Alexander Prize


The Alexander Prize is awarded for an essay or article based on original historical research, by a doctoral candidate or those recently awarded their doctorate, published in a journal or an edited collection of essays.

The Prize was endowed in 1897 by L.C. Alexander, Secretary of the Society at its foundation in 1868 and a Life Member from 1870. The original endowment offered ‘to provide yearly a Gold Medal to be called The Alexander Medal’. The gold medal was later changed to a silver medal and now the successful candidate is awarded a prize of £250.

Alexander Prize Shortlist, 2023

Six articles / chapters have been shortlisted for the RHS Alexander Prize, 2023. Full details are available here, with this year’s winner to be announced on Friday 21 July.

Alexander Prize Winners, 2022

Congratulations to Dr Tamara Fernando and Dr Anna McKay who are the joint winners of this year’s Alexander Prize. Tamara’s article is: ‘“Seeing Like the Sea”: A Multispecies History of the Ceylon Pearl Fishery, 1800-1925’, published in Past and Present (February 2021). Anna’s article is: ‘”Allowed to Die?” Prison Hulks, Convict Corpses and the Enquiry of 1847.

How to enter the Alexander Prize, 2024

Submissions for the 2023 Prize have now closed (31 December 2022). Applications for the 2024 Prize will open in September. To be eligible for consideration for the prize:

  • Candidates must be doctoral students in a historical subject in a UK institution, or be within two years of having a submitted a corrected thesis in a historical subject in a UK institution at the time of the closing date for entries.
  • The article or essay must have been published in a journal or edited collection during the calendar year 2023 (for the 2024 prize round). Advanced access publisher versions are also eligible, but an item cannot be entered more than once in subsequent years
  • An electronic copy of the publisher’s version the article or essay will need to be uploaded to the entry form.

Timetable for submissions, 2024

  • Submissions for the 2024 Prize open: 1 September 2023. All submissions are via the RHS Prize Applications Portal.
  • Closing date for entries for the 2024 Prize: 31 December 2023.
  • Shortlist for the 2024 Prize announced: May / June 2023
  • Winner of the 2024 Prize announced: July 2023

All enquiries about the Prize should be addressed to the RHS. Please contact:

A list of previous winners of the Alexander Prize (1898-2022) is available here.