Prizes for the Teaching of History at UK Universities

Following the success in 2018 of the inaugural Jinty Nelson Award for Inspirational Teaching and Supervision in History, introduced to mark our 150th anniversary year, the Royal Historical Society is delighted to announce that from 2019 it will be awarding two prizes for the teaching of History at Universities in the UK.

Each prize is an opportunity to recognise academic historians who are making a significant contribution to excellence in undergraduate or postgraduate teaching and supervision. Each acknowledges that the continuing strength of history as a discipline depends on the enthusiasm, passion, and creativity of University teachers of History.

The Jinty Nelson Award for Inspirational Teaching and Supervision in History

The Jinty Nelson Award for Inspirational Teaching and Supervision in History is named in honour of the Society’s first female President. It rewards outstanding and sustained commitment to supervision and in particular those who are inspiring the next generation of historians to excel, whether by undergraduate or postgraduate teaching. Potential nominees might be those whose research mentoring has encouraged new networks and communities of scholars to excel, often beyond the nominees’ own institution.

The prize marks Jinty Nelson’s outstanding contribution to the field in nurturing and training new generations of historians, through her own teaching and through her generosity in supporting and mentoring younger scholars.

One award of £1,000 will be made each year in July, usually to an individual historian.

This award is named after the Society’s first female President, Professor Dame Jinty Nelson

The Royal Historical Society Innovation in Teaching Award

The Royal Historical Society Innovation in Teaching Award is focussed on excellence in teaching at either undergraduate or postgraduate level. Potential applicants may, for example, be individuals or groups of scholars working in collaboration, whose teaching has opened up the use of research materials by undergraduate or postgraduate students, or who have fostered new and original approaches to the discipline. Their achievements might include inspirational teaching, or the exemplary development of new teaching methods, modules or degrees. It might also include those whose teaching of Undergraduate or Masters-level Historians has expanded to include engagement outside the classroom or the University.

One award of £1,000 will be made each year in July, either to an individual or to a group of historians working in collaboration. A short account of the programme of work for which the award was conferred, agreed with the winner, will be posted on a dedicated section of the Society’s website.

For both prizes: Two nominators are required (not more) and must include both a Fellow of the Society and a student or former student of the nominee(s).

Nominators should provide a statement in not more than 1000 words, and must include evidence from others. This might, for example, take the form of peer review, student feedback, evidence of impact beyond a single programme or university, evidence of impact on students’ later development, or some form of institutional recognition such as a teaching prize.

2019 Prizes

Closing date for entries: 30 April 2020

All enquiries about the Prizes should be addressed to the Administrative Secretary, Imogen Evans, at:

Submit nomination.

The Society is delighted to announce the award of the first Jinty Nelson Prize for 2018 to Dr Julie Anderson (University of Kent)

The judges commented:

Dr Anderson is an outstanding undergraduate teacher of history and a creative and highly effective supervisor of postgraduate historians in her field. Her enthusiasm for her subject is clearly infectious, and she has inspired a whole cohort of students to work with her, studying the history of modern medicine and disabilities in both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. The panel particularly liked the way she breaks down the daunting task of completing a doctorate into manageable steps or ‘milestones’, building both students’ confidence and their theoretical and transferable skills. Thus her PhD students are encouraged to maintain a clear schedule for researching and writing the thesis, but also to publish a book review, give conference presentations each year, submit an article for publication in year two, undertake placements and outreach activities outside academia, and train to teach undergraduates. The collaborative and supportive atmosphere she has established – combined with her sensitivity to the mental, and emotional struggles of postgraduate work – is much appreciated by her students and colleagues and will be an inspiration to others. In sum, her work provides a template of excellent supervision and teaching.