Holsti Prize in Political Science and Public Policy

What is the Holsti Prize?

Duke University Libraries awards the Ole R. Holsti Prize for excellence in undergraduate research using primary sources for political science or public policy.

In these fields, primary sources include (but are not limited to):

  • data sets
  • government documents
  • first-person accounts
  • public opinion polls
  • contemporaneous news

There are two categories: undergraduate semester-long paper, and thesis written for Graduation With Distinction.

Each Prize carries a $1,000 cash award. Ole R. Holsti, George V Allen Professor Emeritus of Political Science, provided funding for this award.  

Who can apply?

Any undergraduate student who uses primary sources to complete a paper for a political science or public policy course, thesis or semester-long independent study can apply for the Holsti Prize. The current round is for papers written during Summer 2014 through Spring 2015.

What makes a prize-winning paper?

Papers shall be judged based on students’ effective use of primary sources and research procedures, as evidenced by the following:

  • sophistication or unusual depth or breadth in the identification, evaluation and use of primary sources
  • exceptional ability to integrate primary sources in a research project that shows originality and the potential to contribute to scholarship in the field
  • excellent writing style and thorough documentation

What are the application guidelines?

Read our application guidelines for more information and to access forms for submitting your paper.