The Olivette Otele Prize

The Olivette Otele Prize will be awarded annually for the best paper submitted to the History Lab Postgraduate Research Seminar by a Black PhD research student based in the UK.

About the Olivette Otele Prize

About this award:
History Lab is delighted to announce the creation of a new annual prize for Black PhD research students based in the UK. The aim of the prize is to address intersectional challenges in academia and to diversify the early career voices in historical research today. The prize is named in honour of Professor Olivette Otele in recognition of her scholarly achievements in the history of race and slavery, and her appointment as the first Black female History Professor at a UK Higher Education Institution. The prize winner will present their paper at History Lab’s Seminar in the Summer.

Area of Research:
Any era and topic within the historical discipline. 

First prize:
The prize winner will receive an award of £500 and must present their paper as part of History Lab’s postgraduate conference. 

Runner-up prizes:
Four runners up will be selected to receive book vouchers of £50 each. 

Eligibility and Application

Applicants must be current Black PhD research students and they must be enrolled at a UK Higher Education Institution.

Judging Criteria:
The winner will be selected by a panel of HL committee members and a representative of the Institute of Historical Research, based on the academic merit of their paper, including the contribution it makes as innovative and transformative research.


  • Applicants are asked to submit an abstract of no more than 500 words with a 1-page CV to the History Lab committee by 19 December 2022.
  • Five abstracts will be selected, and their authors notified by 16 January 2023.
  • The five finalists will then be invited to submit a full paper of between 6,000-8,000 words by 27 March 2023.

The prize winner and runners-up, judged on the final papers, will be announced in 2023. Please include with your application a statement confirming that you meet the eligibility criteria.

Enquiries and submissions should be directed to History Lab with the subject ‘Olivette Otele Prize’.