The Sidney Prize

The Sidney Prize

The sidney prize is an annual award that recognises a person or organisation that has contributed to social change and the improvement of human life. It is open to people of any nationality and can be awarded for a number of things, from academic achievement, personal attributes, community service, a requirement for start-up funding or the ability to inspire others.

The Sidney Prize was established in 2004 by New York Times columnist David Brooks to celebrate long-form essays on politics and culture that capture the best in contemporary American scholarship and commentary. The first prize was awarded to Amanda Hess for her article on online sexism, and the most recent award went to “The Coddling of the American Mind” by Brooks and William Zinsser.

Each year the Sydney Peace Foundation awards a prize to an individual or group who has promoted peace with justice, human rights and non-violence. Past recipients have included Julian Burnside, Prof Noam Chomsky and the former Irish president Mary Robinson.

This year’s prize will go to the Black Lives Matter movement, founded in the US by Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin. The foundation will announce its winner in November.

Sidney Altman, Sterling Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale, who shared the 1989 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Thomas Cech, died this month at the age of 82. He was a leader in the field of RNA biology.

The University of Sydney’s Unites States Studies Centre (USSC) deepens Australia’s understanding of the United States through research, teaching and public engagement. The USSC has become a national resource, and its research and teaching have made an important contribution to the national debates around America’s role in the world.


Students who are enrolled in the Unites States Studies Centre and who have successfully completed their American Studies unit or a related course will be eligible for this prize. The Prize is awarded annually on nomination by the USSC and is presented at the unit’s end-of-year celebration.


This Prize recognises Stuart Rosewarne’s commitment to publicly-engaged research that reflects his innovative approach to social theory in support of progressive causes. It is a prize that recognises the importance of socially-engaged research in the political economy.


To be eligible for this Prize, you must have completed either an honours thesis or a masters thesis with dissertation in the Department of Political Economy at the University of Sydney within the year that the Prize is awarded. This may be a thesis that is supervised by a staff member from the Department of Political Economy or an independent thesis.


This prize is awarded on the recommendation of academic staff in the Department of Political Economy and is judged to be the most meritorious by the judges. This is based on the quality of the thesis and on circumstances that have impacted the student during their studies.