African Studies Essay Competition

The Committee on African Studies at the University of Chicago invites senior undergraduate students to submit their BA thesis for consideration for the Distinguished Award for Undergraduate Research on Africa. This prize celebrates academic writing produced by a student as part of a BA project. It aims to distinguish original and thorough contributions to the analysis of African politics, economies, societies, and cultures, in the past or present.

Eligibility and requirements: Submissions must satisfy the requirements for a BA paper in the student’s major. Other writing samples, like course research papers, will not be considered. Only BA essays submitted for the current academic year are eligible. Submissions should not exceed 40 double-spaced pages.

Submission and deadline: The deadline for the 2015-16 award is Friday, May 13. Applicants should send an electronic version of the paper, along with a short letter describing their project and listing their BA advisers to Professor Emily Osborn ( and Professor François Richard (

Award announcement: The winner will be announced in early summer and awarded $500. If you have any questions please contact Professor Osborn or Professor Richard. For a sampling of previous BA topics that focused on Africa, click here.