Preserving our immigration history.

Gunn Prize

In their effort to preserve the legacy of Canada’s immigration history and to support continued excellence in research in Canada on migration to and settlement in Canada the Canadian Immigration Historical Society (CIHS) in cooperation with the Local Engagement Refugee Research Network (LERNN) (LERRN) and the Department of History at Carleton University jointly offer the Gunn Prize, a $1,000 prize for a fourth-year undergraduate or graduate-level research paper on the historical evolution of Canadian immigration policy or historical analysis of Canadian immigration-related to specific places, events, or communities. The prize is named after Al Gunn, one of the founding members of the CIHS and its longstanding Secretary until his death in 2009.

The Gunn Prize for the best historical essay on migration to and settlement in Canada is an interdisciplinary prize, and will therefore consider papers from any discipline in the social sciences and humanities (e.g., history, political science, sociology, global studies, communication studies) that addresses migration to and settlement in Canada from a historical perspective. The prize is national and will accept applications from graduating fourth-year students and graduate students enrolled in Canadian universities, in either French or English, from across the country. Papers are reviewed by a committee consisting of Carleton University and CIHS associates/members. The prize will be conferred jointly by the CIHS and Carleton University and will be given out annually in the fall.

The deadline for the annual competition is June 30 each year.


  • English or French.
  • Up to 20 pages in length, excluding bibliography. Longer submissions will not be considered.
  • All essays should be carefully edited for spelling, grammar, and accuracy of content.
  • Include a cover page with name/contact information (name should not appear on subsequent pages) the course, degree program and institution for which the paper was written, as well as the current program status of the author. If the contact information is tied to an academic institution, a more permanent telephone number, email address, and mailing address should be included.
  • Chapter excerpts from thesis projects will be accepted. In such cases, a short 250-word abstract should accompany the submission to explain the larger project.
  • 5 line spacing, one-inch margins in a standard 12-point font such as Times New Roman.
  • Citations in Chicago, APA or MLA style.
  • Submit as a Word and PDF file to
  • Note: By submitting their paper, the author consents to it being made public on the CIHS website and the LERRN and Department of History websites at Carleton University, should their work be selected for the award. The author also consents to revising their piece, for inclusion as a 1,000 word essay in the Canadian Immigration Historical Society Bulletin.

Previous Winners