This award recognises excellence in doctoral research.

Criteria which eligible papers are assessed against include: excellence in social policy scholarship; challenges boundaries of existing understanding; engages the interest of the reader; contributes to/ is likely to promote an expansion of at least one of research, teaching, practice and theoretical agendas; excellence of research design, methodology and evidence-base.

Eligibility conditions

  • Eligible papers are restricted to those that are single-authored.
  • The subject matter of the paper must be directly related to, and further the study of social policy.
  • Eligible papers must not have been published or be under consideration for publication at the time of nomination.
  • Eligible persons are those who were postgraduate members of the SPA at the time of paper submission.
  • Only papers presented by current doctoral students at the most recent SPA PGR Conference or SPA Annual Conference, with the full paper uploaded to the Conference system in advance, are eligible for the prize.

Nomination process

A shortlist of papers will be selected for nomination by the organisers of the PGR Conference.

Judging process

The SPA judging panel will assess nominations and make recommendation(s) for the award.


The winner(s) will be awarded £250.