Brian Barry Prize FAQs

Frequently asked questions about the Brian Barry Prize

Pre-application questions

What is this Brian Barry Prize in Political Science awarded for?
The Prize is awarded for an essay of original, unpublished research in Political Science that demonstrates excellence of enquiry in the field.

What is the Prize worth?
The author or authors of the winning essay receive £1,500 in total (i.e., if there are three authors then they will receive £500 each). The winning essay will also be published in the British Journal of Political Science.

Who is eligible to apply for this prize?
Applicants and essays should meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • The essay must not been previously published or be under consideration for publication elsewhere.
  • The essay can address any topic in Political Science, but essays in fields related to the work of Brian Barry will be especially welcome.
  • Essays may be submitted by anyone in possession of a first degree.
  • The prize is not open to current employees and Fellows of the British Academy, employees of Cambridge University Press, or the current Editors, Managing Editors or other administrative staff of the British Journal of Political Science.
  • The Prize cannot be awarded to the same person more than once.
  • Entries should be at least 8,000 and up to 10,000 words, including references, with an abstract of no more than 100 words.

Do essays need to have been written within a certain time period in order to be eligible?
There is no time period restriction on when essays were written providing that they are not already published or currently under consideration for publication.

What topics and subject matter are eligible for the prize?
The essay can address any topic in Political Science but essays in fields related to the work of Brian Barry are especially welcome. Please visit the Brian Barry Prize webpage for information about the 2020 winner and to read all of the previous winning essays.

How long should my essay be?
Entries should be at least 8,000 and up to 10,000 words, including references, with an abstract of no more than 100 words.

What format should my essay be in?
Your application should be in the form of an anonymised PDF essay. The document MUST be fully anonymised, including any self-references; non-anonymised submissions will not be considered for assessment. Authors should remove any self-identifying information, such as authors' names and affiliations, competing interests declaration, acknowledgements of funding or gratitude to specific readers and conference audiences, as well as links to personal or university websites that are affiliated with any of the authors. Authors may retain citations to their own work if the citations are made in the third person. That is, the anonymous version of Dr Patel’s manuscript would cite her work as follows: "Patel (2014) argues that..." rather than "In my earlier work (Patel 2014), I argue that..." or "AUTHOR (2014) argues that..."

How do I submit my essay?
Please submit your anonymised essay as a PdF via email tobrianbarryprize@thebritishacademy.ac.uk and include in your submission email;

  • All author names
  • Institution(s)
  • Email addresses
  • Highlight the corresponding author

Submissions must be in accordance with the Journal's style sheet. If any of the above information is missing the submission will not be considered. We suggest that you request a ‘read receipt’ when you send your email to ensure that it has been delivered. When received you will receive an email confirming receipt of your submission.

When does the Prize open for submissions and what is the closing date?
Please visit the Brian Barry Prize webpage for a summary of key dates for this year.

Post-application questions

How will my submission be assessed?
The anonymised submissions are assessed by a prize panel comprising members from the British Academy political science section of Fellows. The prize is assessed in March or April and the winner recommendation is based on a panel decision rather than a refereed or peer-reviewed decision.

When will I find out if my application has been successful?
The Prize panel aims to assess applications and make its recommendation to the British Academy Council by the end of May. The Council will make its final decision in June, at which point both the winner and all unsuccessful applicants will be notified. The winner will be asked to keep knowledge of their reward embargoed until the public announcement in September (see below).

When can I submit or publish my essay elsewhere?
As soon as you receive notification as to whether or not your application has been successful you may submit or publish your essay elsewhere.

Will I receive feedback on my application if I am unsuccessful?
We are unable to offer feedback or comments on unsuccessful applications.

When is the winning essay formally announced?
The prize-winning essay and author(s) will be made public in September as part of the British Academy’s annual Awards and Prizes announcement. The winner will be asked to keep knowledge of their award embargoed until the public announcement. The British Journal of Political Science office will be in touch separately to guide the winner through their essay publication process.

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