History Essay Prize Cambridge

The R.A. Butler Prize for essays in Politics and International Studies is a competition that can be entered by students in Year 12 or the Lower 6th. Candidates are invited to submit an essay on a topic to be chosen from a list of general questions announced in March each year, and to be submitted by the beginning of September.

The Prize is jointly organised by Trinity College Cambridge and Cambridge University’s Department of Politics and International Studies. The Prize was established in memory of the former Master of Trinity College, Lord Butler, who most famously served as Home Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer, and who was responsible for the introduction of free secondary education for all students in the UK.

The objectives of the R.A. Butler Prize are twofold. Firstly, it aims to encourage students with an interest in modern politics and world affairs to think about undertaking university studies in Politics, International Studies or a related discipline; it is not limited to those already studying these subjects or indeed other social sciences. Secondly, its intention is to recognise the achievements both of high-calibre students and of those who teach them.

The 2018 competition is now open. The list of questions is here.

The deadline for submitting the essay is 20th August 2018.

Format. Essays should be between 2,000 and 4,000 words (not including the bibliography).  It’s worth considering the use of examples in your essays: the best essays often use a diverse selection of contemporary, historical or literary examples.  We encourage you to provide references to your sources of information, and to include a bibliography at the end of the essay.

Submission. Essays must be submitted by email to butlerprize@trin.cam.ac.uk. Word or PDF file formats are acceptable. It will be helpful if you could name the file with your surname and initial, in the style (for example): SmithJ.pdf or SmithJ.docx. On the first page of your essay, please include the following information: your name, email address, school name and address, your year at school (e.g. Year 12), and the subjects you are studying and to what level (e.g. A-level). Please include a statement of originality: “I confirm that this essay is written in my own words and is the result of my own work. All sources used have been acknowledged in the essay.” Please ‘sign’ that statement (i.e. put your name, electronically is fine) and put the date on which you are submitting the essay.

If you cannot submit the essay electronically, please post it to R.A. Butler Prize, c/o Dr Glen Rangwala, Trinity College, Cambridge CB2 1TQ.

Eligibility. The Prize is for students in Year 12 or Lower 6th at the time the questions are released (in the school year 2017-18). Students based abroad are most welcome to participate. They should, however, be in their penultimate year of school.

Prize. The competition carries a First Prize of £600, to be split equally between the candidate and his or her school or college (the school or college’s portion of the prize to be issued in the form of book tokens), and a Second Prize of £400, which again is to be shared equally between the candidate and his or her school or college. Winners will be announced in September, and will be invited to visit the College to meet some of the teaching staff.

Contact. Any queries from teachers with students who may be interested in submitting work for the prize should be directed to Dr Glen Rangwala by email to: butlerprize@trin.cam.ac.uk.

Past Prize-winners

2017:

1st Prize: Folu Ogunyeye (Aylesbury High School)
2nd Prize: Eve McMullen (Minster School, Southwell)

2016:

1st Prize: Silas Edwards (St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School, Bristol)
2nd Prize: Eliza Harry (Greene’s Tutorial College, Oxford)

2015:

1st Prize: Stephen Horvath (Westminster School, London)
2nd Prize: Grace Elshafei (Sevenoaks School, Kent)

2014:

1st Prize: Oscar Alexander-Jones (St Paul’s School, London)
2nd Prize: Sam Maybee (King Edward VI Five Ways School, Birmingham)

2013:

1st Prize: Eleanor Shearer (Westminster School)
2nd Prize (joint): Stephanie Clarke (Lancaster Girls’ Grammar School)
2nd Prize (joint): Will Barnes (Manchester Grammar School)

2012:

1st Prize: Kiah Ashford-Stow (King Edward VI School, Southampton)
2nd Prize: Jamie Sproul (Stamford School)

2011:

1st Prize: Aman Rizvi (Winchester College)
2nd Prize: Frans Robyns (Kings College School, Wimbledon)

The Robson History Prize is an annual competition for Year 12 or Lower 6th students. The Prize was established in 2007 in memory of the historian Robert Robson, who was for many years a Fellow and Tutor at Trinity. The aims of the Robson Prize are twofold: firstly, to encourage ambitious and talented Year 12 or Lower Sixth students considering applying to university to read History or a related discipline; and secondly, to recognize the achievements both of high-calibre students and of those who teach them.

Candidates are invited each year to submit an essay of between 2,000 and 4,000 words on a topic to be chosen from the list of questions.

The topics for the 2018 competition are available here.

Submissions must be received by the deadline of 1 July each year. Results will be announced around the beginning of September.

Submit

The competition carries a First Prize of £600, to be split equally between the candidate and his or her school or college (the school or college’s portion of the prize to be issued in the form of book tokens with which to buy history books), and a Second Prize of £400, which again is to be shared equally between the candidate and his or her school or college. In addition, further deserving essays of a high quality will be commended.

Any queries should be directed to Dr Peter Sarris by e-mail or by post.

Past Robson Prize-winners

2017

1st Prize: Mr Alex Vinen (Westminster School)
2nd Prize: Miss Anna Brady (Sheringham Sixth Form)

2016

1st Prize: Miss Alexa Stanger (St Paul’s Girls’ School)
2nd Prize: Mr Luke Hallam (Durham Johnston Comprehensive School)

2015

1st Prize: Mr Patrick Hudson (The King’s School, Chester)
2nd Prize: Miss Kathleen Mitchell-Fox (The Marlborough Science Academy, St Albans)

2014

1st Prize: Miss Poppy Freeman-Cuerden (Finham Park School)
2nd Prize: Miss Eleanor Smith-Hahn (Westminster School)

2013:

1st Prize: Mr M Rees (St John the Baptist High School, Aberdare)
2nd Prize: Miss H Gass (The Queen’s School, Chester)

2012:

1st Prize: Mr S Galimberti (International School, Milan)
2nd Prize: Mr S Lock (King’s College School, Wimbledon)

2011:

1st Prize: Mr C. Easton (Newcastle College)
2nd Prize: Mr D. MacDonald (Sgoil Lionacleic, Isle of Eriskay)

2010:

1st Prize: Mr P. Hoffman (Stonyhurst College)
2nd Prize: Mr C. Humphreys (Bolitho Sixth Form College)

Four others were commended: Mr T. Gibbs, Miss N. Rainey, Mr R. Smith and Mr C. Wilson.
There were 134 applicants.

2009:

1st Prize: Mr Aaron Taylor (Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys School)
2nd Prize: Ms Louisa Caines (Cheltenham College)

2008:

1st Prize: Mr Josh Mills (Nottingham High School)
2nd Prize: Mr Christopher Bond (Cheltenham College)

2007:

1st Prize: Mr Ben Slingo (Bedford School)
2nd Prize: Ms Nisadha Bandara (Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls)

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