PhD Thesis Prize

This prize is awarded annually to the author of the best PhD dissertation completed in the previous year. 

A thesis is eligible for entry in the 2019 competition if it has been passed by its examiners between 1 January 2018 and 31 December 2018.

The award is determined by a sub-committee of judges established by the Executive Committee of APSA. Past winners will be encouraged to participate in the judging process for future awards. The judging committee will rely both upon the examiners’ reports and their own reading of the thesis to make their determination. Each judge will write a report on the theses they are considering, confer, and reach agreement on the thesis to be awarded the prize. The Chair of the Panel will convey the Panel’s recommendation to the APSA Executive Assistant, who will then advise the winner. 

The winner will be invited to the APSA Annual Conference dinner to receive a trophy and cheque for $1000.

Heads of Department in Australian Universities can nominate student doctoral theses passed in the previous year for consideration for the Australian Political Studies Association PhD Thesis Prize. 

Each School/Department may only make one submission. All potential submissions should be sent first to the Head of School/Department, who will then be responsible for determining which eligible dissertation is submitted on behalf of their School/Department. The submission to APSA should come directly from the Head of School/Department, or if this is not possible, s/he should be copied into the submission email in which it should be indicated that the submission has their endorsement.


An entry for the APSA 2019 PhD Thesis Prize should include:

  • A completed APSA PhD Thesis Prize Nomination Form
  • An electronic copy / PDF the thesis
  • Electronic copies / PDFs of all examiners’ reports for the thesis
  • Evidence of the date on which the PhD was passed by the Graduate Research School or equivalent university body, eg. a copy of the email advising the candidate or supervisor that the PhD has been passed. This date must fall between 1 January 2018 and 31 December 2018. 

Please email nominations to: by Monday 3 June, 2019.



Call For Nominations – Monday 13 May 2019 (Any nominations received earlier will not be accepted).

Closing Date For Nominations – Monday 3 June 2019. 

Notification of Winners – Wednesday 28 August 2019. 

Trophy Commission – Friday 30 August 2019.


Past winners:

2018: Luke Kimber Craven, The University of Sydney, Toward A Theory of Food Insecurity: Capabilities, Complexity, and Public Policy.

2017: Kcasey McLoughlin, The University of Newcastle, Situating Women Judges on the High Court of Australia: Not Just Men in Skirts?

2016: Colombina Schaeffer Ortúzar, The University of Sydney, Patagonia Sin Represas: How an Environmental Campaign Transformed Power Landscapes in Chile.

2015: Samid Suliman, University of Queensland, Migration, Development, and Kinetic Politics.

2014: Sean Durbin, The Revelation of John (Hagee).

2013: Alissa Macoun, University of Queensland, Aboriginality and the Northern Territory Intervention.

2011: Scott MacWilliam, Australian National University, Securing Village Life: Development in Late Colonial Papua New Guinea.

2010: Philippa Collin, University of Western Sydney,The Making of Good Citizens: participation policies, the internet and the development of young people's political identities in Australia and the United Kingdom.

Honourable Mention: Hannah Murphy-Gregory, University of Tasmania, NGOs, Agenda-setting and the WTO. 

2009: Moya Collett, University of New South Wales, Transversal Communities in West Africa.

2008: Lavina Lee, Macquarie University, Legitimacy and Hegemony: An examination of the nature of the relationship between international legitimacy and followership of the United States in the Gulf Crisis of 1990-1991 and the Iraq Crisis of 2002-2003.

2006: Carolyn Henriks, RSSS, Public Deliberation and Interest Organisations: A Study of Responses to Lay Citizen Engagement in Public Policy.