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The Lucy Cavendish Environmental Essay prize is for an original essay on any topic concerning the environment.

Lucy Cavendish students from all subjects are eligible and environment is broadly defined to include scientific, social scientific and humanities work on climate and ecology of any region or historical period and in relation to any social group.

Essays should be original work of not more than 2000 words exclusive of footnotes and figures. Work completed during the course of your studies (including supervision essays, dissertations, and coursework) is permissible so long as you follow any rules set by your faculty regarding the submission of assessed work for prizes.

A £100 prize will be awarded to the winning UG and PG essay. The winning students will receive an invitation to the Fiction Prize award ceremony in May, where the winning entry will be announced.

The panel of judges will include College Fellows conducting research on climate change.

Entries for the Prize are open. The deadline to enter is Friday 15th March 2024.

Read about the 2023 student prizes winners here

Please submit your essay to

Dr Liam Saddington - Director of Studies in Geography

Liam is a political and environmental geographer whose research focuses on the geopolitics of climate change concerning small island states and rising sea levels. His work explores how the relationship between territory and statehood is being reimagined in low-lying atolls in light of rising sea levels. It examines how space and time shape understandings of climate change and the implications for critical geopolitics, adaptation, and diplomacy.

Dr Chris Macdonald - Head of Comms, Lab Director, Sustainability Engagement Lead

Dr Chris Macdonald is a behavioural scientist and author. He is currently conducting a series of experiments that test the efficacy of ‘green nudges’: low-cost interventions that increase pro-environmental choices. Chris has a PhD in Behavioural Economics. His doctoral research explored communication variables, nudge theory, priming, and behaviour change. Chris’s research questions led him to take a wide range of additional courses including advanced programming, flight mechanics, health policy, global energy, sustainable agriculture, and environmental management. Chris also has a diverse portfolio of professional experience including working as a consultant, technical director, and manager for media and tech companies. Chris is the author of Operation Sustainable Human which explores optimised climate action. The proceeds of the book were redirected to plant ten thousand trees in Africa.