John S. Adams Award

The John S. Adams Award for Excellence in Transportation Research and Education is given to University of Minnesota graduate students demonstrating outstanding academic achievement in planning and public policy fields. Up to two students are honored each year (one master’s and one doctoral candidate).

The award is named in honor of Professor Emeritus John S. Adams, a significant contributor to transportation-related research, education, and outreach activities and a long-time supporter of CTS.

Recipients each receive a $1,500 scholarship award and a plaque from CTS. Awards may be disbursed as a taxable, lump-sum payment. Applications are reviewed by a subcommittee comprised of representation from the CTS Scholars, CTS Education and Engagement Council, and CTS staff. The awards are presented at the Center's Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon.

2024 Award Important Dates

  • Application deadline: Friday, February 23, 2024
  • Award recipient notification: Monday, April 1, 2024
  • CTS Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon: Monday, May 13, 2024

Award Criteria

  1. Academic contributions to transportation- or energy-related research, writing, and other educational activities related to transportation (30 points).
  2. Applicant capstone project, or transportation- or energy-related papers presented at nationally or internationally recognized conferences and/or submitted or published journal publications (30 points).
  3. Transportation- or energy-related work experience, coursework, or involvement in student or professional organizations (10 points).
  4. Applicant written summary responding to questions one and two in the online application (15 points).
  5. Recommendation by a University faculty member (15 points).

Application Process

Applications must be submitted using our online application form by Friday, February 23, 2024. You will be asked to attach the following materials:

  1. A curriculum vitae (CV) or resume, including your capstone project or any presentations accepted at a national or internationally recognized conference and/or articles published in a transportation- or energy-related journal, and your transportation- or energy-related work experience, coursework, or involvement in student or professional organizations.
  2. Written recommendation from a University faculty member confirming the applicant’s good academic standing and explaining why the applicant should receive an award.


Additional Information

  1. A student can win the Award for Excellence in Transportation Research and Education only once (even if their degree program has changed).
  2. Students may apply for the Huber Award OR the Adams Award but NOT both.
  3. Awards for master’s students are not limited to terminal master’s degrees. You may apply for the master’s award even if you are continuing into a Ph.D. program.
  4. Applicants must be active students during semester of the award.
  5. The award will be presented at the CTS Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon. Students and advisors are invited to attend this event.
  6. An example of a well-written application summary for each award:

Award Recipients

View a list of recipients of the John S. Adams award.


Please contact Carissa Frandrup, CTS program coordinator, at