Prizes and Grants

One of the Mercurians’ roles is to encourage scholarship in the history of communication technologies. The Mercurians Prize and Pamela Laird Travel Award help increase and raise the level of scholarship in the field by new or junior scholars; that is, either current graduate students or postdoctorates who are no more than three years beyond receipt of the terminal degree in their field at the application deadline.

The Pamela Laird Travel Award helps defray the costs of travel and housing to use a research collection. The Mercurians Prize is for the best article on the history of communication technologies published during the previous two years in any peer-reviewed journal.

The prize and the grant will be awarded in alternating years. The first two travel grants of US$1,000 each were announced during the 2011 SHOT annual meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, and the third at the 2013 SHOT meeting in Portland, Maine, USA.

Requirements and Application

The Mercurians Prize

The Mercurians Prize honors the best article on some aspect of the history of communication technologies, defined broadly but dating at least 25 years before publication. The article must be written in English and have appeared in a peer-reviewed journal. To be eligible for the initial award in 2022, articles must have been published during the previous two calendar years: 2020-2021.

Send PDFs of qualified articles to

2022 Committee:

  • Jonathan Coopersmith, chair
  • Valérie Schafer
  • Mara Mills

Pamela Laird Travel Award

  • Only travel to an appropriate archival collection for research on an aspect of the history of communication technology, broadly defined, will be supported.
  • History is defined here as occurring at least 25 years before the date of application for the grant.
  • The archive can be open to the public, private, or even closed, provided that necessary permissions have been obtained and documented for access.
  • The deadline for submitting an application is 11:59 PM/23:59 Greenwich Mean Time, 5 December 2021.

Complete the application form [Word document] and email it and a c.v. (no more than 3 pages, 12-point font, 2.5cm/1 inch margins) to Your c.v. should include publications, fellowships, or other accomplishments relevant to your proposed research, as well as professional societies or other affiliations. The deadline for submitting an application is midnight GMT, 5 December 2021. The winner will be announced by Friday, 14 January, 2022.

Award Committee members:

  • Prof. Louis Carlat, Thomas A. Edison Papers, Rutgers The State University of New Jersey
  • Prof. Pamela W. Laird, University of Colorado Denver
  • Dr. Maria Rikitianskaia, Regent’s University London

Past grant winners

2021 Sarah Nelson, Southern Methodist University.

2013 Ian Johnson, Ohio State University.

2011 Carmen Krol, Cornell University; Michael Lemon, Indiana University, Bloomington.

To contribute to these awards’ funding, please do so through the SHOT website, or write your check or international money order payable to SHOT (Society for the History of Technology). Please write “Mercurians” on the memo line. Mail your check to

Amy Bix, SHOT Treasurer
5 Woodland Lane
Kirksville, MO  63501

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