Trench Gascoigne Essay Prize 2018

View the winners of this year's prizes.

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 on defence and security. 

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


The winner of the Trench-Gascoigne Prize Essay Competition for 2018 is Major Christopher Hitchins for his essay 'There Are No Five-Year Plans in the Ant Kingdom: Can Biology Give Us the Information Edge That Physics Cannot?'

Major Hitchins is a British Army officer in the Parachute Regiment and instructs on the Intermediate Command and Staff Course (Land) at the United Kingdom Defence Academy.

Second prizes awarded to:

William James for his essay, 'Salvaging Grand Strategy'.

William is Grand Strategy, Security, and Statecraft Fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Security Studies Program & DPhil candidate in International Relations at the University of Oxford (St Anthony’s College).

Alexander Gilder for his essay 'The Harmonisation of United Nations Stabilisation Mandates: The Effect of the Robust Use of Force and Counter-Terrorism'.

Alexander is a PhD Researcher & Graduate Teaching Fellow, The City Law School - City, University of London.

The prizes were presented by General Sir Nicholas Carter KCB CBE DSO ADC Gen, Chief of the Defence Staff, United Kingdom, following his Annual Lecture at RUSI on Tuesday 11 December 2018.


The judges this year were:

Lieutenant General Sir David Capewell KCB OBE, Distinguished Fellow, RUSI, and former Chief of Joint Operations, Ministry of Defence.

Professor Beatrice Heuser, Senior Associate Fellow, RUSI, and Professor of International Relations (Politics) University of Glasgow.

Air Vice Marshal Peter Dye OBE, former Director General, Royal Air Force Museum.

Simon Fovargue, Vice President Defence & Chief Executive Officer Atlas Consortium, DXC Technology.

Competition sponsor

  • DXC Technolgy

    DXC Technolgy

    The Competition is sponsored by DXC Technology


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