Prizes and Studentships

Prizes

A number of different prizes are available for students and graduate students. If you have any queries about the Faculty's prizes, please contact the Faculty Office.

When submitting your entry for a prize the term 'motto' denotes a short phrase by which a candidate can be identified to the judges while remaining anonymous.

In 2018 the Sir Roger Newdigate Prize was not awarded. The judges would like to thank all those who submitted an entry, and wish them luck in the future.

 

The prize will be awarded, provided there is an entry of sufficient merit, for best composition in English verse not exceeding 300 lines in length on the subject of Secrets.

The prize is open to current undergraduate students of the University. The value of the prize is approximately £450 (exact value to be determined by the Fund balance).

Poems (one copy) should be submitted, under a sealed cover marked ‘Sir Roger Newdigate Prize’, to the English Faculty Office, St Cross Building, Manor Road, Oxford OX1 3UL, not later than Monday of 8th week, Hilary Term 2019. Authors should conceal their names and identify their entries by a motto. The name, college, and date of matriculation should be submitted at the same time in a separate envelope with the same motto inscribed upon it.

In 2018, the Matthew Arnold Memorial Prize was awarded to Michael Rizq. Proxime accessit was awarded to Joel Diggory. The judges wish to thank all those who entered, and wish them the best for the future.

 

The Matthew Arnold Memorial Prize, the value of which is £750, providing there is an entry of sufficient merit, is open to members of the University, who, on the closing date for receipt of essays, have qualified by examination for the Degree of BA and have not exceeded seven years from matriculation or have qualified by examination for any other degree of the University and have not exceeded four years from matriculation or, not being graduates of the University, are pursuing a course of study leading to a postgraduate degree of the University and have not exceeded three years from their matriculation. An additional prize, of £350, may be awarded. The subject of the prize is ‘Your fetish-worship of mere liberty is […], just now, the gravest danger to you.'

Essays should be submitted, under a sealed cover marked ‘The Matthew Arnold Prize’, to the English Faculty Office, St Cross Building, Manor Road, Oxford OX1 3UL, not later than Monday of 7th week, Hilary Term 2019. Authors should conceal their names and identify their essays by a motto. The name, college, and date of matriculation should be submitted at the same time in a separate envelope with the same motto inscribed upon it. Essays are not expected to exceed 5,000 words, though no maximum length has been prescribed.

The prize will not be awarded twice to the same person.

In 2018, the Chancellor's English Essay Prize was awarded to Helena Kaznowska for her entry Making Her Mark: Owning, Using and Reading Printed Travel Literature.The judges would like to thank all those who entered.

 

The Chancellor's English Essay Prize, the value of which is £250, providing there is an entry of sufficient merit, is open to members of the University who on the closing date for receipt of essays have not exceeded four years from the date of their matriculation. The subject of the prize is: 'Disobedience.'

Essays should be submitted, under a sealed cover marked ‘Chancellor's English Essay Prize’, to the English Faculty Office, St Cross Building, Manor Road, Oxford OX1 3UL, not later than Monday of 8th week, Hilary Term 2019. Authors should conceal their names and identify their essays by a motto. The name, college, and date of matriculation should be submitted at the same time in a separate envelope with the same motto inscribed upon it. Essays should not exceed 12,500 words in length.

The prize will not be awarded twice to the same person.

In 2018, the Lord Alfred Douglas Memorial Prize was awarded to Harriet David for her poem 'History (Angelsey, 5 May '97)'. The judges would like to thank all who entered, and wish them luck in the future.

 

A prize of £500 will be awarded, providing there is an entry of sufficient merit, for the best sonnet or other poem written in English and in strict rhyming metre. Any member of the University, who is registered for a degree of the University, whether as an undergraduate or a graduate student, may enter for the prize. The prize shall not be awarded more than once to the same person. A copy of the winning entry shall be deposited in the Bodleian Library.

Poems (one copy) are to be sent under a sealed cover marked ‘The Lord Alfred Douglas Memorial Prize’ to the English Faculty Office, St Cross Building, Manor Road, Oxford OX1 3UL, no later than Monday of 1st week, Trinity Term 2019. Each author is required to conceal his or her name and to distinguish his or her composition by a motto, sending at the same time his or her name, college, address, and matriculation date in a separate envelope with the same motto inscribed upon it. No author may submit more than three entries.

In 2018, the Shelley-Mills Prize was not awarded; however, the judges would like to thank all those who submitted an entry, and wish them luck in the future.

 

This prize, the purpose of which is to promote the study of the works of William Shakespeare, providing there is an entry of sufficient merit, is open to members of the University who on the date of this supplement have not exceeded three years from matriculation; and who have not been a member of any other university for more than a year.

The value of the prize is about £80, and will be awarded for the best essay on the subject of: ‘Queer Shakespeare.'

The essays (which should consist of about 5,000 words) are to be sent under sealed cover marked ‘Shelley-Mills Prize’ to the English Faculty Office, St Cross Building, Manor Road, Oxford OX1 3UL, no later than Monday of 8th week, Hilary Term 2019. Candidates are required to conceal their names and distinguish their essays by a motto. The name and college of the candidate should be sent at the same time in a separate sealed envelope with the same motto inscribed upon it. Candidates must also submit a statement by the Head or Senior Tutor of their College that they have not been a member of any university other than Oxford for more than one year. Candidates should also include their matriculation date.

The winner for the English Poem on a Sacred Subject Prize in 2016 was Dr Tom Clucas for his entry 'Adumbrations'. The runner-up award was given to Andrew Wynn Owen, for his entry Rivers in the Dry. The judges would like to thank all those who entered.

 

The subject for the 2019 prize is: 'I am the true vine' (John 15.1).

The poem must consist of not less than sixty or more than 300 lines. It may be blank verse or in any form of verse rhymed in couplets or stanzas. There is a tradition which discourages dramatic form of composition for this prize.

Candidates for the prize (value of about £2,000) shall be members of the University who, not later than the closing date for entries for the competition, shall have qualified by examination for a degree of the University; or shall hold the Degree of Master of Arts by incorporation or by decree or by resolution; or shall hold the status of Master of Arts; or shall have qualified by examination for a degree of any other university. The judges may, at their discretion, also make an award to the proxime accessit. Should no such award be made the value of the main award will be increased.

Poems (four copies) are to be sent under a sealed cover marked ‘Sacred Subject Prize’ to the English Faculty Office, St Cross Building, Manor Road, Oxford OX1 3UL, no later than Monday of 8th Week, Trinity Term 2019. Each author is required to conceal his or her name and to distinguish his or her composition by a motto, sending at the same time his or her name, college, address and details of degree awarded (title, university and date, which the Faculty will require proof of, before award of the prize) in a separate envelope with the same motto inscribed upon it.

The prize may not be awarded more than twice to the same person.

The English Faculty and Wolfson College are delighted to announce this year's poetry competition for Oxford postgraduate students.

This competition has been set up in memory of the late Professor Jon Stallworthy (1935-2014), poet and Fellow of Wolfson College, and is open to any student currently enrolled in postgraduate studies at the University of Oxford. The funding for the prize has been provided by generous donations to the English Faculty and to Wolfson College, Oxford from Old Possum's Practical Trust and from the Derek Hill Foundation (with thanks to Lord Gowrie).

The prize will be awarded, provided there is an entry of sufficient merit, for the best poem in English verse not exceeding 40 lines in length on the subject of ‘Vestiges’. The value of the prize is £1,000, and entrants may submit up to three poems.

Poems (three copies) should be submitted, under a sealed cover marked ‘Jon Stallworthy Poetry Prize’, to the English Faculty Office, St Cross Building, Manor Road, Oxford OX1 3UL, not later than Friday of 8th week, Michaelmas Term 2018. Authors should conceal their names and identify their entries by a motto. The name, college, and date of matriculation should be submitted at the same time in a separate envelope with the same motto inscribed upon it.

The award ceremony will be held at Wolfson College on Friday 18 January 2019.

The winner for the Jon Stallworthy Poetry Prize in 2018 was Alexander Peplow, for his entry 'As Things Are.' The judges would like to thank all those who entered.

The following prizes are awarded for performance in an examination taken as part of academic studies.

 

Passmore Edwards Prizes for Classics and English

 

There are two prizes, each valued at £200. One will be awarded, if there is a candidate of sufficient merit, by the Examiner in the Preliminary Examinations in Classics and English to the candidate whose performance in that examination they judge the best.

 

The other prize will be awarded by the Examiners for the Final Honour School of Classics and English, to the candidate whose performance in that examination they judge the best. No special application is required for either prize.

 

Charles Oldham Shakespeare Prize

 

Two prizes will be offered, if there are candidates of a sufficient merit, each of a value of £250. The first shall be for the best performance in Course I Paper 1 of the Final Honour School in English and its associated Joint Schools (as judged by the board of examiners for the relevant School).

 

The second shall be for the best dissertation on a subject dealing with the works of Shakespeare submitted by a candidate for the MSt in English or for Transfer from PRS to DPhil status (as judged by the board of examiners for the MSt course).

 

The Mrs Claude Beddington English Literature Prize

 

The prize, value about £150, will be awarded, if there is a candidate of sufficient merit, by Examiner in the Preliminary Examinations in English Language and Literature in Trinity Term each year to the candidate whose performance in that examination, or in part 2 of the Preliminary Examination in English and Modern Languages in the same term, they judge to be the best. No special application is required.

 

Gibbs Prizes

 

A prize of £100 will be awarded for the ten best performances in Prelims.

 

Prizes will be awarded for the best performances in the following FHS papers:

 

  • Best Dissertation, Paper 7 - £200
  • Best Extended Essay, Paper 6 - £150
  • Best Overall Performance in Course I - £300
  • Best Overall Performance in Course II - £300
  • Best performance in a three-hour timed examination - £150
  • Eight further prizes will be awarded for Distinguished Performance - £150

The Swapna Dev Memorial Book Prize for the best doctoral thesis in English literature at the University of Oxford was established in 2018 according to the wishes of her husband, and supported by his generous gift. The prize honors the interest that Swapna Dev had in English literature.

 

Brief bio of Swapna Dev [1949-2001]

After receiving her B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from Delhi University, Swapna taught for many years on the B.A. Pass and Honors courses in English at the Jesus & Mary College, one of the leading colleges of Delhi University. After moving to the US, she became a visiting scholar in Folklore & Mythology at Harvard University from 1983 to 1985. At Harvard, Swapna worked on the metaphysical symbolism of Buddhist Stupas. Professor Hugh Flick was her tutor at Harvard.

A lot of Swapna's writings, articles ranging from her childhood  to diagnosis of her cancer, were discovered by her husband after her death. These were collected and published as a book titled, "Reminiscences of a Departed Soul," and is available from the publishing company, Blurb [US}.

Graduate Studentships

Details on studentships available for graduate study may be found here.

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