Best Student Paper Award

The DSAI are committed to recognising the work of outstanding student researchers. Each year the association makes a Best Student Paper Award.  The award started in 2015.

General Terms and Eligibility

Authors who wish their papers considered for the Award must submit their full paper by the 12 noon Thursday 10 December 2020 to Please put 'Student Award' in the email subject field. Please title the attachment 'Student Award'.

The prize for Best Student Paper Award is awarded on the basis of a written paper (minimum 3000 words). This prize will be to the value of €300 and two faculty members, drawn from the DSA Ireland membership or steering committee, can give the student feedback as reviewers on publication or further dissemination of the paper. The written papers will be scored according to the following criteria:

Judging criteria

Innovation (40)

Originality of contribution with an emphasis on the paper’s innovativeness in one or more of the following areas:

(i) theoretical development;

(ii) empirical results or;

(iii) policy development

Argument (30)

Quality of argument incorporating:

(i) critical analysis of theories and findings; and

(ii) coherence of argument

Positioning (20)

Clear positioning of paper in existing international literature with a strong conclusion(s). The findings of the paper should be significant or have the potential for meaningful impact.

Writing Style (10)

Writing style will be judged for accuracy, clarity, readability. The structure and organisation of the paper will also be judged.

The student paper with the highest overall score from the external judge will be awarded the prize. In the case of a tie the prize will be jointly awarded and the prize money split evenly between the two recipients.

General Terms and Conditions


  • The award is open to all post-graduates who submit a paper regardless of their country of origin or their position within the DSA Ireland organization;

  • The main author of the paper must be a post-graduate. A post-graduate may submit co- authored papers where the co-authors do not hold a PhD. Co-authored papers with faculty members are not eligible for consideration;

  • A written paper (minimum 3,000 words) must be submitted at least a week in advance of the oral presentation strictly adhering to the format of a conference paper submission.

  • Submitting a paper to the DSA Ireland Best Student Paper Award competition, does not preclude its consideration for other prizes, such as the Robert Chambers Award.


  • The judges' decision is final;

  • The judges reserve the right not to award the prize, where they unanimously agree that no paper meets the criteria;
  • Authors should not contact with judges regarding the paper before the prize is awarded. If influence is exerted, the paper will be deemed ineligible for the award.

Judging panel

  • The judging panel consists of two internal judges, from the DSAI Steering Committee or broader membership. The internal judges shortlist two candidates to put forward for each award. An external judge then scores each shortlisted candidate against the above criteria, to determine a winner. The external judge is drawn from the group of keynote speakers at that year’s annual conference.

  • Post-graduate members of the DSA Ireland organisation are not eligible to serve on the judging panel of the DSA Ireland Best Student Paper Award competition.