A 2018 survey, undertaken by HOTCUS, BrANCH and BAAS (supported by BAAS and the Royal Historical Society), highlighted a number of obstacles facing scholars and students who identify as BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic). As an organisation, HOTCUS is committed to tackling these roadblocks to BAME participation in higher education, including the barrier between undergraduate and postgraduate study.  HOTCUS is also keen to highlight BAME scholars’ historiographical contributions.

HOTCUS is very happy to announce the launch of the first HOTCUS Postgraduate essay Prize which is open to BAME Students, who are currently studying at the postgraduate level (Master’s or PhD). The essay must not have been previously published or submitted for publication consideration in any form. In line with HOTCUS’s remit, the essay submitted should cover an area of twentieth century American History. Applications for the prize will be opened on 11th March 2022 and will close on 15th April. The value of the prize will be £100. The essay should be between 3,000 and 6,000 words, to include notes but excluding the bibliography.

The essays should be sent, as PDF or a Word document to hotcuscommittee@gmail.com. The author’s name should not appear on the essay itself, as all essays will be judged anonymously by the HOTCUS Steering Committee. A confirmation letter of enrolment should also be included from a member of staff at the applicant’s home university. The essay should be a self-contained piece, which would be suitable for publication in a journal. Attention should also be given to the presentation and referencing of the document.

Candidates will be notified of the outcome of the competition by June 2022, with the winner to be announced at the HOTCUS Annual Conference at Edinburgh University. Your essay will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • Clear and concise argument.
  • A close reading of primary/secondary texts.
  • Engagement and critical analysis of secondary texts or the field of scholarship.
  • Demonstration of an aspect of originality.
  • Compelling engagement with the historiography.