The Political Studies Association is delighted to announce the launch of six new academic prizes and improvements to the nomination and evidence process for all its awards.

*All details of the prizes and how to submit nominations can be found here. The deadline for nominations is midday on December 1st 2017.*


The PSA has launched a Ten Year Strategic Plan in which it aspires to reach out to a broader set of communities and to further raise its esteem and impact as a leading learned society within the Social Sciences. Central to the Strategic Plan is a commitment to greater transparency in processes and governance, a move towards a more inclusive and broad-based membership, and a focus on the promotion of an equality and diversity agenda at the heart of everything the PSA does. As part of this commitment, the PSA has conducted a comprehensive review of existing guidelines on PSA prizes, as well as available data concerning the profiles of the winners of PSA awards over the past 20 years.

Taking forward the findings of this review, the PSA is launching a new and streamlined framework for PSA academic prizes, outlined in our PSA Prize Handbook. Key highlights include:


The launch of new awards and prizes:

The PSA has been awarding academic prizes for almost 30 years – awards which have been exclusively named after white men. This changed in 2016, when the PSA’s new Elizabeth Wiskemann Dissertation Prize was awarded for the first time to Alasia Nuti of the University of York. In 2017, we are launching a range of new awards and prizes, including:

1. The Shirin M. Rai Prize, for the best dissertation in international relations.

Shirin M. Rai is Professor of International Political Economy in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. She has written extensively on issues of gender and governance; development theory and practice; and the ritual and aesthetics of politics. Her published work includes The Gender Politics of Development (2008); Global Governance: Feminist Perspectives (2008); The Grammar of Politics and Performance (2014); Democracy in Practice: Ceremony and Ritual in Parliament (2014); and New Frontiers in Feminist Political Economy (2014). She was nominated Eminent Scholar by the Feminist Theory and Gender Studies section of the International Studies Association in 2015.

2. The Joni Lovenduski Prize, for outstanding professional achievement by a mid-career scholar.

This award recognizes a mid-career member of the profession (within 5-15 years from the award of their PhD) who has a record of sustained excellence in research, teaching and mentoring of students and junior colleagues at their own institution or elsewhere, and who, through service and other professional activities, has brought distinction to themselves and to the Political Studies Association.

Joni Lovenduski is Professor Emerita of Politics at Birkbeck College, University of London; Fellow of the British Academy; and Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences. Her published work on gender and politics includes Gendering Politics, Feminising Political Science (2015); Feminizing Politics (2005); State Feminism and Political Representation (2005); Political Recruitment: Gender, Race and Class in the British Parliament (1995); Contemporary Feminist Politics (1993); and Women and European Politics (1986). She is the recipient of the ECPG Gender and Politics Career Achievement Award (2009); the PSA’s Isaiah Berlin Prize for lifetime achievement in political studies (2013); and the ECPR Lifetime Achievement Award (2017).

3. The Jo Cox Prize, for public service and active citizenship, to be awarded to an early-career academic that has delivered impact by working closely with policymakers and/or wider society for the ‘public good’ (to be awarded at the PSA Annual Awards).

4. The Innovations in Quantitative Methods Teaching Prize, awarded for innovation and excellence in teaching quantitative methods undertaken by either individuals or groups.

5. The Outstanding Teaching of Politics in Schools Prize, awarded for innovation and excellence in teaching politics and citizenship in Schools (including all secondary education providers).

6. The Politics Society of the Year Prize, awarded to the Political Society that has made a distinctive contribution to the study and understanding of politics.


New reforms to processes of nomination and submitting evidence:

The PSA is keen to encourage more diversity in the nominations we receive, and would especially welcome greater inclusion of women and BAME scholars, who have been historically under-represented in PSA prize nominations and awards, as well as participation from across the HE sector, in particular from new post-92 universities.

We have therefore opened up new routes for nominating prizes, including not only nominations by Heads of Department (or equivalent senior colleagues or line manager), but also, in the case of some awards, through Specialist Groups and self-nomination. Nomination rules differ by award, and are fully outlined in the PSA Prizes Handbook.

We have also implemented reforms to existing processes of submitting evidence, including for example, further specifying what the Statement of Case in support for teaching award nominations must include and provide evidence of.

Finally, while several of our awards (including the Richard Rose Prize, the Joni Lovenduski Prize, and the Jo Cox Prize) have a fixed eligibility period, the PSA recognizes the need to take into account the diversity of career and life experiences of individual researchers. The eligibility period for these prizes can be extended in cases of career interruptions, including maternity or parental leave; carer’s responsibility; illness; and unemployment, among others.


New rules around the composition of judging panels

For most PSA prizes, the judging panel will normally be composed of three judges, at least one of whom must be a woman. Additional judging panel guidelines can be found in the PSA Prizes Handbook.


For further information, please contact the PSA Prize Committee, which consists of:


All details of the prizes and how to submit nominations can be found here. The deadline for nominations is midday on 1 December 2017.