The prize

  • One prize for each SPA journal (Journal of Social Policy, Social Policy & Society, and the Journal of International & Comparative Social Policy)
  • Up to £100 of CUP books, 3 months free access to the article, and one year’s digital subscription to the journal (for joint authors the £100 of CUP books would be shared, each would receive the article access and subscription)


  • Articles must have been published in the previous year’s volume of the journal.
  • Details of the prize will be included in the information for contributors for each journal.

Judging criteria/scoring (for shortlisting and judging)

  1. Excellence in social policy scholarship
  2. Challenges boundaries of existing understanding
  3. Engages the interest of the journals’ readership*
  4. Contributes to or is likely to promote an expansion of at least one of research, teaching, practice and theoretical agendas
  5. Excellence of research design, methodology and evidence-base

Short-listing and judging

Ellen Stewart (Awards Officer) will chair a sub-committee of the SPA Executive Committee. This will exclude the editors of the journals, Editorial Board members, and Executive Committee members who have published in the journals during the year in question.

The sub-committee will select a shortlist of up to four articles from each journal with a note on their choices.

The final decision will be made by the SPA judging panel.

* This criterion will make use of quantitative indicators (downloads, citations etc.) but these will take account of differences in the date of publication on-line and in print, and qualitative indications of the level of interest generated will also be an important consideration in judging papers.