Published on 6 December 2021
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Bennett Prospect Public Policy Prize question announced

The Bennett Institute for Public Policy, in partnership with Prospect, encourages early career researchers and policy professionals to explore this year's Public Policy Prize question for the opportunity to win £5,000.

In these unprecedented times, the Bennett Institute for Public Policy at the University of Cambridge, in partnership with Prospect magazine, is calling for innovative ideas and generative solutions to this year’s Public Policy Prize question:

“What is a 21st century civil service for?”

The challenges of contemporary governance have rarely been greater. Governments across the globe are having to wrestle with extraordinary complexity in real time, at high speed, with imperfect information and low tolerance for error.

“Calls for civil service reform are frequent, and the criticisms strident, as government institutions have grappled with the extraordinary pressures of a global pandemic and the aftermath of Brexit. Amidst these challenges, there has been little chance to ask more fundamental questions. This year’s prize provides a timely opportunity to step back and ask what a cutting-edge, twenty-first century civil service should actually look like and what we want it to do,” said Grube.

The winner will receive £5,000, the possibility of sharing their thinking with influential stakeholders, publication by the Bennett Institute and Prospect, and an invitation to participate in the Bennett Institute Annual Conference. The two runners-up will each receive £1,000.

Early career researchers and policy professionals from any discipline and any nationality are invited to submit their answer in the form of a short essay or film. These will be seen by a high-profile judging panel including former cabinet secretaries Gus O’Donnell and Richard Wilson, the chair of the National Audit Office Dame Fiona Reynolds, new Prospect editor Alan Rusbridger and co-directors of the Bennett Institute, Professor Diane Coyle and Professor Dennis C. Grube.

The principle aim of the Bennett Prospect Public Policy Prize is to showcase the thinking of early career policy researchers’ ideas on some of the big challenges of our turbulent times. The Bennett Institute is committed to bringing findings and insights generated by rigorous inter-disciplinary research to the attention of a wide, policy-engaged audience.

The Bennett Prospect Prize is open for submissions until Thursday 31 March 2022 with the winners to be announced in May 2022.

Find out more and enter


Image: Pres Panayotov/Shutterstock. Courtesy of Prospect.

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