Olena Palko Discussion


The Prize for Best First Book Proposal in Minority History will be launched by the BASEES Study Group for Minority History (SGMH) in September 2022 to recognise scholarly excellence among early career academics seeking to publish their original research with a major English-language academic press.

This biennial prize will be offered by the SGMH for a book proposal of high-quality dealing with any aspect of minority history (broadly defined) relating to Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe.

Proposal submissions will be scored by our expert committee against a set of criteria focusing on originality, academic rigour and historiographical significance. All nominations for consideration must be of a scholarly character and written in English; the prize will be awarded to those who can demonstrate the potential to make a major contribution to the field of minority history in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe.

Eligible nominations are singly- or jointly-authored proposals for a first monograph. Applicants must have already submitted their PhD thesis, or be close to submission, in order to qualify. Please note that proposals for edited collections with multiple authors are not eligible for this award scheme.

The expert committee pledges to provide extensive feedback and support to the winner in preparing their proposal for submission to a major academic press. The monetary value of the prize is £100 awarded to the winner by the SGMH.

The winner will be announced early in 2023 during the BASEES Annual Conference at the University of Glasgow.

The deadline for nominations is 15 January 2023.

The current regulations are as follows:

  1. The prize is offered every two years for a first book proposal focused on an aspect of minority history in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe.
  2. A nomination may take the form of a book proposal, usually authored by either one or two authors. Proposals for edited collections with multiple authors are not eligible for this award scheme.
  3. The deadline for submissions is 15 January. If a recommendation is made to do so, the prize will be announced at that year’s BASEES Annual Conference.
  4. Awards will be made by an expert committee who work closely with the BASEES Study Group for Minority History. Each member of the committee will be selected to represent the diversity, breadth and scholarly excellence of the discipline and our Study Group.

5.     Nominations should be sent to the Study Group email address ( as a single pdf file.

  1.  Nomination proposals must be submitted in English and consist of:

1)     A monograph proposal (of no more than 3 pages) outlining the following:

• The monograph’s suggested title.

• The rationale for the book, including a description of aims, scope, content and methodology: what is the central argument, or arguments, and what sort of contribution can this monograph make to the existing scholarship?

• Information on the intended audience and how the work differs from other books currently available in the field.

• A 300-word description of the book – similar to a synopsis (‘blurb’) that might appear on the back cover.

• A table of contents, with a short paragraph outlining each proposed chapter.

• The overall length of the projected or completed work in terms of word count, as well as the proposed number of illustrations, tables, figures and maps.


2)     Your curriculum vitae, including a full list of publications

3)    An article- or chapter-length academic writing sample, preferably from the proposed manuscript. In exceptional circumstances, the writing sample can be in a language other than English.


Please send any queries to:

The expert committee for the 2023 cycle consists of:


Raul Cârstocea, Maynooth University

Doina Anca Cretu, Masaryk Institute and Archives of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Samuel Foster, University of East Anglia

Siobhán Hearne, University of Durham

Olena Palko, University of Basel

Jan Rybak, Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism