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Entries are invited for the inaugural Lucy Cavendish Environmental Essay prize 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 3000 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 Gift Card will be awarded to the winning UG and PG essay in Easter term.

The panel of judges will include college fellows in biology, economics, and environmental science.

The prize is now open for entries. Deadline for submissions is 12pm on Monday 8th of May 2023.

Please submit your essay to

Dr Alexander Freer - Director of Studies in English

Alex Freer is College Lecturer and Director of Studies in English at Lucy Cavendish, and author of Wordsworth's Unremembered Pleasure (2020). His research focuses on eighteenth century and Romantic writing, and theories of literary criticism.

Dr Howard Nelson - Lecturer in Conservation Leadership, Director of Studies in Geography Part II

Howard Nelson is a Trinidadian ecologist and wildlife biologist. Nelson earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of the West Indies and his doctoral work at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Dr Coleen Drapek - Research Fellow

Colleen is a plant scientist at the Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge. She is interested in how plants regulate beneficial plant-microbe interactions. Her research mainly focuses on visualizing and perturbing plant hormone distribution during beneficial symbiosis with soil bacteria and fungi in legumes (Alfafa) and barley.

Dr Mary Murphy - Director of Studies in Economics and Bye-Fellow

Mary's focus is environmental and social justice. As an entrepreneur she has specific experience in the production, consumption, and distribution of food and how it mirrors social, economic, and environmental health. She is particularly interested in the intersections of politics, economics, and society in the sustainability field.