Polis Social Media Prize

We are pleased to announce the Polis Social Media Prize, a new student award. The prize of £500 will be granted to the post-graduate student with the best dissertation research proposal in the domain of social media. Proposals of 500-1,000 words should be submitted to|| by Monday, April 28th 2014.

The judging panel will be made up of Dr Ellen Helsper, of the LSE Media and Communications Department and Charlie Beckett, Polis Director. They are particularly interested in original ideas that might have some relation to a real-world problem. 

Stockwell Communications/Polis Research Prize

                                                 StockWell-resized        polislogo

StockWell Communications|, a strategic communications and reputation management firm, is launching a student research prize|in conjunction with POLIS this October 2013.

The prize, worth £1000, will be awarded for the best research proposal on the topic of ‘Corporate Reputation, Media and Society’. 

The prize is open to any post-graduate student currently enrolled at the LSE. The student must submit a 500-1000 word proposal on the topic.  The proposal should include:

― an outline of the topic area;

― its relevance to the subject area; and

― a view as to the value of the research topic to the corporate world.

All submissions should be made in .doc, .docx or .pdf formats. 

Applicants are welcome to submit on the same broad topic as that of their dissertation.

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to take up a paid internship with StockWell to develop their proposal into a final research paper.  This will be jointly published by POLIS and StockWell. There is some flexibility as regards to the timing of the internship.

The judging panel  will include Carolyn Esser, Senior Communications Officer, Europe, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Matthew Young, Group Corporate Affairs Director, Lloyds Banking Group; Kamal Ahmed, Business Editor, The Sunday Telegraph; Professor Charlie Beckett, Director of Polis, Head of Media & Communications Department, LSE; and Anthony Silverman, Partner, StockWell Communications.


October 15,  2013, 5pm-6pm Launch event: Media Agenda Talk by Tim Burt, Managing Partner at StockWell Communications.

November 19, 2013, 12:30-13:30 Q&A Discussion with Anthony Silverman, partner at StockWell Communications, in the Graham Wallace Room (5th floor, Old Building). Sandwiches will be provided. Any prospective applicants who cannot attend should register their interest at|.

December 13, 2013, 5.00pm Deadline for submissions

January 31, 2014 Winner to be announced

February – April 2014 Prize winner to work with StockWell to develop the proposal

July – October 2014 Prize winner to undertake paid internship with StockWell for a maximum of three months during which the research proposal will be developed into a final research paper ready for publication. During the internship the student will be required to undertake other tasks to support StockWell’s business in addition to completing the research proposal

Mid- November, 2014 Research published & launch event

Submissions & queries can be sent to| or|.

Human Digital Polis Social Media Research Award


2013 winner:  Cristina Malaspina, The Spiral of Silence and Social Media: analysing Noelle-Neumann’s phenomenon application on the Web during the Italian Political Elections of 2013.

Cristina Malaspina has completed an MSc in Media and Communications at the LSE in 2013. She has achieved a Distinction in all modules of her Masters, including her dissertation, and has graduated with a Distinction grade overall. In her Dissertation, Cristina has chosen to investigate Noelle-Neumann’s phenomenon of the Spiral of Silence on social media and has analyzed the sharing patterns of social media users on political topics adopting human-generated content analysis and interviews. The findings of her research show that specific elements of the theory, such as social pressures and perception of the surrounding climate of opinion, also influence the communicative behaviour of Web 2.0 users. In the specific Italian political context, features such as channel nature and as user anonymity may affect the degree of sharing of political ideas in the online world.


2012 winner:  Katherine Relle, A Prescription for Pharma: Social Media Reality Check|

This £1,000 award is set up to strengthen links between the commercial high quality media research sector and the London School of Economics and specifically between Polis, the Media and Communications think-tank, and Human Digital (HD). It seeks to offer an outstanding LSE student the opportunity to relate their research to the applied work of HD.

You should submit an outline research proposal (|) of about 500 words by the end of Lent term.

This only has to be a concept note. It is not like an academic abstract. We just want you to describe roughly what you would like to research and why.

We are asking for proposals that address the presence of brands in virtual communities and social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. The brands can be commercial, political or other organisations.

The paper will have investigated the social, economic and political manifestations of the new relationship between consumer/citizen audiences and corporate brands enabled by social media. Implications for best practice in social media engagement for corporate brands will have been drawn and avenues for future research will have been identified.

We take a broad definition of social media meaning the use of web-based technologies to create new forms of interactive and interconnected communications, both professional and created by citizens.

Research Project

If you are chosen, you will write a version of their research – or a paper on a fresh topic – of at least 1,000 words which will be published jointly by POLIS and HD. It should be written in an accessible style for an expert audience with footnotes.

Selection Process

The successful candidate will be invited to carry out the full research and present their findings in a dedicated workshop.

Recommended Research Paper Structure

   1. Introduction of the Focus Area

    2. Existing Perspectives

   3. Research Question and Methodology

   4. Analysis and Interpretation of the Findings

   5. Discussion and Best Practice

   6. Conclusion


POLIS will publicise the publication through the Director's blog, POLIS website and POLIS newsletter. Interaction London will promote the research via a dedicated microsite published on Printed copies of the research paper will be distributed to the workshop attendees.


The student will be invited to present the work to a seminar with IL and invited guests. Held as a public event at LSE premises, the workshop will provide a platform to present and discuss the findings of the research with:

    * POLIS/IL members and friends

    * Industry professionals

    * Industry press

    * LSE students and academics

You should submit (|) an outline research proposal of about 500 words by the end of Lent Term with your CV.  

Polis Newsroom Fellowships

POLIS invites applications from practising journalists for two annual POLIS Research Fellowships: the EBU Journalism Fellowship, and the Jornalistfondan Fellowship. We provide research support, facilities and editorial guidance for journalists to produce short research papers on an aspect of their work. These will be published and taken into other POLIS public events and academic activities. Candidates for these fellowships need to have their own sources of funding for their expenses and for an administration fee for Polis. Contact us for details of the financial arrangements at|.

EBU Journalism Fellowship


The EBU (European Broadcasting Union) Journalism Fellowship was most recently awarded to Nadja Hahn, a radio reporter from the Austrian broadcasting service ORF for her research on how social media affects the quality of radio journalism. As Hahn notes, “before the Internet gave us Facebook and Twitter, radio was the closest thing we had to a social medium, and the phone-in was the most interactive format out there. It is therefore fascinating to see how the medium is adapting and how radio journalism in particular is rising to the challenge." As the first recipient of this award, Nadja will be publishing her Polis report in January 2013. More information about her research can be found here.|

Journalistfonden Fellowship

The Journalistfonden Fellowship is in partnership with Sweden's media foundation, Journalistfonden (The Journalist Fund), whose purpose is to help professional journalists in Sweden get further training in subject fields of importance to their work.


Our 2013 recipient, Karin O'Mahony, is a Swedish journalist and works for Svenska Dagbladet as online and mobile editor. Her research project at Polis, funded by Journalistfonden, in October-November 2013 is about live blogging and how it affects journalism. The report As it happens – The impact of live news blogs and their future will be published in March 2014.

     Sanna Trygg

The 2012 recipient of the Journalistfonden Fellowship was Sanna Trygg, a Swedish journalist, who studied why we moderate public comment and the effects of different moderation policies, comparing two different news sources: Sweden's Svenska Dagbladet, and the UK's The Guardian. A full copy of her report, Is Comment Free? Ethical, Editorial and political problems of moderating news online, can be found here.|

Polis Silverstone Scholarship

 This award is for an international journalist or foreign student from a developing country currently enrolled in a post-graduate degree at the LSE and studying an aspect of global journalism. The recipient will contribute to the work of Polis and publish a short paper based on their work. 

The Silverstone scholarship was founded in the memory of the late Professor Roger Silverstone, Head of the Media and Communications Department at LSE and the moving spirit behind the creation of Polis. His last book 'Media and Morality: On The Rise Of The Mediapolis' is a call for a better understanding of the importance of global news. 


The 2012-2013 Silverstone Scholarship went to Emal Etigani, LSE MSc student and journalist from Sudan. Here first blog post for Polis can be accessed here.|