Doctoral Prize

The annual Boydell & Brewer Prize for the best doctoral thesis in maritime history was established by BCMH in 2010.

Subjects eligible for consideration reflect the Commission’s view of maritime history as a wide-ranging discipline.

Nominations may be submitted by the candidate, or by their supervisor. All doctorates must have been awarded by a UK university during the academic year preceding the prize (for example, to be eligible for submission in 2019, the PhD must have been awarded in the academic year 2017-18).

Judging is by a Prize Committee, whose decision is final. The prize winner receives a cheque for £200, which is normally presented by the representative of Boydell & Brewer at the annual ‘New Researchers in Maritime History’ conference. The prize winner’s thesis will also be considered for publication in a revised form by Boydell & Brewer, who are allowed first right of refusal to publish.

Nominations should include in the first instance the following:

  • The name of the prize candidate, the title of the thesis, the awarding university, and the date of the award;
  • The Abstract of the thesis;
  • A chapter from the thesis;
  • A covering letter from the supervisor of no more than 500 words, stating why the thesis is so outstanding that it should be considered for a prize;
  • Contact details for the prize candidate and their supervisor.

If the Prize Committee deems that the thesis merits serious consideration, a copy may be requested. Please note that we will be unable to return this.

The closing date for nominations for the 2018-19 prize is 1 January 2020.

For further information, and to submit a nomination, please contact the Hon Secretary.

Previous Prize Winners

2018-18: Joint winners: Dr Katherine Roscoe (Leicester), for ‘Island Chains: Carceral Islands and the Colonisation of Australia, 1824-1901’ and Dr David Wilson (Strathclyde) for ‘Pirates, Merchants, and Imperial Authority in the British Atlantic, 1716-1726’.

2016-17: Dr Elin Jones (Queen Mary, London) for ‘Masculinity, Materiality and Space Onboard the Royal Naval Ship, 1756-1815’.

2015-16: Dr Megan Barford (Cambridge) for ‘Naval Hydrography, Charismatic Bureaucracy and the British Military State, 1825-1855’.

2013-2014: Dr Steven Gray (Swansea University) for ‘Black Diamonds: Coal, the Royal Navy, and British Imperial Coaling Stations, 1870-1914’.

2012-2013: Dr Joan Abela (University of Exeter) for ‘The Impact of the Arrival of the Knights of the Order of St. John on the Commercial Economy of Malta 1530-1565’.

2011-2012: Dr Coriann Convertito (University of Exeter) for ‘The Health of British Seamen in the West Indies, 1770-1806′.

2010-11: Dr Matthew McCarthy (University of Hull) for ‘A Sure Defence against the Foe? Maritime Predation and British Commercial Policy during the Spanish American Wars of Independence, 1810-1830’.