Best Student Paper Award 2023

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

General Terms and Eligibility

Authors who wish their papers considered for the Award must submit their full paper by the extended deadline date of 12noon on Friday 26th January 2024 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 (between 3,000 - 5,000 words excluding tables, figures and references). 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 who authored the winning paper feedback as peer reviewers, with a view to have it published as a DSAI Working 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 third level students (Undergraduate, Masters or PhD) who are members of DSAI;

  • We only accept Best Student Paper Award submissions from the main author of the paper, who must be a third level student;

  • The Best Student Paper Award submission can be a thesis or other text that was completed as course work since January 2021, however, it must adhere to the submission word count (3,000 - 5,000 words, excluding tables, figures and references).


  • 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 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 three judges, from the DSAI Steering Committee or broader membership.