Future Scholars Program

The purpose of the TALS Future Scholars Program is to provide graduate students who are interested in pursuing a doctorate in an area related to recreation and leisure studies the opportunity to meet some of the outstanding scholars in the field by attending The Academy of Leisure Sciences Annual Conference on Research and Teaching.


Individuals who meet all of the following criteria are eligible to apply:

  • currently enrolled in, or have completed a master’s degree in the leisure field;
  • have a grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) during both undergraduate and graduate studies;
  • is not committed to, nor enrolled in, doctoral study at a particular university at the time of application and conference attendance;
  • has plans to initiate doctoral studies within the next three years;
  • is interested in pursuing a doctoral degree in recreation and parks, leisure studies, tourism, or related discipline;
  • has the written support of a faculty sponsor; and
  • can attend The Academy of Leisure Sciences Annual Conference on Research and Teaching.

Selection Criteria

Members of the 2019 TALS Future Scholars Program Committee will review all applicants using the following criteria:

  • academic ability (based on GPA and Faculty Sponsor letter);
  • indications of scholarly potential in the field (based on publications, presentations, research experience, applicant’s cover letter, and/or Faculty Sponsor letter);
  • strength of intention to pursue doctoral studies in a leisure-related subject (based on applicant’s cover letter and Faculty Sponsor letter); and
  • general level of professionalism (based on format and depth of application materials, presentation of written materials, and professional involvement).

2019 Application Packet

The 2019 Future Scholars Program application packet is now available. Download it here. It is a MSWord document that must be saved to your computer so the application form can be completed and the document submitted as per the instructions. The application deadline is September 30, 2018.

Quotes from Past Award Winners

"Attending the NRPA conference gave me a real sense of the dynamism and energy of the people in our field, which was inspirational. I loved the opportunity to learn about different choices of PhD programs all in one place. Thank you for your confidence in my potential." -- Former Future Scholar

"I didn’t know what to expect but it turned out to be one of the most significant turning points in my professional career. I met so many leaders in our field. The experience was a turning point professionally." -- Dana Kivel, Chair of the Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration at California State University, Sacramento and Board

Donate to the Future Scholars Program

Our Donations page is here.