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Durham University

Department of Anthropology

The David Brooks Memorial Prize

Following his death, it was suggested by David's friends, relatives, colleagues and students that a fund be established in recognition of his highly distinctive contribution to teaching and research in social anthropology. The objective of such a fund would be to encourage, by way of an annual prize, originality in undergraduate ethnographic research and writing for third year students. To date numerous generous donations have been made to the Fund from some of the many people who knew and admired David.

Donors to the Memorial fund

Dr. Ahmed Al-Shahi, Dr. Simon Coleman, Dr. Hyla Holden, Dr. Marie Johnson, Dr. Walia Kani, Dr. A. Russel & Dr. T Kohn, Professor Robert Layton, Dr. W. D. Wilder, John Hayward (Principal, University College Stockton), Dr. Sue Wright, Dr. Sarah Ladbury, Christina Callan, Mr. Peter Rowe, Mr. & Mrs. J & A MacDonnell, Bob and Joanna Simpson, Dr. J Hockey, Mrs. E Smart, Dr. D Walker, Wendy James and Douglas H Johnson, Mrs. E. W. Wright, Dr. Iain Edgar, Mr. and Mrs. D Munro, Mr. and Mrs. A.M & E.W Gold, Mark Bradbury & Judith Gardner, The Brooks Family, Sam Peterson, Dr. Sheena Crawford, University of Durham Department of Anthropology, Michael Gilsenan, Alison and Jeremy James.

The students eligible for the award are all those completing an ethnographic dissertation as part of their third year studies (this includes honours and joint honours students).

1. The Memorial Fund Committee

The award is administered by a committee currently made up of Professor Bob Simpson (Department of Anthropology, University of Durham), Dr Elizabeth Kirtsoglou (Department of Anthropology, University of Durham), Dr Iain Edgar (Department of Anthropology, University of Durham), and Dr Clare Wilkinson-Weber (Department of Anthropology, Washington State University, USA).

2. Terms of the award

The award will be made to the student producing the most original ethnographic research in the form of a third year dissertation. The criteria upon which originality will be assessed relate to the following aspects of the research:

  • originality of design - including topic and scope of research.
  • originality of implementation - including conduct and commitment in field research
  • originality of interpretation - including analysis and theoretical insight
  • originality of presentation - including quality of writing and styles of presentation (e.g. use of different media)

3. Entering for the award

If you wish to enter for the award you will need to do the following:

  • produce a covering letter which indicates briefly why the submitted work is thought to be a suitable candidate for the prize. Please state clearly your name, address and telephone number.
  • submit a copy of your dissertation and your covering letter by email to by Friday 17 May 2019, 12 Noon.

(Please Note: the assessment of your dissertation for the David Brooks Memorial Fund Award is entirely independent of the assessment of the dissertation as part of your degree).

The award will take the form of £100 worth of book tokens. The successful applicant will be informed by letter of the Committee's decision prior to the degree ceremony each year. The verdict of the Committee is final. Exceptionally, the committee may choose to award the prize to more than one recipient in a year.

Professor Bob Simpson, Chairman, DBMF


David Brooks in Iran

View information about Durham Anthropologist David Brooks' work with the Bakhtiari in Iran and his Oscar nominated film.