Biennial Thesis Prize
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Biennial Thesis Prize

HuCom Thesis Prize 2023 Call for Applications

Have you recently completed your master thesis on humanitarian communication or the representation of international coperation? Do you want to share your research with a broader audience and get recognition for your work from an expert jury? Then submit your thesis for the Humanitarian Communication Thesis Prize 2023!


Every two years we award the HuCom Thesis Prize to the best Master’s thesis on the representation of the Global South written by a student at a Dutch or Belgium university or other academic institution in the Netherlands or Belgium. The winner receives the thesis prize and a €500 cash prize!


To enter the competition and be eligible for the HuCom Thesis Prize 2023, a few conditions apply. Your thesis must have been:


  • completed between September 1, 2021 and September 1, 2023;
  • written at a university or other academic institution in the Netherlands or Belgium;
  • written in English;
  • awarded with a 7,5 grade or higher;
  • focused on communication (in the broadest sense) on development issues in the Global South, in any discipline or area of knowledge, including humanitarian communication, discourses of international development, the use of stereotypes of ‘developing’ countries and peoples, or on any other topic related to both communication and the Global South.


Your thesis will be reviewed by a selected committee and assessed on the following criteria:


  • Academic quality and originality;
  • Societal relevance and urgency;
  • Writing style and argumentative structure of the thesis.


To enter the competition, please fill in the registration form at and send a digital copy of your thesis (and a proof of your grade) to [email protected] by October 15, 2023 (mentioning ‘HuCom Thesis Prize 2023’). In case the file is bigger than 10MB, please use WeTransfer or a similar file transfer site.




The award will be presented at a celebratory public event in December 2023 in Amsterdam. For any remaining questions, please contact [email protected].

Previous editions of the HuCom Thesis Prize 

In 2018 we organized the Humanitarian Communication Thesis Prize for the first time. That edition, Emma Vogt won the prize for the Best Thesis, while Miriam Ocadiz Arriaga (now one of our board members!) received a Special Mention for her research and Gabriel Ramirez Acevedo (now also one of our board members!) the prize for Best Pecha Kucha presentation. Then, in 2019, Dani Haudenschild won the prize for Best Thesis, while Brittany Keller won the prize for Best Pecha Kucha presentation. After an absence of one year, in 2021 we organized the HuCom Thesis Prize for the third time. This time, the winner was Femke van Heun with her thesis entitled ‘The Politics of Framing Menstrual Health and Hygiene Interventions: Challenging or Upholding Menstrual Stigma?’ In addition, there was a special mention for Katie Banks, while Katerina Zejdlova received the prize for Best Pecha Kucha.

More about the HuCom Thesis Prize 2021

With the Humanitarian Thesis Prize, we aim to biennially highlight, stimulate, and recognize research in the specialized field of humanitarian communication. For this third edition, the centre received a record-number of theses that were submitted to a Dutch or Belgian university in the past year and graded with a 7.5 or higher. After assessing the many entries, the jury – consisting of Gabriel Ramirez Acevedo (HuCom board member, Political Science, UvA), Judith van de Kamp (Julius Center for Global Health, UMC Utrecht), Esther Philippen (University Centre for Development Cooperation, Brussels), and Dani Haudenschild  (University Kassel, winner of the previous HuCom Thesis Prize) – arrived to the following nine nominees (in alphabetical order):


  1. Alejandra Nino Aguirre (New Media and Digital Culture, Utrecht University)
  2. Katie Banks (International Development Studies, University of Amsterdam)
  3. Femke van Heun (International Development Studies, Utrecht University)
  4. Josh McDonald (New Media and Digital Culture, University of Amsterdam)
  5. Elaine O’Donnell (Gender Studies, Utrecht University)
  6. Manon Peek (International Development Studies, Wageningen University)
  7. Isabelle Persson (International Development Studies, Utrecht University)
  8. Marrit Woudwijk (Conflict Studies, Utrecht University)
  9. Katerina Zejdlova (Latin American Studies, University of Amsterdam)


During the HuCom Thesis Prize 2021, the nominated students presented their thesis in Pecha Kucha style (i.e. 20 slides to be shown for 20 seconds each). In addition to the honor, the winner received a cash prize of 250 euro. The best presentation was also be rewarded by the jury.

The ceremony event in CREA’s Theatre Hall (Theaterzaal) stared with a short welcome by host Audilla Vaughn aka Femmetastic and the screening of the short film Without Shoes, You Won’t Survive (2021, 15’) by director Christine Pawlata, who also introduced and discussed the film with the audience.  After the screening, it was time for the nominated students to present their research and for the jury to announce the winner. Following the ceremony there were drinks and bites in the adjoining CREA Café. The HuCom Thesis Prize 2021, which was supported by ASCA and BuzzHouse, was free of charge and open for all to attend. As we were not facing capacity restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic anymore, people did not need to register in advance if they wanted to join on location.


Download the original press release of the HuCom Thesis Prize 2021 here

Photo: Franck Doho