The College has a small number of prizes for poetry, satire and other pieces of work outside normal academic work.

For College prizes awarded for academic excellence, please see Academic Excellence: Subject Prizes.

A list of current prize holders is available at Prize Holders. They are also listed each year in the Balliol College Annual Record.

Type of award
Academic or academic-related
Eligibility or selection criteria
  • Bob and Jeanie Heller Prize: Best piece of satirical writing, no longer than 1,000 words by a Balliol undergraduate or postgraduate, £100
  • George Powell Prize: Best original essay written by a Balliol undergraduate on a set topic, £200
  • Gertrude Hartley Prize: Best poem in English written by a graduate or undergraduate member of the College, £100
  • Raja Sir Maharaj Singh Prize: Best essay, no longer than 5,000 words, by a Balliol undergraduate on some subject connected with India, ancient, medieval or modern, £100
  • Sir Raymond Beazley Prize: Best essay by a current Balliol second- and third- year student in the Honour Schools of Politics and History or the Joint Schools with History, on topics approved by the College in any one of the following fields: International History, International Political Problems, the History of Exploration, and the History of Russia, £100 (up to two prizes)
Amount awarded

£100 to £200, depending on the terms of the prize.

How and when to apply

A call for entries, which will contain additional details about the prizes, will be circulated by email at the start of Hilary Term. Entries should be sent by email to the Student Finance Officer usually by the 9th week of Hilary.

Further information

Rules for all College prizes:

  • No essay which has already won a College or University prize shall be submitted for another College prize. The closing date for all essays and poems will be indicated when advertised. Students whose status is suspended are not normally eligible to make submissions for prizes.
  • Examiners are empowered to divide the prizes. In any year in which there are no candidates of sufficient merit the examiners may decide not to award the prize or to award a prize of lesser value.

If you have any queries about this prize, please contact the Student Finance Officer.

Funding source(s)

The Bob and Jeanie Heller Prize was established by Richard Heller (Balliol 1966) in memory of his parents.