Nine Dots Prize

About the prize

The Nine Dots Prize offers US$100,000 and a book deal with Cambridge University Press to whoever can best answer the question ‘Are digital technologies making politics impossible?

The Prize is designed to promote and encourage innovative thinking to address problems facing the modern world. 

The Prize will be judged anonymously by a 12-strong Board of internationally recognised and distinguished academics, authors, journalists and thinkers. The Board will be chaired by Professor Simon Goldhill, director of the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), Professor in Greek Literature and Culture and Fellow of King's College, Cambridge.

The Prize is open to anyone aged 18 years or over writing in English, and welcomes submissions from both new voices and experienced authors. To enter, people are asked to respond to the set question in 3,000 words and provide an outline structure showing how, if they win, they would develop their argument into a short book. A new question will be set every two years.

The Nine Dots Prize is funded by the Kadas Prize Foundation, an English registered charity established to fund research into significant but neglected questions relevant to today’s world.

The deadline for entries has now passed.  The winner will be announced in May 2017.

About the Board

The Board will be composed of twelve internationally recognised and distinguished academics, authors, journalists and thinkers. They are:

  • Professor Diane Coyle – Professor of Economics at Manchester University, former Vice Chair of the BBC Trust and Economics Editor of the Independent
  • Professor Paul Gilroy – currently Professor of English at Kings College London, previously Giddens Professor of Social Theory at the London School of Economics
  • Professor Simon Goldhill (Chair) – Director of the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), Professor in Greek Literature and Culture and Fellow of King's College, Cambridge
  • E.J. Graff – Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University and Managing Editor of the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog
  • Professor Alcinda Honwana – visiting Professor of Anthropology and International Development at the Open University and formerly was a program officer at the United Nations Office of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict
  • Peter Kadas – Director of the Kadas Prize Foundation
  • Professor Ira Katznelson – President of the Social Science Research Council and former President of the American Political Science Association
  • Professor Roger Martin – Institute Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute and the Michael Lee-Chin Family Institute for Corporate Citizenship at the Rotman School of Management and the Premier’s Chair in Productivity & Competitiveness
  • Professor Riccardo Rebonato – Professor of Finance at EDHEC Business School, formerly Global Head of Rates and FX Research at PIMCO
  • Professor David Runciman – Professor of Politics and Head of the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge
  • Professor Saskia Sassen – Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and Co-Chair of the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University

One additional Board member will be announced in due course

How to enter

Entrants to the Nine Dots Prize will be asked to submit an application in three parts:

  1. A summary response to the question. This response can be up to 3,000 words in length and will form the basis of the short book (of between 25,000 and 40,000 words) that the winner will produce. The summary should cover the main arguments the proposed book will make, the previous research or ideas on which it draws and the key conclusions it will reach.
  2. An outline structure of this short book, including provisional chapter headings.
  3. A justification of their ability to complete the book in the time given (approx. nine months). This will outline the entrant’s previous experience in communicating effectively about research and ideas, and a commitment from them that their responsibilities will allow the book to be completed in the nine month period. Where applicable this should include confirmation of support from the entrant’s institution(s) or employer(s) that sabbatical time has been approved.

Full submissions guidance and terms and conditions are available from