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Other cultural activities

The college encourages high-level public participation and performance in other spheres, for example in debating competitions, poetry reading, acting or music-related activities.  Some financial support may be available for these activities.  You should apply in advance on the appropriate standard College grant form.

The College also offers a number of prizes listed below.  Full details, how to apply and deadlines will be sent round to students as and when the competitions open.

The Brian Riley Declamation Prize

A prize of £700 (at least half to be taken in books) may be awarded for the best speech on any topical subject with a European theme.  Information is posted in the Hall Screens during the Michaelmas term. Competition usually takes place in November.  Details of this year's competition can be found here.

Searle Prize for Reading in Chapel

The competition for this prize is open to all undergraduates and affiliated students of the College in their final year and graduates in any one year of their course. The winner receives a prize of £100 and reads a lesson at the special service of Commemoration of Benefactors.

Trials are held in the Chapel. Candidates are required to read passages from the Authorized Version of the Bible, prepared and at sight.  Those who wish to enter should apply to the Dean in writing. A formal notice about this will be posted in April.

Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett Prize

Any current Pembroke undergraduate or graduate student is eligible for the Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett Prize. The prize was established to encourage and reward creative writing, and in honour of the novelist Dame Ivy Compton- Burnett. The Prize, of £400, will be awarded to the best original composition, in poetry, prose, or drama. The Judges will include an English Fellow, an external Member of the English Faculty, and one writer or publisher outside Cambridge.

The closing date will be towards the beginning of the Easter term.  Entries may be up to 2,000 words in length and should be submitted either by email to, or as a hard copy to the Tutorial Office. Entrants should not include their name on their entry, but in a covering letter or email, along with the title of their work to ensure anonymity. The winning entry will be published in the College Gazette.  Details of this year's competition can be found here.

Peter Clarke Science Writing Prize

Open to any current Pembroke undergraduate or graduate student studying Natural Sciences, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Engineering is eligible for the Pembroke Science Writing Prize.  The Prize has been established by a scientific publisher alumnus, Peter Clarke (1971) and its aim is to promote clarity in communication of scientific ideas and issues to a general audience, and will be awarded to an article of up to 2,000 words in length.  The winning entry will be published on the College website. Further details will be circulated.