2021 BACS Best Doctoral Thesis Prize

The call for nominations for the 2021 BACS Best Doctoral Thesis Prize is now open!

To enter the competition:

  • A candidate must be a member of the British Association of Chinese Studies. If you are not a member and wish to be eligible, please find details on how to join BACS here: http://bacsuk.org.uk/about-us/membership
  • A candidate must have successfully passed their dissertation at any point between 1st January 2019 and 31st December 2020. 
  • The candidate must have completed their doctorate at a UK higher education institution OR else be based in the UK at the time of submitting their application. 
  • Candidates can have completed their dissertation on China in any disciplinary or interdisciplinary (e.g. area studies, development studies, gender studies, social policy studies, media studies) department and with reference to any historical period.  

To enter the prize competition, candidates need to email the following documents to the Administrative Chair of the BACS Doctoral Thesis Prize Panel, Rachel Murphy, (rachel.murphy@area.ox.ac.uk) by 15th April 2021:

  • A copy of a letter from the candidate’s university confirming their award of a doctorate or else a graduation or degree certificate.
  • An abstract of the dissertation
  • A two-page A4 statement (12 pt. font, single line spacing) in which the candidate explains the original theoretical and empirical contributions of the thesis to both Chinese Studies and to the relevant disciplinary or interdisciplinary fields.
  • The candidate also needs to arrange for either a dissertation supervisor or a thesis examiner to submit a recommendation letter to the panel, care of the Administrative Chair of the BACS Doctoral Thesis Prize, which evaluates the quality of the dissertation. The recommendation letter needs to be emailed by the referee directly to the Administrative Chair (rachel.murphy@area.ox.ac.uk) by 15th April 2021.
  • Please note that all emails to the Administrative Chair need to have ‘BACS Doctoral Thesis Prize’ and the candidate’s full name in the email subject line.
  • Late submissions will not be accepted.

Based on these documents, the Award Panel will draw up a short list of nominees. The Award Panelists for 2021 are: Professor Chris Berry, Professor Stephen Feuchtwang and Professor Naomi Standen. On 25th June 2021, the Awards Panel will invite the shortlisted nominees to submit an electronic copy of their dissertation to each of the three panel members by email.

The winner will be announced at the BACS Annual General Meeting in September 2021. The winner will receive a prize of £500 and a certificate. Runners-up will receive honourable mention. The dissertation abstracts and bio of the winner will be posted on the BACS website.

The launch of the best doctoral thesis prize is an opportunity to highlight the important and innovative research that is being conducted on China across the UK higher education sector and among UK-based academics at the early career stages.