Bennett Prospect Public Policy Prize

Explore creative solutions to a pressing
public policy question of our time.

The Bennett Prospect Prize for Public Policy is awarded by the Bennett Institute for Public Policy at the University of Cambridge and is held in partnership with Prospect magazine. The goal is to encourage early career researchers and policy professionals to enter a short essay or film that explores creative solutions to a pressing public policy question of our age.

Question for the Bennett Prospect Public Policy Prize 2020/21: Is it possible to govern well in the age of populism?

Congratulations to the winner and two finalists of this year's Bennett Prospect Public Policy Prize
Read more about the finalists' entries
Congratulations to the following shortlisted entrants
  • Tom Arnold, Research Associate, University of Liverpool - "Institutional shock absorbers: decentralising governance in the age of populism"
  • Rachel Bruce, Civil Servant, UK Government's Policy Lab - "Is it possible to govern well in the age of populism?"
  • Jon Guest, Senior Economic Policy Manager, Sheffield City Region Mayoral Combined Authority - "The Doncaster Canary & Hartlepool Monkey: Local experiences of governing well under populism"
  • Keegan McBride, Postdoctoral Researcher, Hertie School, Germany - "Happiness, Equality, and Participation: What can Bhutan, New Zealand, and Estonia teach us about how to govern in the time of populism?"
  • Phalasha Nagpal, Assistant Consultant, Oxford Policy Management - "Collaborating with political leaders and citizenry is the key to good governance in an age of populism"
  • Rishan Sathasivam, Independent Policy Researcher / Technology and Social Policy, Sri Lanka - "Good Governance and Populism in the Developing World"
  • Masibulele Zonyana, Head: Public Employment & Skills Development, City of Cape Town - "Is it possible to govern well in the age of populism? Yes under the following conditions"

Read more about the shortlisted entries

Judges for 2020/21 entries:
  • Professor Diane Coyle, Bennett Institute, University of Cambridge
  • Professor Michael Kenny, Bennett Institute, University of Cambridge
  • Professor David Runciman, Professor of Politics at the University of Cambridge, and host of the Talking Politics podcast
  • Tom Clark, Editor, Prospect Magazine
The winner receives:
  •  £10,000
  • Publication in the Bennett Institute Public Policy series
  • Publication online in Prospect
  • An introduction to a leading policy practitioner to discuss how the winning idea might be brought into practice
All finalists receive:
  • Publication in the Bennett Institute Public Policy series
  • Invitation to the Bennett Institute’s annual conference 
  • A year’s subscription to Prospect
Entry process: 

We welcome submissions in the form of a 2,500 word essay or a short film of no more than 10 minutes from any early career researcher or policy professional of any nationality, based anywhere worldwide as long as they can answer the question and meet the following eligibility criteria.

Eligibility:
  • Within five years of having submitted a PhD and started a research based career OR
  • Within five years of starting work in a policy focused career
  • Within five years of starting work in a policy focused career but undertaking part-time post graduate studies
The following are NOT eligible:
  • Current full-time Undergraduate, Masters, PhD and DPhil students
  • Holder of a tenured academic position
  • Current and former affiliates of the Bennett Institute for Public Policy
Further eligibility guidelines:
  • Co-produced entries will be accepted subject to both parties meeting the full eligibility criteria
  • Work must be previously unpublished and unplagiarised
  • Previous Bennett Prospect Prize entrants/finalists may enter 

Tips for entering 

Professor Michael Kenny shares his thoughts on what makes a winning Bennett Prospect Prize entry. Read blog.

Previous winners

Former Bennett Prospect Prize winners share their tips for entering and what they are doing now. Read here 


2019/20 Question

"Which single public health intervention would be most effective in the UK?"

Read the 2019/20 winner and finalist essays


2018/19 Question

“What kinds of policies will enable left behind places to catch-up?”

Read the 2018/9 Winner and Finalist essays