Procedure for Awarding NR Prizes

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Organisation of the Committee
A New Researcher Prize Committee will be appointed by the President of the Economic History Society. The committee will consist of five permanent members. They will normally serve three-year terms, and will be replaced on a rolling basis to ensure continuity. The committee members will be chosen to provide expertise covering a wide range of time, place, and subject matter.

Extra members will be appointed to the committee to assist in judging presentations at the annual conference. The number of ad-hoc judges will depend on the number of new researcher sessions (usually up to 8)

Criteria for inclusion in the programme and in the prize
New researchers must submit, by the requested date, a written paper of 2,250-2,750 words in total (including all footnotes, references, tables, etc.), and present it in the new researchers’ session at the annual conference.

Prizes will only be awarded for research in economic and/or social history.

Submissions for inclusion in the programme will be evaluated in terms of:

  • importance and originality of the question(s) investigated;
  • novelty, appropriateness, and effectiveness of methodology;
  • contextualisation within the extant literature, and contribution to scholarly knowledge;
  • volume and character of primary sources investigated;
  • clarity and effectiveness of written presentation.

Papers will not be considered for a prize if:

  1. They do not meet the word length criteria (2,250-2,750 words).
  2. The author has been awarded their PhD by the end of the calendar year preceding the annual conference.
  3. The author has presented in a New Researcher session at a previous annual conference.

 Adjudication of the prize

  • Each permanent member of the committee will read all papers and provide a ranked list of the top 15 papers, with a grade of 0-80 for each paper (in advance of the conference).  Grading will be based on the same criteria as in ‘Criteria for inclusion in the programme and in the prize above’. A consolidated ranking will be made on the basis of the average grade. When outside the top 15 ranking, a paper will automatically receive a mark of zero.
  • Two members of the judging panel (whether a member of the standing committee or ad-hoc judge) will attend the presentations and will provide a single agreed grade of 0-20 for each presentation, to be added to the grades provided by the permanent members.
  • Prizes will be awarded to those candidates with the highest total scores.
  • As a general rule, where the difference between the average grades of the top papers is less than 5 points, the committee can award up to 3 prizes.
  • Where four or more papers have the same average total grade, or are separated by less than 5 points, the committee will take into consideration the relative positions of the papers in the individual rankings, using a weight of 15 to 1 for positions from 1 to 15.  If this proves inconclusive, the permanent members of the committee will have a vote.