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Here are a couple that I am aware of, as a grad student working in the HoP:





One consideration against applying for these as a grad student (or anyone needing to beef up their cv in a hurry) is that applicants' papers are simply accepted or rejected, with no reviewer comments or option to revise and resubmit. Also, the acceptance rates for these prizes are generally lower than they are for a regular submission, as far as I understand. So it can be a pretty big gamble in terms of your time, with nothing to show if you don't win except for lost time that the paper could have been reviewed (hopefully with helpful referee reports) as a regular submission.


If you're in a hurry, prizes are not ideal because they're slower to return verdicts--both on the initial win, and also on revisions for publication (sometimes these are separate processes, so it can add on a fair bit of time--I won a prize in 2018 that came with publication, but the publication came out in 2020).

But while I suppose that a publication in PhilReview or Noûs may do you more good than a prize publication in a good specialist journal or mid/lower-ranked generalist journal, you have to weigh your chances of landing that fish (also, for some of those journals, the time required to land it). Remember that when you win a prize (of this sort), you win both a solid publication *and* honours. In my book, that's a *very* good distinguishing factor.

I think it's worth pursuing prizes, especially early in one's career, and especially if one has lots of material out there. My experience has been that the competition for publication is in some ways easier: there's a reduced pool of applicants, sure, but also, the journal is committed to publishing something on the topic of the prize. In my experience, that can be a big hurdle, especially at generalist journals. It's also fairly common for the papers which came close to winning to be offered publication.

As a publication strategy, much the same is true of special issues and topical collections: the pool of papers is smaller than usual but also, crucially, the journal is committed to publishing several articles on the topic.

As for prizes, here are some that come with publication:


Journal of Social Ontology Essay Prize
Review of Metaphysics Essay Prize


British Society for Aesthetics Essay Prize (British Journal of Aesthetics)
Feminist Aesthetics Prize (Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism)
John Fisher Memorial Prize (Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism)
Philosophy of Memory Essay Prize (Review of Philosophy and Psychology)
Social Justice and the Arts Prize (Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism)

There are several more, but I can't remember them offhand. You'll see calls and announcements go out all the time on PHILOS-L, however.


Many prizes are not worth much. But some are. The PSA gives a prize, and winners of it are usually marked for a good career in philosophy of science. But if no one knows of the prize, then it is hardly worth fighting for. Just place your paper in the best journal you can. I once got a prize from my university, which came with $1000. I certainly appreciated the money, and the prize had some local prestige. But I do not even list it on my c.v. now. Its title is rather pretentious, which just highlights how unimportant it really is.

In a (temporary) non-academic position

Some prizes are fairly quick. Didn't get Res Publica's prize, but the decision of shortlisting and rejection both came well within the shorter side of reviewing time frame. The winning essay was in print the same year I think.


I’ve been the managing editor for an Oxford Studies journal, and helped manage the associated Sanders Prize. I’ve also submitted to two other Sanders Prizes, and refereed for a prize at Res Philosophica. Two comments on these prizes:

(1) The turnaround time is fast. This year, the winner of the Sanders Prize in epistemology was selected less than two months after their deadline. Last year, the Sanders Prize in philosophy of religion was also decided in less than two months. It does take awhile for these papers to officially appear in an issue of the relevant Oxford Studies, but you could conceivably be listing the paper as “forthcoming” in under two months.

(2) The competitiveness can be lower. For the Sanders Prize I helped manage, it was striking how uncompetitive it was. Sometimes there were only 50-60 submissions. Many were clearly unsuitable (e.g. papers from undergraduates, papers well outside the analytic tradition, papers from “independent scholars” without philosophical training). When I referred for another prize, I actually recommended rejection for a paper that ended up winning. So papers are held to lower standards than what they would be held to during normal peer review. They just have to be the best of what’s submitted. (Some prizes are explicit that they won’t award the prize if there isn’t a suitable winner, but I haven’t heard of any year where that has happened.)

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