The Undergraduate Dissertation Prize
In 2006 the Society instituted three undergraduate prizes each year as part of its efforts to promote French history in universities. The prizes – one first prize of £300 and two supplementary prizes of £100 each – are awarded for the best final year undergraduate dissertation or extended research essay produced in a UK or Irish university in each academic year, concerning any aspect of French history, or any aspect of contemporary French Studies with a substantial historical dimension.
Work eligible for these prizes would normally be expected to exceed 7,000 words in length, though consideration will be given to pieces falling just short of this size. In 2006, the first year of the competition, there were 13 entries from 8 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).
The winning dissertation is guaranteed publication on the Society’s website, and might in addition be considered for publication in modified form in the Society’s journal, French History (published by Oxford University Press). Those awarded one of the runner-up prizes would be considered for (though not guaranteed) publication on the website only.
Nominations for these prizes should be made ONLY by a recognised university or college of higher education, through the relevant Head of Department or Chair of Examiners covering this work. The dissertation should have been awarded first class marks. Each HEI may nominate up to three students. Students should NOT nominate themselves. We would welcome a brief statement of support from the supervisor – focussing on why the dissertation is worthy of attention and indicating any circumstances of which the prize committee should be aware.
We particularly encourage submissions from under-represented groups.
Nominations for these prizes should be forwarded, preferably in electronic form, to Dr Luc-Andre Brunet (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Deadlines for this prize are listed on the Grants summary page: https://frenchhistorysociety.co.uk/grants.htm
The committee will assess the quality of applications with reference to the following criteria:
1. The significance and originality of the dissertation
The panel will assess (1) the clarity of research questions (2) the sophistication of arguments (3) the contribution to historical understanding of the Francophone world. It will welcome dissertations that seek to foster dialogue within different disciplines.
2. Research methods and depth of analysis
The panel will assess (1) the quality of the methodology and theoretical framework (2) the rigour of analysis (3) the depth of primary source analysis. While the panel welcome dissertations using French printed, visual or archival material, it will also consider dissertations drawing solely on primary and secondary material in English.
3. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
The panel will be most interested in the quality of the candidate’s research, although they may take other factors into consideration. The supervisors should indicate any circumstances which might have affected normal established patterns of work. This could be due to personal or domestic circumstances, such as being a first-generation student, having caring responsibilities, juggling a considerable workload with a job commitment, physical or mental disabilities, or interests and aspirations.
NB: For the 2023 UG Dissertation Prize, the SSFH committee has decided to roll the deadline over until the following year, in respect of the national UCU Marking and Assessment Boycott. This will mean that dissertations which would have been nominated for the 31/07/23 deadline can now be nominated until 31/07/24. In 2024, the judging panel will consider the 2023 and 2024 cohorts for separate awards, to ensure parity.
Dissertation Prize Committee:
Professor Máire Cross (Newcastle),
Dr Laure Humbert (Manchester) and Prof. Glenn Richardson (St Mary’s, Twickenham).
Decisions will be communicated to the winning candidates and their Higher Education Institution.
2022: Beatrice Barr (Oxford)
2021: Clare Macleod (St Andrews)
2020: Sara Green (Leeds)
2019: Tim Fairbairn (Cambridge)
2018: Jack Dickens (Cambridge)
2017: Joanna Clarke (Cambridge)
2016: Alexander Harries (Oxford)
2015: Georgina Rose Whittingdon (Cambridge) and Katherine Bulteel (Cambridge)
2014: Craig Saunders (Edinburgh)
2012: Daniel Hully (Durham)
2011: Pierre Caquet (Cambridge)
2010: Adam Boukraa (Oxford)
2009: James Eastwood (Cambridge)
2008: (Joint Winners) David Henry Doyle (Trinity College Dublin) and Julia Gilham (Bristol)
2007: Katie Alloway (Durham)
2006: (Joint Winners) Charlotte Wink (Durham) and Bryony Palmer (Oxford)
For a more detailed list of previous winners, see the Previous Dissertation Prize Winners page.