The IFTR runs two annual essay competitions for the New Scholars' Prize and Helsinki Prize.

IFTR Invites Entries for the New Scholars’ Prize and Helsinki Prize, 2024  

New Scholars' Prize

The New Scholars' Prize is awarded to the best essay, judged on originality, coherence, and rigour.

Helsinki Prize

The Helsinki Prize (founded by the student Congress Team of the 2006 IFTR/FIRT World Congress in Helsinki) is offered annually to a promising new scholar who may be a postgraduate or lecturer at any university, but whose country of origin and of first degree-level studies is in Africa, Asia or South America, and who wishes to participate in an IFTR conference. The prize is awarded on the basis of the merit of the essay and strives to promote the exchange and networking of new scholars in developing regions, and to encourage research in the field of theatre in their countries.

Any graduate student, doctoral or post-doctoral researcher whose PhD has been awarded less than three years ago, or a researcher without a PhD who has been in an academic post for less than three years are eligible to apply. Any eligible scholar who submitted an entry in previous years is welcome to apply again with a new essay. Please also see eligibility criteria for the Helsinki Prize (above). Previous recipients of either the New Scholars’ or the Helsinki Prize are not eligible to compete.

How to Submit
Send entries in MS Word format to

Candidates should submit entries (in English only) electronically as an e-mail attachment. They will be judged anonymously. Please ensure that your name does not appear anywhere in the essay itself.
In a separate one-page document please provide your name, institutional affiliation if relevant, and information to confirm your eligibility for the New Scholars and/or Helsinki Prize.

Please Note: submitting an entry for either competition does not constitute a conference enrolment. Applicants wanting to attend the conference should send abstracts to the organisers as outlined in the conference call for papers.

Submission Deadline

The last date for submission of the essay is 11 December 2023 (we will accept until any point until midnight in the time zone in which the researcher is based).

Essay Details

  •        There is no set theme for these competitions; candidates are encouraged to submit work drawing on their current research.
  •        The length of essays is 3,500 words including citations. Essays are expected to be within the specified word length of 3,500 words, including any end- or footnotes or bibliography/works cited. The regulations will allow for up to a 10% margin but any essay which is longer than 3,850 words will not be considered for the competition.
  •        You may not enter an essay that you have previously submitted to a journal for consideration that has benefited from peer review feedback.
  •        An extension of up to 7 days max. is available to differently abled new scholars. The chair of the prizes/bursaries committee should be notified at least one week before the deadline for the request of the extension.

Competition Results
Results of the competitions will be announced by 24 January 2024.

The Prizes
First prize in both competitions enables the winners to attend the IFTR Conference at The University of The Philippines Diliman (15-19 July 2024). It covers the following costs: conference registration, economy travel fare (return to country of departure only) and student accommodation (or equivalent) for the duration of the conference (assuming in-person participation).Winners make their own travel and accommodation arrangements and will be reimbursed (via bank transfer) upon submission of receipts to the IFTR Treasurer after the conference.

GDPR Compliancy and Data Processing

International Federation for Theatre Research (hereafter IFTR) values your privacy and is fully committed to achieving compliance with the GDPR. Please note that the information stated below only pertains to the data of those users and/or subscribers to, and not the data that is held by Cambridge Journals Online. Here is how we will achieve compliance:

  • The purpose of processing your data is to assess your essay for the New Scholars’ and Helsinki Prizes for the IFTR 2020 conference at NUI Galway, Ireland.
  • The personal data we collect will be: your first and second names, and your institutional affiliation (if any).
  • Your data will be processed by IFTR data processors on the IFTR Prizes committee and the Secretary General for Communications.
  • All data that we store on digital devices is password protected. We use a password that is only known to those who need specific access to the file. The same password cannot (will not) be replicated or be applicable to other files on any digital device. The password is lengthy and complex, and it includes numbers, letters and symbols.
  • Data Processors are not entitled to distribute this data to any other third parties whatsoever.
  • IFTR members are allowed to request erasure (‘right to be forgotten’) at any time. All data must be deleted from all electronic devices immediately after the data is no longer needed and/or it has expired.
  • You have the sole right to lodge a complaint of the processing of your data to a supervisory authority

Affected Rights

Under the EU Data Protection Regulation, you have the following rights: If your personal data is processed, you have the right to obtain information about the data stored about you (Art. 15 GDPR). If inaccurate personal data is processed, you are entitled to a correction (Art. 16 GDPR).


If you have questions or concerns about how IFTR deals with your data and how we comply with the GDPR, please contact the Secretary General, Communications for IFTR:

Dr. Marcus Tan
Secretary General, Communications
International Federation for Theatre Research
National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University Singapore
1 Nanyang Walk 
Singapore 639798


Stay up to date with the IFTR Weekly Digest