The Betty M. Unterberger Dissertation Prize

The Betty M. Unterberger Prize is intended to recognize and encourage distinguished research and writing by graduate students in the field of diplomatic history. The Prize of $1,000 is awarded biannually (in odd years) to the author of a dissertation, completed during the previous two calendar years, on any topic in United States foreign relations history. The authors must be members of SHAFR at the time of submission.  The Prize is announced at the annual SHAFR conference. The Prize was established in 2004 to honor Betty Miller Unterberger, a founder of SHAFR and long-time professor of diplomatic history at Texas A&M University.

Applicants are encouraged to review carefully the criteria for both the Betty M. Unterberger and Oxford University Press dissertation prizes, as they are offered in nonconsecutive years and have different requirements. Individuals who submit their dissertation for one award and do not receive it may submit it for the other if their work meets the criteria.

Procedures: A dissertation completed in 2021 to 2022 may be submitted for the 2023 prize by the author or the author's advisor. Submit an electronic copy of the dissertation, no later than February 1, 2023, to:

The Betty M. Unterberger Dissertation Prize Recent Winners:

  • 2021 Paul J. Welch Behringer, “U.S. and Japanese Intervention in the Russian Civil War: Violence and ‘Barbarism’ in the Far East.”
  • 2019 Jessica Levy, Johns Hopkins University
  • 2017 Zach Fredman, with Honorable Mention to Betsy Beasley
  • 2015 Mark Seddon, University of Sheffield
  • 2013 Jacob S. Eder, University of Pennsylvania
  • 2011 Thomas Field, London School of Economics, and Julia F. Irwin, Yale University
  • 2009 Gregory R. Domber, George Washington University
  • 2007 Jennifer Heckard, University of Connecticut
  • 2005 Jonathan Winkler, Yale University