Geddes Student Journalism Prizes

Student journalists across the University of Oxford are encouraged to apply for the annual Philip Geddes, Ronnie Payne and Clive Taylor awards. Previous Geddes Prize winners include many talented journalists now working for The Economist, The Times, The Guardian, the Daily Express, Reuters, BBC radio and television and ITN. The awards are made by the Geddes Trust and St Edmund Hall on the condition that the prize money must be used for a media project or for expenses needed to support an internship in the media.

About the Geddes Trust

The Trust is named after Philip Geddes, an alumnus of St Edmund Hall and a journalist of considerable promise. After graduating he joined the staff of the London Evening Standard, then moved to the staff of the Daily Express. In December 1983 he was in Harrods, the Knightsbridge store, when orders were issued for the building to be evacuated. Realising there was a story to be had, he went to investigate. He was killed by the blast from a bomb planted by the IRA. Philip was just 24.

The awards are made on the condition that the money must be used for a media project or for expenses needed to support an internship in the media. Applicants for the Ronnie Payne Prize are required to put forward a proposal for a journalistic project which will take them abroad, that project being funded or part-funded by the prize money. Successful candidates must agree to submit by Christmas a report or project which demonstrates the use to which the prize money was put.


Philip Geddes Memorial Prize – this prize of £2500 is open to undergraduate members of Oxford University in their second, third or fourth years, and is awarded to the most promising student journalist. The prize is given in memory of Philip Geddes, a former student at St Edmund Hall and a promising young journalist, who was killed in the IRA bombing of Harrods in 1983.

Since 1984 the Philip Geddes Memorial Prize has encouraged promising student journalists. Former prize winners have been employed by the BBC, ITN, Reuters, The Economist, and a wide range of Fleet Street newspapers.

Clive Taylor Prize – a £2000 prize is awarded to a student journalist (open to all current Oxford postgraduates or undergraduates regardless of year of study) who specialises in sports writing. The Clive Taylor Prize for Sports Writing is in memory of the distinguished cricket writer Clive Taylor. Clive toured with every major MCC team in the 19 years before he died, aged 50, in 1977 and was the cricket correspondent of The Sun.

Ronnie Payne Prize for Foreign Reporting – this prize of £2000 is open to undergraduates of the University in their second, third or fourth year who have already participated in student journalism and hope to make their career in journalism. Applicants for the Ronnie Payne Prize are required to put forward a proposal for a journalistic project which will take them abroad, that project being funded or part-funded by the prize money. The Ronnie Payne Prize for Foreign Reporting was established by his widow, Celia Haddon, and honours the work of the acclaimed foreign correspondent and war reporter, Ronnie Payne, who became, over the course of a long and distinguished career, a much-respected expert on espionage and terrorism. He died, aged 87, in 2013.

How to Apply

The window for application submissions is now open.

Applications should be emailed by the deadline of 12 noon on Friday 12 February. Please read the guidelines closely, as entries not submitted in the correct format will not be considered.

Candidates for the prizes are asked to submit the following in two documents:

  • a minimum of three and a maximum of six pieces of journalistic work completed whilst at University, in electronic (Word) format with the web link to the article immediately above the headline and the text pasted into the document.
  • Articles must be in English, published in a recognised publication or website and published under a single byline only (no joint bylined articles will be considered).
  • Applicants must also submit an outline (maximum 500 words) of a specific journalistic project upon which they propose to spend the award, again in electronic (Word) format. They should also include a rudimentary budget and basic details of any journalistic internships they have undertaken or positions on student publications held.
  • The applicant’s name, college, year and subject should be at the top of each page.
  • The two documents should have the following file name format: ‘Bloggs-Payne-20’, ‘Bloggs-Taylor-20’ etc.
  • It is absolutely fine to apply for one, two or even all three prizes with the same samples and the same project proposal. However, should applicants wish to submit more samples of work, this is permitted. If, for example, you were applying for both the Geddes and Payne prizes, applicants could submit a minimum of three articles and a maximum of 12 (six articles for each prize). Less is more, but it’s up to the applicant.

Applications should be emailed to by midday on Friday 12 February. The subject line of your mail should be clearly marked with the name of the prize(s) for which you are applying.

The Geddes Lecture

St Edmund Hall and the Geddes Trust organise an annual journalism lecture, which offers student journalists the chance to meet prominent figures in the media world, and to hear their views on the state of journalism today. The lectures are free and also open to the public. Recent speakers have included Michael Crick (political author & boradcaster), David Aaronovitch (The Times) Laura Kuenssberg (BBC), Ian Hislop (Private Eye), Anushka Asthana (The Guardian), Lyse Doucet (BBC) and Evan Davies (BBC).

Launch Video

Geddes Lecture 2021 YouTube Thumbnail

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