CSLS Prize in Language and Social Justice

As Avineri, Graham, Johnson, Riner and Rose (2019) note in their recent book Language and Social Justice in Practice, language is an increasingly important focus of conversations – and controversies – about social inequality. The Center for the Study of Language and Society (CSLS) at the University of Bern seeks to support research on language and social inequality in the Swiss context and to promote the importance of language and language issues for the creation of a more just and equal society.

As part of the goal, the CSLS is delighted to announce the creation of the CSLS Prize in Language and Social Justice. The prize will be awarded annually from 2021 to a junior researcher (PhD student or early postdoc) who has conducted research on language, inequality and social (in)justice in Switzerland. The winner will be awarded a prize of CHF 3'000, intended to support them in communicating their research findings to a non-academic public and/or in developing real-world applications of their research. The winner will also be invited to present a guest lecture about their research in December 2021. The guest lecture is part of a lecture series on Language and Social Justice organized by the CSLS in the fall of 2021.


  • Current PhD students and early postdoctoral researchers (< 3 years post-PhD award) are eligible to apply.
  • Applicants should be affiliated with a higher education institution in Switzerland. We encourage research and outreach activities that deal with issues of language and social (in)justice in Switzerland itself, though projects focusing on any area of the world are eligible to apply.
  • The underpinning research on language, inequality and social (in)justice may be already completed or in progress, though if in progress it should be at a sufficiently advanced stage such that results, and potential applications of those results, can be discussed.

Application Process

  • To apply, applicants should fill in the form below, where they will be required to provide a brief summary of the relevant research, a statement about how this research relates to issues of language, inequality and social (in)justice, and a description of the type of outreach and/or social impact activities the prize money would help to support.
  • Applicants should email this form along with a short (2-page) CV to christoph.neuenschwander@csls.unibe.ch by Friday 3 September 2021.
  • Application materials may be submitted in German, French, Italian or English.
  • The 2021 prize winner will be announced by the end of September 2021.