The Society for the History of Discoveries announces its 2021 Student Prizes for best graduate and undergraduate student research papers in the history of geographic discoveries. Founded in 1960, the purpose of the Society is to stimulate teaching, research, and publishing in the history of geographical exploration. We now call for research papers on voyages, travels, biography, history, cartography, the technologies of travel, the impact of travel and cultural exchange, and other aspects of geographic discovery. The primary purpose is to enlighten the reader about some aspect of the geographic exploration of our physical world.

The awardee in the graduate student category will receive a prize of $500.00 (US) and the awardee in the undergraduate category will receive a prize of $250 (US). Both winners will be invited to present a version of the paper at the annual meeting of the Society for the History of Discoveries.  Information about participation in the conference will be provided to the awardee upon notification of the award, including details concerning costs and travel funding.  Acceptance of the prize is not contingent upon your ability to attend the conference.  Additionally, the awardee will be invited to submit the winning paper to the society's peer reviewed journal, Terrae Incognitae, for which it will undergo the usual review process prior to formal acceptance for publication, of which there is no guarantee.



Areas of eligible research include:  voyages of exploration, travel narratives, biography relevant to the history of discoveries and exploration, history, cartography, the technologies of travel, impact of travel and cultural exchange, and other aspects of geographic discovery and exploration.

Who is Eligible:  Students from any part of the globe currently enrolled in a college or university degree program and who will not have received a doctoral degree prior to 1 June of the submission year. 
Note:  Graduating high school or college students accepted into a program but who do not begin classes until fall of the submission year are NOT eligible.

The Research Paper:  An eligible research paper shall be original and unpublished, written in English, between 3,000 and 8,000 words, plus footnotes or endnotes.  Papers written for college or university class assignments are encouraged, but students may write specifically for this prize.  A reasonable amount of illustrative and tabular material will be welcome, but is not required.

Evaluation Criteria:

All papers will be evaluated by a panel of judges from the Society for the History of Discoveries. New in 2021, the Society will award two prizes: one for the best graduate student research paper and one for the best undergraduate research paper. The panel's decision will be final and will be announced on the SHD website after July 15.  The committee reserves the right to award no prizes based on the quality of the submissions, and in the event of a tie in either category, the committee may decide to award more than two prizes.

Specific criteria:
*    Originality
*    Contribution to new knowledge or insights
*    Relevance to the subject
*    Cogency of the argument and appropriateness of the documentation
*    Quality of writing (including grammar and spelling, as well as style)

For more information on paper requirements please visit 


Submission Deadline:  1 June
Electronic submissions only to:
Dr. Anne Good, committee chair: <> Subject line:  SHD Student Prize

Questions?  Contact Dr. Good, committee chair