Bloomsbury Academic and the Institute of Historical Research work together on an Inclusive Histories partnership that seeks to improve the publishing opportunities available for early-career history researchers from a diverse range of backgrounds. This annual initiative supports recent PHD students, from anywhere in the world, in developing their thesis into a Bloomsbury monograph. It offers an online workshop on how to develop a book proposal and the opportunity for shortlisted book proposals – selected by an IHR panel – to receive full peer review.

The most successful proposal will be awarded a project completion grant of £500 (to be spent as the author chooses, on resources or expenses to enable them to complete the book) in addition to a Bloomsbury contract. We hope that this initiative will also help all participants to strengthen their book proposals and move a step closer to publication. The initiative is open to recent PhD students who are not currently in full-time, permanent, academic positions.


We are dedicated to welcoming applications from all backgrounds and identities who have faced challenges in the early stages of their scholarly publishing career due to their: minoritized racial/ethnic or global majority background, ability (physical disability or neurodivergence), age, religion or belief, gender identity, sex, sexuality, class and/or socioeconomic background, caring responsibilities, geographical location.



What should the Proposal look like?

The Proposal will include the following. It should normally be a maximum of ten pages long.

1. Title and subtitle

2. Table of contents

3. Elevator pitch (@ 30 words)

4. Short overview (250-300 Words)

5. Detailed overview to include rationale, approach, main themes, objectives and a chapter by chapter synopsis.

6. Suggestions for reviewers


How you define ‘recent’ PhD students? /Is there an age limit for an early career researcher?

There is no cut-off date in terms of being a ‘recent’ PhD student (or age restriction). If you are early on in your career and think the initiative could benefit you then apply.

What is the length of the anticipated final manuscript?

Inclusive of notes and bibliographic material, we would expect projects to be no shorter than 70,000 words and no longer than 115,000 words.

I've already published some of my thesis in a journal article- can I still apply?

A few chapters in the monograph having been previously published in some form as journal articles will be absolutely fine. More than that may require discussion with the publisher.

When would I have to deliver the manuscript by?

Delivery of the manuscript would typically be around 1-2 years after a contract is agreed, but upwards of 5 years could be acceptable if discussed in advance.

My work straddles history, am I welcome to apply?

Applications from scholars whose work straddles history and another discipline(s) are welcome, though it may prove difficult to include colour illustrations without an external financial subsidy.

I'm employed by a University, can I still apply?

Those employed on teaching only contracts at a University are welcome to apply

We ask for suggestions for peer reviewers- do I need to approach them directly before applying?

Please do not approach potential peer reviewers directly. We just want suggestions for project reviewers and 2-3 suggestions will be fine.

Will this prize run annually?

Yes - the The Bloomsbury - IHR Inclusive Histories Initiative runs annually

Where do I submit my proposal?

Researchers should submit their proposal through the IHR submission portal

The closing date for submissions will be 23.59 p.m. (UK time) on 31st January 2024

Shortlisted applicants will be notified.

Catch up on the launch session
The Bloomsbury -IHR Inclusive Histories Initiative
Catch up on the January 2024 session

Apply now

Applications open until 31 January 2024

Applications open until 31 January 2024