Thirsk-Feinstein PhD Dissertation Prize

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The Economic History Society has introduced an annual prize of £1,000 for the best doctoral dissertation in Economic and/or Social History.

Eligible candidates can be nominated by a dissertation supervisor or an examiner.  All dissertations must be written in English and must have been awarded during the calendar year preceding the prize.  For example, to be eligible for the 2025 prize (which will be presented at the 2025 annual conference) the thesis must have been awarded during 2024.  Nominations should be accompanied, in the first instance, by the following:

  • A covering letter from the student’s supervisor, stating in no more than two sides why the dissertation is so outstanding that it should be considered for a prize. The contact details of the nominee should be provided.
  • A copy of the external examiner’s/examiner committee’s report.

If the Prize Committee deems that the dissertation merits serious consideration, a copy of the thesis will be requested. Please note that we will be unable to return these.  Please note too that we are unable to offer feedback on individual theses, or the judging process.

The winner of the Thirsk-Feinstein Prize will be announced each year at the annual conference.

Nominations, and supporting materials, should please be sent to the Administrators.

Deadline for applications: 31 December 2024.

  • Current & Past Winners

    Prizes have been awarded to:

    • 2024: Sam Geens (University of Antwerp) , ‘A Golden Age for labour? Income and wealth before and after the Black Death in the Southern Low Countries and the Republic of Florence, 1275-1550’.
      Robert Yee (Princeton University), ‘The rise of expert opinion: The Bank of England and interwar economic governance, 1914-1940’
    • 2023: Victoria Gierok (University of Oxford), ‘The development of wealth inequality in the German territories of the Holy Roman Empire, 1300-1800’.
    • 2022: Èric Gómez-i-Aznar (University of Barcelona), ‘Three essays in human capital’.
    • 2021: Joseph la Hausse de Lalouvière (Harvard University), ‘Enslavement and Empire in the French Caribbean, 1793-1851’.
    • 2020: Robin Adams (University of Oxford), ‘Shadow of a Taxman: how, and by whom, was the Republican Government financed in the Irish War of Independence (1919-1921)?’
    • 2019: Volha Lazuka (Lund University), ‘Defeating disease: The lasting effects of public health and medical breakthroughs between 1880 and 1945 on health and income in Sweden’.
    • 2018: Corinne Boter (Wageningen University) ‘Women’s work, structural change, and household living standards in the Netherlands, 1830-1914’.
    • 2017: Charles Read (University of Cambridge) ‘British economic policy and Ireland c.1841-53’.
    • 2016: Pim de Zwart (Wageningen University) ‘Globalization and the colonial origins of the Great Divergence: intercontinental trade and living standards in the Dutch East India Company’s commercial empire, c.1600-1800‘.
    • 2015: Duncan Needham (University of Cambridge) ‘UK monetary policy from devaluation to Mrs Thatcher’.
    • 2014: Luciana Quaranta (Lund University) ‘Scarred for life. How conditions in early life affect socioeconomic status, reproduction and mortality in Southern Sweden, 1813-68’.
    • 2013: Dr Sean Bottomley (University of Cambridge), ‘The British patent system during the industrial revolution, 1700-1852’.
    • 2012: Dr Peter Koudijs (Stanford University), ‘Trading and financial market efficiency in 18th-century Holland’.
    • 2011: Dr Leigh Gardner (University of Oxford), ‘Making an Empire pay for itself: taxation and government expenditure in Kenya and Northern Rhodesia, 1900-70’.
    • 2010: Dr Aashish Velkar (London School of Economics) ‘Markets, standards and measurements in 19th-century British economy’.
    • 2009: Dr Jonathan Healey (University of Oxford) ‘Marginality and Misfortune: poverty and social welfare in Lancashire, c.1630-1760’.
    • 2008: Dr Danielle van de Heuvel (University of Cambridge) ‘Women and Entrepreneurship: female traders in the Northern Netherlands, c. 1580-1815’.