Esther R. Sawyer Research Award

Scholarship Amount

$5,000 USD

Application Deadline

March 01, 2016


The annual Esther R. Sawyer Research Award from The IIA Research Foundation is granted to an individual currently enrolled as of September 1, 2015 in an undergraduate or graduate level program in internal auditing at an Internal Auditing Education Partnership (IAEP) university. Individuals who were enrolled as of September 1, 2015 but have completed their course work in an internal auditing program at an IAEP university by March 30, 2016 are also welcome to participate. The award is based on submission of an original manuscript on a specific topic related to modern internal auditing. The award includes:

US $5,000 to the recipient.
US $3,000 to the IIA-endorsed school with which the student is affiliated.
Registration and travel expenses for the recipient to attend The IIA International Conference.
Submissions are due by March 1, 2016. The Award Committee notified IAEP universities of the selected essay topic at the IAEP Leadership Retreat in September 2015.

2016 Competition Topic
Achieving and Maintaining Professional Competency as an Internal Auditor in a High-Change Environment.

Internal auditors work in diverse business organizations and functions. What are the most important professional competencies an internal auditor must have upon entering the profession?
The rapid rate of growth and change in knowledge and technology has an astounding and often daunting impact on the world of business, its leaders, and on specialized professionals such as internal auditors. Design a strategy which will enable internal auditors to keep abreast of change. Consider short-term, intermediate-term, and long-term needs of internal auditors and their employing organizations and industries.
Should internal auditors be "generalists" or "specialists"? Compare and contrast these two strategies, the implications of both camps, and discuss the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges faced by internal auditors in both categories.
The IIA Research Foundation Board of Trustees established this award in June 2000 as a tribute to the memory of Esther R. Sawyer and her contributions to and support of the profession of internal auditing. The award was funded through a generous contribution to The IIA Research Foundation by the Sawyer family. Although Esther Sawyer was not an internal auditor, she was a gracious ambassador who enjoyed explaining the role of modern internal auditing to those she met. She also edited manuscripts, speeches, and textbooks on the subject. She was an advocate for internal audit curricula in colleges and universities and promoted internal auditing as a lifetime career.


The Award will be granted to an individual who meets the following criteria:

Participation in an IIA IAEP school:The candidate is taking internal audit courses at the undergraduate level at an IIA IAEP university, or
The candidate is enrolled in a graduate program in internal auditing, accounting, or business and taking courses in internal auditing at an IIA IAEP university, or
The candidate has completed his/her course work in an internal auditing program at an IAEP university before March 30 of the submission year.
The candidate has written and submitted an original manuscript of 3,000 to 5,000 words on a specific topic related to modern internal auditing. This topic will be announced annually by the Award Committee.
Prior recipients of the award are not eligible.
Nature of the Award
The award will be presented at The IIA's annual International Conference.

The First Place recipient will receive US $5,000 and a suitably inscribed plaque. The winner's name will also be inscribed on a permanent plaque at IIA Global Headquarters.
US $3,000 will be awarded to the IAEP program with which the student is or was affiliated. The funds must be used in the IAEP program or for the purchase of materials related to internal auditing.
Reasonable travel expenses incurred by the student to attend and registration to the International Conference will be paid to the recipient. No monetary compensation other than the award will be offered to the recipient should he/she be unable to attend the International Conference.
The chosen manuscript will be published on The IIA Research Foundation website and may be submitted to Internal Auditor magazine to be considered for publication.

Pacific Islander, Hispanic, Caucasian, Asian, American Indian, African American
Graduate Students, Senior, Junior, Sophomore, Freshmen

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