Robson History Prize

The Robson History Prize is an annual competition for Year 12 or Lower 6th students. The Prize was established in 2007 in memory of the historian Robert Robson, who was for many years a Fellow and Tutor at Trinity. The aims of the Robson Prize are twofold: firstly, to encourage ambitious and talented Year 12 or Lower Sixth students considering applying to university to read History or a related discipline; and secondly, to recognize the achievements both of high-calibre students and of those who teach them.

The competition is still planned to go ahead, notwithstanding the closure of UK schools announced on 18 March 2020.

The list of questions for the 2020 competition is available here.  

Essays must be between 2,000 and 3,800 words long, on a topic to be chosen from the list of questions. We encourage you to provide references to your sources of information, and to include a bibliography at the end of the essay.  Each entrant may submit a single essay.

Submissions must be made by 12 noon (UK time) on 1 May 2020.  Please submit essays using the form below.  (Note: this instruction was updated in late March in response to the coronavirus crisis.  We no longer ask you to send your essay in hard copy.)  We hope to announce results by the end of June.

The competition carries a First Prize of £600, to be split equally between the candidate and their school or college (the school or college’s portion of the prize to be issued in the form of book tokens with which to buy history books), and a Second Prize of £400, which again is to be shared equally between the candidate and their school or college. In addition, further outstanding essays will be highly commended.

Queries from students or teachers of students intending to submit an essay may be directed by e-mail to Dr Richard Serjeantson at robson.prize@trin.cam.ac.uk.

Admissions - Robson History Prize

  • About you

  • About your school

  • Your Entry

  • Accepted file types: doc, docx, pdf.
  • 1. I hereby agree that for educational/non-commercial purposes the College may use the Recordings (transcribed or otherwise) and may use the essay I submit (‘Essay’) (with due acknowledgement of my authorship) throughout the world for the full period of copyright, including all renewals, reversions, extensions and revivals of such period, in the following ways: a) storing, publishing or transmitting the Recordings and/or the Essay in College internal archives and databases; and b) exhibiting, publishing or transmitting the Recordings and/or the Essay in print, on DVD or other digital media and on the Internet at College websites and College-affiliated websites; and c) distributing the Recordings and/or the Essay to the press, media organisations and other interested parties for publication, transmission or broadcast.] 2. The information provided in this form is used for the administration of the Robson History Prize and is managed and stored in accordance with UK Data Protection regulations http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/univ/information/dpa/. 3. This agreement shall be governed in all respects by English law.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

How information about you will be used

Your email address will only be used for the purposes of contacting you in regards to your submission . It will not be used for any other reason or given or sold to any other company or organization.

Past Robson Prize-winners

2019

1st Prize: Miss Geena Dhillon (The Heathland School)
2nd Prize: Miss Phoebe Hall (Ripon Grammar School)

2018

1st Prize: Miss Jennifer Smith (Aldridge School)
2nd Prize: Mr Dylan Clarke (Lutterworth College)

2017

1st Prize: Mr Alex Vinen (Westminster School)
2nd Prize: Miss Anna Brady (Sheringham Sixth Form)

2016

1st Prize: Miss Alexa Stanger (St Paul’s Girls’ School)
2nd Prize: Mr Luke Hallam (Durham Johnston Comprehensive School)

2015

1st Prize: Mr Patrick Hudson (The King’s School, Chester)
2nd Prize: Miss Kathleen Mitchell-Fox (The Marlborough Science Academy, St Albans)

2014

1st Prize: Miss Poppy Freeman-Cuerden (Finham Park School)
2nd Prize: Miss Eleanor Smith-Hahn (Westminster School)

2013:

1st Prize: Mr M Rees (St John the Baptist High School, Aberdare)
2nd Prize: Miss H Gass (The Queen’s School, Chester)

2012:

1st Prize: Mr S Galimberti (International School, Milan)
2nd Prize: Mr S Lock (King’s College School, Wimbledon)

2011:

1st Prize: Mr C. Easton (Newcastle College)
2nd Prize: Mr D. MacDonald (Sgoil Lionacleic, Isle of Eriskay)

2010:

1st Prize: Mr P. Hoffman (Stonyhurst College)
2nd Prize: Mr C. Humphreys (Bolitho Sixth Form College)

Four others were commended: Mr T. Gibbs, Miss N. Rainey, Mr R. Smith and Mr C. Wilson.
There were 134 applicants.

2009:

1st Prize: Mr Aaron Taylor (Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys School)
2nd Prize: Ms Louisa Caines (Cheltenham College)

2008:

1st Prize: Mr Josh Mills (Nottingham High School)
2nd Prize: Mr Christopher Bond (Cheltenham College)

2007:

1st Prize: Mr Ben Slingo (Bedford School)
2nd Prize: Ms Nisadha Bandara (Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls)