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.
  • Additional criteria for eligibility to be announced by February 2022, when 2022 Awards nominations open.
  • 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

Additional information on nominations (usually only involving papers presented at the SPA’s most recent PGR conference) to be announced by February 2022, when nominations will open.

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.