Trench Gascoigne Essay Prize

Dating back to 1874, the Trench Gascoigne Essay Prize reflects and reinforces the Institute's status as a uniquely placed platform for free thinking debate. 

Awards are made on the basis of originality, logical argument, sound analysis, style, clarity and conciseness.

The competition is open to authors of any nationality but must be written in English. and entries are welcome from - but not exclusive to - members of the Armed Forces of nations. One or more prizes within a total of £2,000 is awarded each year.

For further information please contact the Competition Manager, Simon Rankmore, Copyeditor, RUSI, at

2022 Trench Gascoigne Essay Prize

Submissions are now open to our annual competition for original writing on contemporary issues of national and international defence and security. Find out more details on the 2022 Trench Gascoigne Essay Prize page and how to enter.

Previous years' prizes

See the winners from previous years.

Trench Gascoigne Essay Prize 2021
Trench Gascoigne Essay Prize 2020
Trench Gascoigne Essay Prize 2019
Trench Gascoigne Essay Prize 2018

Read the previous years' winning essays

2020 Winner: William D James

RUSI Journal
Between a Pandemic and a Hard Brexit: Grand Strategic Thinking in an Age of Nationalism, Renewed Geopolitical Competition and Human Insecurity

2019 Winner: Patrick Hinton

RUSI Journal
Strategic Culture: In Defiance of a Structural World Order

2018 Winner: Chris Hitchins

RUSI Journal
Can Biology Give Us the Information Edge that Physics Cannot?