From the SFRA's website: The Science Fiction Research Association (SFRA) is the oldest professional organization for the study of science fiction and fantasy literature and film. Founded in 1970, the SFRA was organized to improve classroom teaching; to encourage and assist scholarship; and to evaluate and publicize new books and magazines dealing with fantastic literature and film, teaching methods and materials, and allied media performances. Among the membership are people from many countries-students, teachers, professors, librarians, futurologists, readers, authors, booksellers, editors, publishers, archivists, and scholars in many disciplines. Academic affiliation is not a requirement for membership.
SFRA presents five awards annually:
The Pioneer Award, given to the writer or writers of the best critical essay-length work of the year.
The Thomas D. Clareson Award for Distinguished Service is presented for outstanding service activities-promotion of SF teaching and study, editing, reviewing, editorial writing, publishing, organizing meetings, mentoring, and leadership in SF/fantasy organizations.
The Student Paper Award is presented to the outstanding scholarly essay read at the annual conference of the SFRA by a student.
The Mary Kay Bray Award is given for the best essay, interview, or extended review to appear in the SFRA Review in a given year.