relevant areas include:

  • Valuing as an aspect of evaluation, especially valuing in the public interest
  • Evaluation as a vehicle toward social betterment and human flourishing
  • Evaluation policy (i.e., the policies of governments and agencies that affect evaluation)
  • Enriching evaluation theory or practice with ideas from other disciplines, professions, or schools of thought

Application Process

To apply, you will be required to (1) submit an abstract for a relevant paper proposal in response to the AEA annual call for conference proposals (either an individual paper proposal or a paper submitted as part of a panel proposal), (2) indicate during the proposal process your desire to be considered for this award, and (3) complete the accompanying application. Note that you may have one or more co-authors but you must be the lead author/submitter of the paper to be eligible. 

During the application process, you will be asked to share and respond to the following:

  • Degree and graduate program, if any
  • Briefly and thoughtfully describe:
    • How you meet the criteria of being considered an emerging evaluator (e.g., year in and name of graduate program, year of Ph.D. and name of doctoral institution, or year of first serious involvement in evaluation)
    • Your pathway into evaluation
    • How your submitted paper proposal and subsequent presentation fits with one or more of George’s interests and aspirations listed in the award description above (e.g., valuing)
    • If applicable, how the presentation fits within your past work, current work, and/or future aspirations, including how you hope to contribute in terms of a topic or topics listed in the award description

Review Criteria and Process

Submitted applications will be judged based on:

  • Overall eligibility (i.e., paper proposal acceptance for Evaluation 2023: The Power of Story, emerging evaluator status)
  • Quality of the ideas proposed
  • Potential implications for evaluation practice, theory, and/or policy
  • Clarity of presentation
  • Alignment of the paper and your work with the award’s topics of interest

A review group of AEA colleagues with expertise relevant to the topics noted above will be constituted to review the applications submitted prior to the closing deadline for AEA conference proposals (Friday, March 24, 2023). Applications submitted after the posted deadline will not be considered. This review group will be composed of 5 to 7 members including representatives of AEA’s Topical Interest Groups, the AJE Advisory Board, and The International Working Group.

Questions? Please review the associated FAQ below for answers to several possible questions. If you have additional questions, please reach out to AEA Staff at for technical questions about the award and the application process. For substantive questions (such as about the fit of a topic or the questions above), please reach out to Mel Mark at or Deb Rog at

About George Julnes

George Julnes was Professor of Public Administration at the University of New Mexico and Emeritus Professor of Public and International Affairs at the University of Baltimore. While completing his Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Hawaii, George realized that he wanted to know more about how to “make the world a better place.” So, he returned to school to earn MBA and MPP (public policy) degrees at the University of Michigan. These postdoctoral studies exposed him to the field of evaluation and the American Evaluation Association (AEA), which, in turn, led to many years of teaching public administration and psychology and serving AEA.

George served AEA in many roles, including as a board member of AEA, a member of its Evaluation Policy Task Force, a leader of topical interest groups (TIG), and Editor-in-Chief of the Association’s peer-reviewed journal American Journal of Evaluation (AJE). He co-authored Evaluation: An integrated framework for understanding, guiding, and improving policies and programs (2000) with Mel Mark & Gary Henry. He published in major evaluation journals (AJE, Evaluation, Evaluation Review, & New Direction for Evaluation, NDE). His last edited volume was the NDE issue “Evaluating Sustainability” (2019). He contributed as an evaluator and/or evaluation consultant for many government agencies, including the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, U.S. Dept. of Education, U.S. Social Security Administration, and the National Science Foundation. In 2015, he was honored with the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Evaluation Theory Award by the American Evaluation Association, and in 2020 was named Fellow of the International Academy of Evaluation.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • Do I need to be the primary submitter of the paper proposal to be eligible for these awards? Yes. Note that you may have one or more co-authors, but you must be the lead author of the paper.
  • May I submit more than one proposal for consideration? No. Applicants who submit more than one proposal for Evaluation 2023 may only submit one proposal title to be considered for this award.
  • I am submitting more than one proposal for this year’s conference. How do I indicate which proposal I would like to be considered for this award? During the application process you will be asked to provide the name of the proposal you wish to have considered. 
  • Do I need to submit to a specific TIG in order to be considered for these awards? No. Proposals submitted to all TIG tracks will be considered eligible for these awards.
  • If selected, how will I receive this award from AEA? Awardees will be reimbursed for expenses incurred up to this year's award amount.