Prizes, Grants, and Bursaries

 SIS Postgraduate Prize

The SIS Postgraduate Prize aims to raise the profile of Italian Studies at British and Irish Universities and to reward the excellent research being carried out in the discipline. The competition is open to postgraduates (MA, MPhil, PhD) in Italian Studies who submitted their dissertation/thesis in 2017, and passed the viva (even if with corrections) by the time of the application.
From 2018 two prizes are available: 1 prize of £100 for MA by Research dissertations and 1 prize of £200 for MPhil/PhD theses.

To be entered for the prize, candidates should submit their work to their supervisor:
i. MA by Research candidates should submit their dissertation as a pdf file (no more than 15,000 words in length), with word count.
ii. MPhil/PhD candidates should submit two pdf files. One will contain the title of the thesis, list of content, and a short abstract (max. two A4 pages) detailing the context and methodology of the thesis. The other file will present a piece of work (typically a chapter) of no more than 15,000 words in length, with word count.
In both cases, the submitted piece/s of work must be completed (not in draft form), unpublished, and not be under consideration for publication.
The deadline for submissions for this year’s prizes is 24 March 2018.
Submissions, which are made by the supervisor, and not directly by the author,  must be accompanied by a covering email confirming the degree for which the author was registered and when they completed it. We cannot accept entries without the covering email, nor resubmissions.
For practical reasons, the subject matter will be confined to the humanities and social sciences relating to Italy, from the Middle Ages to the present day. Work may be submitted in English or Italian. The judging panel will be made up of members of the SIS Executive Committee.
Entries must be sent by the supervisor to Dr Marina Spunta (SIS Prize Secretary) at

PREVIOUS YEARS’ WINNERS: The winner of the SIS Postgraduate Prize 2016/17 was Mical Nelken of UCL, whose dissertation on ‘Race and Identity in Republican Italian Schools, 1943-69’ was described  by the judges  as ‘outstanding’, showing great critical insight and an exceptional ability to articulate the present and future scope of the work for the discipline in general.

Postgraduate Student Bursary Fund

This fund is designed to support Postgraduate students by facilitating their attendance at UK and ROI conferences which are not directly funded by the Society for Italian Studies (i.e. bursaries are not available for the SIS Biennial or Interim Conferences). Bursaries are normally available for students giving a conference paper, but individual circumstances will be considered. In order to be eligible for a bursary, students must also apply to their home institution for funding and must have the support of their Head of Department. Please note that the requested amount for a bursary should not normally exceed £100. All applicants must be members of the Society for Italian Studies.

Postgraduate students wishing to apply for a bursary are required to submit their application form (MS Word/ PDF) to to the Research Officer, Dr Clodagh Brook ( by one of two deadlines each year: 15 December and 15 June.

British-Italian Society Rooke Memorial Prizes

The Society created the biennial Rooke Memorial Prize in 2002 to encourage the study of Italian language and culture at British universities both at undergraduate and postgraduate level. The awards have been made possible by the generous bequest of a long-standing British-Italian Society member, the late Rosemary Rooke.

Any university or academic institution in the UK may submit one candidate in each category following a preselection process conducted by their Department of Italian Studies or equivalent. Undergraduates submit a final year essay (up to 5,000 words) or dissertation (up to 10,000 words). Postgraduate entrants submit a dissertation or a chapter of an MPhil or PhD thesis (up to 20,000 words). The entries may be submitted in English or Italian. The subject matter is confined to the humanities and social sciences relating to Italy from the Middle Ages to the present day.

The most recent recipients of the prizes were:

For the Rooke Prize for Undergraduates :  Lucia Crowther of the University of Reading for her dissertation on ‘The Architectural Formalisation of Pilgrimage in the Portico of the Madonna di San Luca’.  The runners-up on the UG category were Melanie Sackett (Exeter) and Isabel Orange (Bristol).

For the Rooke Prize for Postgraduates : Marianna Griffini of the LSE for her work on ‘Colonial Hybridity in the Italian Community in Libya (1926-1970)’.  Runners-up in the PG category were Kate Willman (Warwick) and Stefano Bragato (Reading).