The IALS PhD Thesis Book Prize

The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies is pleased to announce its PhD Thesis Book Prize, the winner of which is awarded a publishing contract for their doctoral thesis to be published as an ‘open access’ monograph.

The competition for the IALS PhD Thesis Prize is an exciting opportunity for researchers whose doctoral thesis has been awarded in the preceding two years.

This book prize is an initiative of the IALS Open Book Service for Law, an open access monograph imprint of the School of Advanced Study, University of London. Accordingly, the open access monograph series has the stature of ‘traditional’ academic publishing: the editorial board comprises distinguished legal scholars and law librarians, with Richard Hart (of Hart Publishing) as consulting editor. The winner will be awarded a publishing contract for their doctoral thesis to be published as an ‘open access’ monograph under a creative commons licence (i.e. free to download but with ‘print on demand’ options available to purchase for a price).

Eligibility: Doctoral thesis in law which has been conferred in the preceding 2 years (after 1 Nov 2015 and before 1 Nov 2017).

The competition opened on 16th November 2017 at the launch of IALS Digital as part of the IALS@70 anniversary celebrations. The current competition is open to an eligible PhD in law from any institution (London, UK and potentially wider).

The closing date for submissions is 31st October 2018.

A shortlist of the 4-5 best submissions will be announced early in 2019.

The prize will be awarded in spring 2019. One to three prizes will be awarded annually.


How to apply

Please register online and complete the proposal form.

Your application will need to include:

  • An abstract of the thesis/proposed book (up to 300 words)
  • a brief statement of any revisions undertaken and of any proposed revisions; it is your choice whether to submit sample chapters unaltered from the successful thesis or as revised
  • Confirmation that the work is not currently under consideration by any other publisher.
  • Indication whether the doctoral thesis is already available on OA institutional repository or pending + provide the relevant URLs.
  • Indication if any part of the work has been published elsewhere (e.g. as part of another book or as journal article etc.)


Please email as attachments:

  • PhD examiners’ report required as part of submission
  • 2-3 sample thesis chapters selected by you to best represent your work

Criteria for selection

The Judging Panel (drawn from the IALS Open Book Service for Law Editorial Board and Advisory Board) will be looking for original work of legal scholarship or scholarship in a strongly related cognate field, with the potential to set the scholarly agenda and also to reach a wider audience of readers.

  • First stage: blind review of submissions to reach shortlist of 4/5.
  • Second stage: review and selection of one to three winners


Page last updated: 22nd February 2018