Eligibility, Submission Materials & Selection Criteria

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


  • Award recipient must be an undergraduate, at the time of the award, who is pursuing a major in any field of Political Science, including–but not limited to–International Relations, Foreign Policy, International Organizations, Comparative Politics, Area Studies, Public Administration, Public Finance, Public Personnel Management, Public Law, and Public Policy.
  • Award recipients must be students currently enrolled full-time in a degree-seeking program at a college or university in the United States.
  • Work submitted must be single authorship, not accepted for publication elsewhere, attributable to the applicant or nominee
  • Work submitted must have been completed within the 12 months prior to the deadline.
  • Financial need is not a factor in awarding this prize.
  • Members of the Bert and Phyllis Lamb family are not eligible to apply.

Submission Materials

  • Completed Application Form or Nomination Form.
  • Letter of recommendation from a faculty advisor indicating satisfactory progress toward a degree in one of the fields of Political Science and supporting the application.
  • A single-spaced and typed précis of a paper describing the innovation or summary of the innovative paper. The précis must not exceed 600 words.
  • A double-spaced, typed paper no longer than 6,000 words in length, not including references.


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. Must be typewritten and in digital form

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.

We are not responsible for loss or damage of submissions.  Submission will not be returned; please retain a copy for your records.

Click Here to Download the Application Form

Click Here to Download the Nomination Form