Awards, grants and prizes

Apply for a grant

The Young Chef Grants

In order to make the Symposium experience more accessible to food professionals early in their careers, the Friends of the Oxford Symposium sponsor a program of Young Chef Grants. In the past recipients have come from India, Germany, Kenya, Turkey, Ukraine, Canada, Argentina, South Africa, the US as well the UK.

The grant includes full attendance of the Symposium, some help with travel costs as well as the opportunity to work alongside our guests chefs and St Catz Head Chef Tim Kelsey. The three days of the meeting are informal and convivial, with ideas and information exchanged over great food prepared especially for the occasion. Guest chefs at the Symposium have included Raymond Blanc, Fergus Henderson, Allegra McEvedy, Henry Harris, Shaun Hill, Aglaia Kremezi, Rowley Leigh, Trine Hahnemann, Jacob Kennedy, Jeremy Lee and Olia Hercules.

In 2021, recipients as a group, and in cooperation with last year’s Young Chefs, will be given the opportunity to develop Sunday lunch, mentored and inspired by artists and symposiasts.

Who is eligible

Young Chef Grants are awarded to culinary professionals with not more than ten years in the industry.

How to apply

To apply for a grant, please submit a one-page pdf document that includes the following:

*a statement introducing yourself and explaining why you would like to attend the Symposium. Use the statement as an opportunity to think about how you want to develop as a chef, and how attending the Symposium would contribute to your professional growth. Be as specific and personal as you can! This is the most important part of your application.

*a brief summary of your educational background and your cooking experience.

*links to any of your social media that relate to food, such as a Twitter or Instagram feed or Facebook page

*the name and contact details of one person to act as a reference

The application deadline for the 2021 Symposium is May 14, 2021. Decisions will be taken by a committee of Symposium Trustees headed by Harold McGee and Máirtín Mac Con Iomaire, with the assistance of St Catz Head Chef Tim Kelsey. Please address submissions and any questions to:

The Young Chefs Collective

All past Young Chefs become members of the Young Chefs Collective, founded in 2021 on the initiative of Elaine Mahon, one of the first recipients. Learn more about it here.

Financial Support Grants (formerly Student Research Grants)

Who is eligible

The Friends of the Symposium offer a number of discretionary grants to help those with accepted paper proposals to attend the event and present their paper who would otherwise be unable to do so. Anybody can apply, including students without institutional support, unaffiliated scholars as well as campaigners and activists without sufficient funding.

How to apply

Our budget is limited, so please provide a brief paragraph for the reasons why you need our assistance, how much assistance you require and why you are unable to raise funds from elsewhere (150 words max). Grant awards will be distributed on the basis of need by the OSFC. Evidence of need may be requested. The deadline for this application is April 15, the address is and we will let you know about our decision no later than April 30.

Awards & prizes available

The Sophie Coe Prize in Food History

The Sophie Coe Prize is the longest-running and most generous prize for writing in food history in the English language, given once a year for an essay or article of up to 10,000 words on any aspect of the history of food. First awarded in 1995, the fund that administers the prize was founded in memory of Sophie Coe, the eminent food historian who died in 1994. The winner is chosen every year by an anonymous panel of distinguished judges and awarded at the Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery to the author of an original, informative article or essay on some aspect of food history that embodies new research or provides new insights. Read winning essays from previous years at The Sophie Coe Prize website.

Who is eligible

For full details of the prize, its conditions, entry information and contact details, please visit the Sophie Coe Prize website.

The award

£1,500 prize presented at the Symposium each year.

How to apply

Details of how to enter can be found here.

OFS Rising Scholar Award

The OFS Rising Scholar Award supports research by young scholars. Formerly known as the Cherwell Prize.

Who is eligible

Applicants must be 30 or under (i.e. not have celebrated their 31st birthday by the start of the Symposium) and are expected to present the results of their research at the Symposium.

The award

Made possible by an anonymous donation and overseen by the American Friends of the Oxford Symposium, the award is an immediate US$1000 grant and reimbursement, upon appropriate documentation, of travel expenses and symposium fees.

How to apply

Submissions for the Award should be emailed to no later than February 1 2021. For details, including submission requirements, judging criteria, and contact information, please see the PDF: OFS Rising Scholar Award.

Prize for Best Presentation by a First-time Presenter (not a student)

Who is eligible

You must be a first time presenter at the Oxford Food Symposium. This award is not open to students.

The award

£150 is allocated by the Friends of the Oxford Symposium as prize money and is awarded to the best presentation by a first-time presenter who is not a student. Recipients receive their funds at the Symposium in a public presentation.

How to apply

You must have declared that you are a first-time presenter on your paper proposal to be eligible for this prize.

Prizes for Best Student Paper Presentations

Who is eligible

All students presenting a paper at the Symposium are eligible. Student Research Grant recipients can also be considered for a presentation prize.

The award

£500 is allocated as prize money to be awarded at the discretion of the awards committee between the best papers presentations by a student. Recipients receive their funds at the Symposium in a public presentation.

How to apply

You must have declared that you are a student on your paper proposal to be eligible for this prize.

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