Oversight Research Award

The award promotes, acknowledges and heightens the visibility of scholarly papers that examine important oversight issues at the national, state, local, or international levels and that contribute to efforts to improve public policy.

Submissions for the Excellence in Oversight Research Award

A core value of the Levin Center is to promote constructive research into oversight by legislative bodies. This award is established to promote and recognize such research efforts. To date, only limited research has examined the workings and impact of oversight inquiries or how such inquiries can contribute to effective public policy. When conducted well, with a commitment to finding the facts and bridging political divides, oversight investigations can provide the checks and balances envisioned by the U.S. Constitution, foster cross-party relationships, build public trust in legislatures and improve government programs and public policy.

The award carries a cash prize of $2,500 and an invitation to present the paper at Wayne Law. 

Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year with a cut-off date of November 1. The Selection Committee meets yearly in November.

Past Recipients of the Award


House Rules: Congress and the Attorney-Client Privilege” by Professor Dave Rapallo, Georgetown University Law Center


Oversight Riders” by Professors Kevin Stack and Michael Vandenbergh, Vanderbilt University Law School


Weaponizing the Office of Legal Counsel” by Professor Emily Berman, University of Houston Law Center                                                                                                             


Criteria and Process for Selection

To be selected for the Levin Center Award for Excellence in Oversight Research, a paper must meet the following criteria:

  1. The submission must include original, timely, publishable scholarly work in the form of an academic article, book chapter, or written product of similar magnitude. 
  2. The submission must be authored by one or more individuals at an educational institution, government agency, public entity, nonprofit organization or similar body.
  3. The submission must target significant legislative oversight issues at the national, state, local, or international level and may include suggestions to strengthen legislative oversight to improve public policy. Papers should examine the history, theory, mechanics, features, incentives, cross-party elements, operations, outcomes, effectiveness or other aspects of oversight conducted by legislative bodies to investigate, establish facts, and address problems in either the public or private sector.
  4. If accepted for publication, submission must occur within one academic year of notification of acceptance.
  5. The submission must not have been previously submitted for consideration.
  6. The author(s) of the submission must agree to allow the research to be promoted through academic channels, including the Levin Center’s website and list-serves.

Submit a Paper


Additional Information

All supporting documents must be submitted in English and be in .DOC, .RTF, or .PDF format.

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Accepted file types: pdf, doc, Max. file size: 128 MB.