Eligibility, Submission Materials and Selection Criteria

Each year the Bert & Phyllis Lamb Prize in Political Science will be presented to an undergraduate who best combines innovation, breadth of knowledge, and good writing (engaging, concise and precise) in a paper related to Political Science.

2021 Lamb Prize Flyer 2


  • Award recipients must be currently enrolled full-time in a degree-seeking program at an accredited college or university in the United States or one of its territories
  •  Award recipient must be an undergraduate at the time of the application or nomination.
  • Work submitted must have been completed within the 12 months prior to the deadline.
  • Students who graduated in the Fall are eligible to apply for the Prize.
  •  Work submitted must be related to policy or politics such as Good Governance, Normative Political Theory, Political Science Research Methods, International Relations, Foreign Policy, International Organizations, Comparative Politics, Area Studies, Political Psychology, Domestic Policy, Public Administration, Public Finance, Public Personnel Management, Public Law, and Public Policy.
  • The paper must be single authorship, not accepted for publication elsewhere, attributable to the applicant or nominee.
  •  Financial need is not a factor in awarding this prize.
  •  Neither members of the extended Bert and Phyllis Lamb family nor family members of the Selection Committee are eligible to apply.


Successful submissions must meet the following criteria:

  1. Address a welldefined problem
  2. Describe a solution that fits the problem and can be judged (by the Selection Committee) to have worked or is likely to work on addressing the problem
  3. Present innovation via either a completely new or a unique application of a known effective approach
  4. Show a breadth of knowledge
  5. Consist of good writing
  6. The paper and abstract must be typewritten and in digital form. The paper must be double-spaced and not exceed 6,000 words (excluding “References”) and the abstract is limited to 400 words.

For the purpose of this prize, “innovation” includes, but is not limited to: creative expression and scholarship; research suggestive of new methodology; advances in conflict-resolution, institutional design, negotiation and political and policy-based solution; and original and inventive works (such as papers, projects, and research) that examine political issues.

For the purpose of this prize, “good writing” includes, but is not limited to: proper use of grammar; scholarly tone; communication that is specific to the problem; conventions that are correct and communicative; logical organization and clarity; and articulation of interesting and important ideas.

For the purpose of this prize, “breadth of knowledge” includes but is not limited to: consideration of the origins and attempts to deal with the problem; and evaluation of evidence-based information pertinent to the problem.

Submission Materials

  • Completed Application or Nomination Form.
  • A cover letter from the applicant formally submitting the application or a cover letter from the nominee formally accepting the nomination.
  • Letter of recommendation from a faculty advisor indicating (1) satisfactory progress toward an undergraduate degree and (2) support for the application.
  • A single-spaced and typed abstract of a paper describing the innovation or summary of the innovative paper. The abstract must not exceed 400 words.
  • A double-spaced, typed paper no longer than 6,000 words, not including references.
  • We are not responsible for loss or damage of submissions.  Submission will not be returned; please retain a copy for your records.

Nominations may be submitted by faculty, employers, or fellow students. 

Applications must be submitted by the student her- or himself.

Click Here to Download the Application Form

Click Here to Download the Nomination Form