Serle Award

The Serle Award is given to the best postgraduate thesis in Australian history.

The Award is a biennial prize to commemorate the contribution to Australian History of Dr Geoffrey Serle (1922–1998). Geoffrey Serle was Lecturer in History at the University of Melbourne (1951–60), Senior Lecturer and Reader in History at Monash University (1961–63), and General Editor of the Australian Dictionary of Biography (1975–88). The Award has been established through the generosity of Mrs Jessie Serle.

The next Serle Award will be made in July 2024 for a thesis passed in the period 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2023.

Applications closed 31 January 2024.

Terms and conditions

The Award of $2,500 is presented biennially at the AHA Conference.

The Award is to be used to assist in the transformation of the thesis into a book. For example, it can be used as a publishing subsidy or to subsidise other costs associated with publication, such as the cost of carrying out extra research, funding permissions, copyright fees or illustrations but these examples are not exhaustive.

The Award money is to be spent within 12 months following acceptance of the award and a report must be submitted to the President of the AHA. The final publication must make appropriate acknowledgement of the Australian Historical Association and the Serle Award.

Applicants must be members of the AHA at the time of application.


The nominated postgraduate thesis must have passed in the two years prior to the year of the Award.

The thesis must not be published as a book prior to the Award being made.


An intention to submit email, outlining the author, thesis title and university of enrollment, should be sent prior to the application deadline, to the AHA Administrative Officer, by 30 September 2023.

Applicants must complete the application form that contains a statement from the author confirming the originality of the work and the nature of its contribution to the knowledge and understanding of Australian history. Application forms must be accompanied by copies of examiners’ reports, and a budget showing how the money will be spent. Applicants may also be asked, subsequently, to supply a complete digital copy of the thesis.

Applications are due by 31 January in the year of the Award.

Selection process

A panel of judges will be appointed by the AHA Executive Committee. The decision of the panel will be final.

Previous winners