Michael Nicholson Thesis Prize

The Michael Nicholson Thesis Prize is awarded annually for the best doctoral thesis in International Studies. The prize is named after the late Michael Nicholson, formerly Professor of International Relations at the Universities of Kent and Sussex.

The Nicholson Prize gives us the chance to support the work of new scholars. It has promoted outstanding work in many sub-fields over the years. Previous winners have often gone on to pursue successful academic careers. Could you be next?


To be considered for the prize, your thesis must have been awarded in the calendar year 2019. Theses that sit in the broad area of International Studies are considered eligible.


Nominations for the prize can be made by PhD supervisors, theses examiners and Heads of Departments and Schools, but only one thesis per Department/School may be entered. It is the Department/School’s responsibility to ensure that a process is in place to avoid multiple nominations.

All nominations must be made online using the online nomination form. Nominations for 2020 are now closed.

The judging process

The Prize will be judged by a committee appointed by the BISA Chair, acting on behalf of the BISA Executive Committee. The prize will be awarded at the 2020 BISA Annual Conference. We reserve the right not to make an award in any particular year.

Enquiries about this award should be sent to the BISA Chair, Professor Mark Webber m.a.webber.1@bham.ac.uk

“Winning the BISA Michael Nicholson prize greatly improved my career prospects. It demonstrated the importance and originality of my research at a time when my PhD was still being converted into publications.”
Barbara Yoxon, Winner 2018
Barbara Yoxon
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