Student Self-Nominated Prizes

Departmental Paper Prizes

Students can directly apply with ONE paper per prize category. One paper cannot be submitted for multiple prizes. You can submit different papers for different prizes. The paper must have been written in Spring 2023, Summer 2023, Fall 2023, and Winter 2024.

History of Science/Cold War/Military

Lawrence Badash Prize

The Lawrence Badash Prize recognizes the outstanding graduate student essay in history of science, technology or medicine in any era or geographical arena, or on weapons control. It honors Lawrence Badash, Professor Emeritus of the History of Science.

John Coleman Award

The John Coleman Award goes to the graduate student who wrote the best paper in Cold War history, international history or military history, the three fields that defined John Coleman’s career interests. John served in the military in Vietnam. He was a former journalist who traveled widely and returned to school to pursue a degree in international relations. The Hawaiian shirt was his trademark. After his premature death in 2003, John’s fellow graduate students urged the History Associates to establish this award in his honor.

Latin American History

Orozco Prize

Dr. Monica Orozco, who earned her PhD in Latin American history from UCSB in 1999, is Director of the Santa Barbara Mission Archive-Library. She established this award in 2011 to recognize the best paper on a historical subject in Latin American history produced by a graduate student in History or Latin American and Iberian Studies with a strong preference for pre-20th century Latin American topics.

European History

Ann & Stuart Rappaport Prize

Ann & Stuart Rappaport Prize for the best graduate research paper/article or dissertation chapter on any aspect of European History, including European imperial and/or other aspects of transnational European History from the 18th century to the present.  Papers are eligible which were completed during the previous or current academic year.

Best First Publication

Robert O. Collins

This prize was created by the department in 2008 to honor the memory of Prof. Robert O. Collins, who taught African History at UCSB from 1964 until his retirement in 1994. In recognition of his own lifelong commitment to research and publication, and with the support of a generous gift from Prof. Collins’ three children, the Robert O. Collins. Prize is awarded for the best first publication by a History graduate student.

Best Seminar Paper Written in Last Year

William H. Ellison

The William H. Ellison Prize, awarded in memory of William H. Ellison, Professor of History from 1925 to 1948, recognizes the best History graduate seminar paper, as determined by the History Prizes committee.

Required Materials:

  • Submission of paper(s) that have been written in Spring 2023, Summer 2023, Fall 2023, and Winter 2024
  • A cover sheet for each paper contextualizing the nominated paper in terms of your studies, research or dissertation
  • Faculty Advisor email of support (Please let your faculty advisor know what you applied for and to email Aidan Montgomery ( a memo of support by their April 10th, 2024 deadline.

Apply for any of the above paper prizes that applies to you, using this link:


Fellowship Prizes & Financial Aid

Research Fellowship                       

History Associates Graduate Fellowship Award

The History Associates, with advice from the History department, make awards each year to graduate students of particular merit at any stage in their graduate careers. Awards vary in amount, depending on need and circumstances.

Required Materials:

  • Description of the significance of the project that HA funds would be supporting. Be specific as your need and how this would support your PhD progress and how long your trip would last (one paragraph)
  • Detailed description of your expected expenses for your project
  • Disclosure of your primary source of funding
  • Updated Curriculum Vitae (one to two pages maximum, single-spaced)
  • Faculty Advisor email of support (Please let your faculty advisor know what you applied for and to email Aidan Montgomery ( a memo of support by their April 10th, 2024 deadline.

Social, Gender, and Sexualities History

Patricia Cohen Endowed Graduate Fellowship

The Patricia Cohen Endowed Graduate Fellowship was created in 2015 in honor of Emeritus Professor Patricia Cline Cohen, who is an internationally renowned scholar of the social history of the colonial and early national periods of the U.S., U.S. Women’s and Gender History, and the History of Sexualities.  The fellowship provides research travel money for graduate students working in the areas of social history, the history of gender and the history of sexualities.

Required Materials:

  • Submission of a formal letter to the Department’s Prize Committee, explaining your research, where you need to go, why and how this fellowship would be useful.

Financial Aid for Unusual Circumstances

Darcy Ruth Ritzau Graduate Student Award

The Darcy Ruth Ritzau Graduate Student Award was established by our former Graduate Program Assistant to help meet the needs of history graduate students who have unusual circumstances or financial needs that existing resources could not meet. Preference will be given to first-year students.

Required Materials:

  • Submission of a formal letter to the History Associates, addressing your circumstances or financial need so the HA can get a sense of your situation.

Apply for one of the above fellowship prizes and/or financial aid funds that applies to you, using this link: