The Society awards two prizes annually for teaching and supervision 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. The prizes acknowledge that the continuing strength of History as a discipline depends on the enthusiasm, passion, and creativity of university teachers of History.
Winners of the RHS Teaching Awards, 2022
Many congratulations to Dr Peter Good (University of Kent) who was announced, on 22 July, as this year’s winner of the Jinty Nelson Award for Inspirational Teaching and Supervision, for his development of courses in Middle Eastern and Indian Ocean history. The judging panel praised Peter as:
a passionate and inspirational educator … who has deployed a variety of innovative pedagogies and student-centred approaches to inspire and engage a more diverse set of undergraduates and postgraduates to study the Indo-Arab world.
Congratulations also to Dr Rosalind Crone (Open University) who was named Winner of the RHS Innovation in Teaching Award for 2022 for her course ‘Exploring the History of Prisoner Education’.
Rosalind has created new learning opportunities for prisoners and prison staff, bridging the gap between pedagogic and academic theory and practice. The use of outreach work to improve prison education demonstrates a high level of innovation working with a marginalised group of students.
And to Dr Michael Barany (University of Edinburgh), Runner-Up in the 2022 Innovation Award, for his development of combined BA and MA courses in the history and historiography of science.
Michael uses many innovative approaches in teaching, learning and assessment to make the history of science accessible to students in more than 100-degree programmes across his university. He has decoded the difficulties and bottlenecks in studying what is often perceived to be difficult subject matter.
Details of all recipients and runners-up for the 2022 Prizes and Awards are available here.
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, Professor Dame Janet (Jinty) Nelson FBA.
It rewards outstanding and sustained commitment to supervision, and in particular those who are inspiring the next generation of historians to excel through 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 her generous support of younger scholars.
One award of £1,000 will be made each year in July, usually to an individual historian.
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 the Society’s website.
How to apply for both prizes
- Those wishing to be considered for one of the prizes are asked to self-nominate, with all applications supported by a referee.
- Applications should be from nominees who believe they have made a significant contribution to excellence in undergraduate or postgraduate teaching and supervision in UK Universities.
- Please provide a short account (750 to 1000 words) of the programme of work or pedagogic initiatives for which the award is to be conferred: please make clear what is innovative, inspiring and exemplary about your approach to teaching
- Applications must also be supported by a statement from someone who has knowledge of your teaching experience. Your referee may be resident in the same institution as the applicant, but this is not a requirement. The recommendation must testify to the quality of the applicant’s contributions to historical pedagogy.
- Applicants must include evidence from others, which might take the form of peer review, student feedback, evidence of impact on students’ later development or some form of institutional recognition such as a teaching prize.
If you are unsure which prize to apply for, bear in mind that the Nelson prize is more likely to be awarded to someone who has a long-established record of mentoring and supporting the next generation of professional historians.
Timetable for submissions, 2023 awards
- Submissions for the 2023 Prize open: 1 January 2022. All submissions are via the RHS Prize Applications Portal.
- Closing date for entries for the 2023 Prize: 23 May 2023.
All enquiries about the Prize should be addressed to the RHS. Please contact the Membership and Administration Officer at: firstname.lastname@example.org
A list of past winners of the Jinty Nelson and Innovation in Teaching Awards are available here.