New Researchers Conference

Research degree students and independent scholars are warmly encouraged to share their work at our annual New Researchers Conference.

Student and Research Prizes

Are you a student working on maritime history? Apply for our Undergraduate and Postgraduate prizes.

Doctoral Prize

2021 Prize Winner Announced!


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. So for the 2022 prize round, thesis will need to have been awarded in 2021*If you consider that you are eligible for the award in this year but have had your graduation delayed in the current circumstances, you can send confirmation that you have officially completed the PhD. This should be in writing from the appropriate faculty or graduate school/enterprise saying that you have passed.

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 also has the option of having their thesis considered for publication in a revised form by Boydell & Brewer.

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 graduation has been delayed please include written evidence that your PhD has been completed as above*

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 revised closing date for nominations for the 2021 session prize was 14 March 2022. We will announce the closing date for nominations for the 2022 session prize soon.

To nominate a thesis please complete the Doctoral Prize Form and upload supporting documents here.

Doctoral thesis prize winner, 2021

Lewis Wade for: Privilege at a Premium: Insurance, Maritime Law and Political Economy in Early Modern France, 1664-c. 1710 (University of Exeter).

This is an impressive study of two French insurance institutions. Using the data sets that are available from these institutions the author explores how the insurance market worked in Paris and what this means for our understanding more generally of early modern insurance markets. He has also been able to develop a framework for using the data in an examination of absolutism in France. The study raises questions about the reach of French absolutism and how the state used the market to shift risks of its policies onto its subjects.

Find out about previous prize winners here


For further information please contact  the Hon Secretary