Early Career Excellence in Teaching International Studies Prize

The aim of this annual award is to recognise those early career academics, or teams of academics, who have contributed to the positive learning experience of students in International Studies within the first seven years of their career. This could include bringing new ideas (including from your research field) to existing higher education institutions and your current teaching or creating the beginnings of new innovative teaching pedagogical theory, styles, practices, or methods, or offering examples of best practice in teaching, or offering evidence of best practice in teaching. Your contribution needs to be clear but at this point in your career can still be in its early stages or drawn from a very specific instance.

There has never been as strong a focus on learning and teaching as there is now. Winning this award could place you at the forefront of inspiring others to develop teaching excellence.

The award winner will be decided by a judging panel led by the trustee responsible for Learning and Teaching. The winner will be formally announced, and the award presented, at our annual conference.

Man giving a presentation


The early career award is for those who are up to seven years from the award of their PhD. A case can be made to extend this term when factoring in relevant appropriate career breaks. Please explain this in your application.

Nominations and guidance

You can nominate yourself or colleagues for this award. Departments are asked to encourage and support outstanding teachers to apply. Nominations open on Monday 8 January and close on Monday 12 February at 11.59pm (UK time). Nominations made outside of this period will not be considered.

To nominate please complete our online form. You’ll need to write a statement of case (max 500 words). We're particularly interested to hear about teaching practices that demonstrate excellence in learning opportunities and learning experiences for students in International Studies. Submissions that demonstrate innovation in teaching are welcome but are not required. Your explanation and evidence should demonstrate:

  • A positive contribution to learning and teaching;
  • where relevant, the use of innovative teaching strategies;
  • meeting the needs of a diverse student population;
  • stimulating independent learning and critical thinking.

You are also expected to submit evidence in support of your application that includes:

  • The module outline (the document that states module learning objectives, aims, contact hours, modes of learning, etc). 
  • The module handbook (including reading list) is also encouraged but as these are often digital it is not required.

We also encourage that you submit up to two of the following:

  • recent formal and informal feedback from students or peer review; 
  • student testimonials;
  • a short statement of support from a colleague; 
  • details of relevant publications and conference papers/presentations.

Supporting materials must be uploaded as a single pdf document.

Conditions of the award

If you win this award you’ll be expected to write an article (500-1000 words) to be published on our website summarising your award-winning teaching activities. This article must be submitted electronically to the BISA office within one month of the presentation of the award at our annual conference. Undertaking these activities will mean that your best practice can be shared amongst other colleagues both in IR and further afield.

Past recipients

  • 2024 Akinyemi Oyawale (University of Warwick)
  • 2023 Joint winners: Zoë Jay (EuroStorie) and Roxani Krystalli (St Andrews)
  • 2022 Pilar Elizalde (LSE)

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