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BHC Grants and Prizes

The Grants and Prizes Committee oversees the awards, grants, and prizes of the BHC. This committee is directly responsible for selection of recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Harold F. Williamson Prize. It appoints standing subcommittees that award the Krooss and Oxford Journals Article prizes, and it monitors the Hagley Prize and graduate student travel grants. The following paragraphs outline the committee structure and eligibility requirements for each award. The links from each paragraph and from the menu above lead to recipient lists for each.

The Business History Conference Lifetime Achievement Award. The BHC's Grants and Prizes Committee shall solicit nominations from the membership for this award every two to three years as appropriate. It shall review these nominations and select the nominee who has, in the judgment of the committee, contributed the most to the work of the Business History Conference and to scholarship in business history. The committee will recommend this member to the Board of Trustees, which shall either ratify or reject the committee's recommendation. The award shall consist of a suitably designed or commissioned token (e.g., plaque, medal, etc.) worthy of honoring the selected member's lifetime achievements. The committee is not obliged to make a recommendation if, in its members' judgment, there is no nominee worthy of the award.

Harold F. Williamson Prize. Awarded every two to three years to a mid-career scholar who has made significant contributions to the field of business history, this prize memorializes the contributions to business history of the late Harold F. Williamson. The Grants and Prizes Committee shall serve as the core members of the Williamson Prize Committee, which shall also consist of two ex officio members, the BHC President and the BHC Secretary-Treasurer. The membership shall be solicited for nominations for the Williamson Prize six months before the prize winner is to be selected. The committee's selection shall require ratification by the full Board of Trustees.

Herman E. Krooss Prize for Best Dissertation in Business History. This prize consists of a $500 award (endowed) and a plaque. Only dissertations written in English will be considered. The Secretary-Treasurer will post notices about the prize in suitable newsletters, journals, guides, electronic media, and in the BHC's call for conference papers. Any dissertation in business history completed in the three calendar years immediately prior to the annual meeting can be nominated or considered, but may be submitted only once for the committee's consideration. Nominations (or self-nominations) are to consist of a cover letter, the dissertation abstract, and the author's c.v. and are to be sent to each member of the prize committee. The prize committee is to consist of three members, one of whom will be the chair. Each member serves a three-year term, rotating onto the committee as junior member, then becoming chair, and then exiting after serving a final year as senior member. The Chair of the Krooss Prize Committee shall preside over the entire process and chair the plenary dissertation session at the BHC annual meeting. The committee will screen the materials from the nomination process and from these nominations draw up a short list of dissertations (roughly, 8 to 10) that the committee will consider as semifinalists. Authors will be notified and asked to send each committee member a copy of his or her dissertation. From these the committee will narrow the candidates down to no more than five finalists, who are to present their dissertations at the annual meeting. Selection of the winner is to be determined by the committee either prior to or following the presentations by finalists selected by the committee, depending on the committee's preference.

Oxford Journals Article Prize. This prize, supported by Oxford University Press, recognizes the author of an article published in Enterprise & Society (or any Business History Conference publication) judged to be the best of those that have appeared in volume previous to the year of the BHC annual meeting. It consists of a check for $1,000 and a plaque awarded at the annual meeting by the committee chair. The Article Prize Committee shall consist of three members, one of whom will be the chair. Each member serves a three-year term, rotating onto the committee as junior member, then becoming chair, and then exiting after serving a final year as senior member. The Chair of the Article Committee shall preside over the entire process.

Mira Wilkins Prize. This prize, established in 2009 in recognition of the path-breaking scholarship of Mira Wilkins, is awarded to the author of the best article published annually in Enterprise & Society pertaining to international and comparative business history. Formally known as "The Mira Wilkins Prize for the best article on international business history," it comprises an award of $250 and a memento presented at the Business History Conference annual meeting. The Wilkins Prize Committee consists of three members, one of whom serves as chair. Each member serves a three-year term, rotating onto the committee as junior member, then becoming chair, and then exiting after serving a final year as senior member. The chair of the Wilkins Prize Committee presides over the entire process.

K. Austin Kerr Prize. The K. Austin Kerr Prize is awarded for the best first paper delivered at the annual meeting of the Business History Conference by a new scholar (doctoral student or those within three years of receiving their Ph.D.). It honors K. Austin Kerr, professor of history at the Ohio State University since 1965 and president of the Business History Conference during 1992-1993. Author of many books and articles in business history, and a founder of H-Business, Professor Kerr has always encouraged excellence in scholarship and in professional and classroom presentations. Criteria for awarding the prize include scholarly excellence; innovation in subject, method, or findings; and effectiveness of presentation. Presentations at the Krooss Dissertation Prize sessions are not eligible for the Kerr Prize. Persons who have also presented in the Krooss Prize sessions at previous BHC annual meetings are eligible for the Kerr Prize as long as they are graduate students or within three years of receiving their Ph.D. The Kerr Prize Committee is to consist of four members, one of whom will serve as chair. Each member serves a three-year term, rotating onto the committee as junior member, then becoming chair (or co-chair), and then exiting after serving a final year as senior member. Potential awardees will be asked to designate themselves as such and to submit their paper in advance of the meeting, by a specified date. The Kerr Prize Committee will evaluate the papers in advance, selecting up to 15 finalists whose presentations they will attend during the annual meeting. The Committee will meet prior to the awards ceremony to make a decision that will be announced by the Committee chair at the ceremony.

The Hagley Prize in Business History. This prize is for the best book in business history (broadly defined) and consists of a medallion and $2,500, which are presented at the annual meeting of the BHC. Given the nature of the award's funding and establishment (through the generosity of the Hagley Museum and Library of Wilmington, Delaware, one of the nation's most significant research libraries dedicated to the history of business), the Grants and Prizes Committee will advise the Hagley representative and the BHC President about who would be a suitable person to serve as the third member of the three-person selection committee. The award committee encourages the submission of books from all methodological perspectives. It is particularly interested in innovative studies that have the potential to expand the boundaries of the discipline. Scholars, publishers, and other interested parties may submit nominations. Eligible books can have either an American or international focus. They must be written in English and published during the two years prior to the award. Four copies of a book must accompany a nomination and must be submitted to the Prize Coordinator, Carol Ressler Lockman, Hagley Museum and Library, PO Box 3630, 298 Buck Road, Wilmington DE 19807-0630 USA. Email: clockman@hagley.org. The submission deadline is December 31.

The Ralph Gomory Prize. This prize, made possible by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, recognizes historical work on the effects of business enterprises on the economic conditions of the countries in which they operate. Two prizes of $5,000 each are awarded annually, one for a book and a second for an article. Eligible work may be published in the two years prior to the year of the award. Book nominations are accepted from publishers and nominations of articles are accepted from their authors. Four copies of a book or an electronic version of an article must accompany a nomination and be submitted to the Prize Coordinator, Carol Ressler Lockman, Business History Conference, PO Box 3630, 298 Buck Road, Wilmington DE 19807-0630 USA. Email: clockman@hagley.org. The submission deadline is December 1.

The Gomory Prize Committee shall consist of three members, one of whom will be the chair. Each member serves a three-year term, rotating onto the committee as junior member, then becoming chair, and then exiting after serving a final year as senior member. The Chair of the Gomory Prize Committee shall preside over the entire process.

The CEBC Halloran Prize in the History of Corporate Responsibility. The prize will recognize a paper presented at the BHC annual meeting that makes a significant contribution to the history of corporate responsibility. Corporate responsibility is understood to embrace the many ways in which the firm relates to the political realm and the wider society. It is generously funded by the Center for Ethical Business Cultures (CEBC) at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business in honor of Harry R. Halloran, Jr., for his support of the university and research on the history of corporate responsibility in twentieth-century business. The prize, which consists of a $500 award and a certificate of recognition, is to be offered annually for a period of five years at the Business History Conference 2010-2014 annual meetings. Relevant topics might include, among others: business engagement with and action on social issues, environmental issues, labor-management relations, business giving, influence of religion on business practice, business influence on government policy, organizational development and strategy related to this topic, etc. The competition is open to papers written in English and dealing with the topic during the twentieth century up to the present time.
   The prize committee consists of three members: two appointed by the Business History Conference for staggered two-year terms and one by the Center for Ethical Business Cultures at the University of St. Thomas, who will chair the committee and preside over the evaluation process. Potential awardees will be asked to designate themselves for consideration at the time they submit their proposals for the annual meeting. The committee may also invite submissions from among other papers accepted for the annual meeting. To be considered, an author must submit the paper to the committee chair no later than two weeks prior to the annual meeting. The committee or its delegates will evaluate the papers and make a decision that will be announced by the committee chair at the awards banquet.

Chandler Travel Grants. The Alfred D. Chandler, Jr. Travel Grants honor the dean of American business history and are used to defray costs to attend the BHC annual meeting by graduate students who are delivering papers. These grants are administered by the Secretary-Treasurer, in consultation with the Grants and Prizes Committee, to all graduate students who are giving papers, roughly in accordance with need and whether the student has additional funding to cover expenses. Preference should be given to first-time paper givers.

Postdoctoral Travel to Meeting Grants. BHC Postdoctoral Travel to Meeting Grants are available to presenters at BHC annual meetings who have earned the Ph.D. within the three years prior to the meeting. These grants are administered by the Secretary-Treasurer, in consultation with the Grants and Prizes Committee. Priority will be given to applicants who are not employed in tenure-track/permanent college/university teaching or administrative positions, those who have high teaching loads or other especially intensive duties involving students, or those unable to draw on institutional sources of funding.

Although the John E. Rovensky Fellowships in Business or Economic History are administered by the University of Illinois Foundation, not the BHC, the selection committee comprises long-time BHC members. The application materials are available on our website, and the winners are traditionally announced at BHC meetings. We do not, however, maintain a listing of recipients.

Approved by the BHC Trustees April 20, 2001; amended September 2002, June 2006, June 2009, June 2011, October 2011.