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The Bennett Prospect Prize

2019 question:
‘Which single public health intervention
would be most effective in the UK?’

Open until 31 December 2019

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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 explore creative and generative solutions to a pressing public policy question of our age.

The winning entrant will receive:

  •  £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

Runners up will receive:

  • Publication in the Bennett Institute Public Policy series
  • A year’s subscription to Prospect

Winners and runners up will also receive an open invitation to the Bennett Conference at the University of Cambridge in April 2020.

2019 Question

The question we are posing this year is:

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

We invite essays of no more than 2,500 words on this topic, or films of no more than 10 minutes.

In your response justify and discuss the kinds of policies – old and new – which could address any of the major public health concerns in the UK today. This could include inequalities in life and healthy life expectancy, smoking, air pollution, childhood obesity, mental health, and anti-microbial resistance. Your question can approach any subject, and we look forward to hearing your unique take and opinion for your chosen intervention.


To be eligible an applicant should be within five years either of having submitted their PhD or of starting work in a policy focused career. Applicants should not be in possession of a tenured academic position.

We welcome submissions from any public policy researcher or professional of any nationality, based anywhere worldwide as long as the answer responds to this year's question.

Eligibility queries: If you have a question about your eligibility email to discuss this with the team.

How to apply

Applicants should submit their entries to match the following criteria:

  • The essay or film should directly address the question which has been asked for this year’s competition
  • Applicants must communicate their proposal in a clear and arresting manner
  • Essay submissions should be no longer than 2,500 words (as a word document)
  • Video presentation submissions should last no longer than ten minutes (accompanied by no more than two pages of explanatory notes)
  • All submissions must be in English

Please submit with a coversheet containing:
The title of the entry, type of submission, your name, contact details and email, current profession or area of study, brief biography and eligibility. 

Download the application form here

Please include the title of the work on each page of the submission, but do not include your name as entries will be judged anonymously.

Closing date

Applicants must submit their entries by the 31st of December 2019.
Email applications to .

All entries will be judged by an expert panel, with the winner and runners up announced in spring 2020.


Co-authoring – in addition to applications from individuals we will also accept co-authored papers. All authors must meet the application criteria for early career policy researchers or professionals. Please be aware if you co-author the prize funds will be split between the authors.

Deadline – The deadline for entering your essay or film is 31 December.

Travel – As entries will be judged as received, you will not need to travel for adjudication or to receive your prize. However, winners and runners-up will receive an open invitation to the Bennett Conference in April 2020.

Why are overseas applications allowed when the question looks at the UK? – Medicine and healthcare is an international field, we recognise researchers often move between countries and may have in-depth knowledge of the health system in UK even if they are not currently based here. As such we welcome applications from any early career public policy researcher or professional wherever they are based and of any nationality.