This award recognises excellence in doctoral research including, but not limited to: the study of interesting and novel questions; the application of novel theoretical or methodological approaches to thinking on enduring questions; the use of innovative methods of enquiry; the general contribution to the advancement of understanding in social policy.

Eligibility conditions

  • Eligible papers are restricted to those that are single-authored.
  • Eligible papers are those that were uploaded to the SPA conference website prior to last year’s annual conference and were subsequently presented at the conference by the author.
  • A full paper must have been submitted according to the conference deadline (abstracts and/or power point presentations are not eligible).
  • 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.

Nomination process

Self-nomination at the point of uploading the conference paper

Judging process

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


The winner(s) will be awarded £200 and honorary membership of the SPA for the year following the award.