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The Polly Corrigan Book Prize is sponsored by The King’s Centre for the Study of Intelligence (KCSI), Intelligence and National Security (INS, Taylor & Francis), and the Women in Intelligence Network (WIN). It was set up to honour the life and work of the late Polly Corrigan, former journalist, PhD candidate, and teaching assistant at King’s College London, whose research focused on the Great Terror in 1930s Soviet Union and Ukraine. 

The Prize aims to recognise scholarship within the realm of intelligence and security, written by female scholars and/or about women. It encourages scholars to go beyond traditional lines of inquiry and explore how women contributed to and participated in the making of the ‘Secret World’. The Polly Corrigan Book Prize committee comprises representatives of King’s Intelligence and Security Group INS, WIN, and Polly’s mother, Jane Feinmann, a freelance journalist.  

The Committee will accept self-nominations as well as nominations by others. It will consider books and edited volumes written/edited (or co-written/co-edited) by women as well as publications written on women in intelligence (by either men or women). The 2024 Polly Corrigan Book Prize will consider books/edited volumes published in 2022 and 2023. 

More information to follow in spring 2024. 


The Prize winner/s will be invited to give a keynote presentation at The King’s Centre for the Study of Intelligence Lecture Series; INS will organise and publish a roundtable discussion of the winning book involving the author (published within 6 months of the award); and will receive a £200 book voucher. 

Past winners

Security Empire by Molly Pucci

A note by Jane Feinmann about her daughter Polly

When my daughter Polly Corrigan died suddenly and unexpectedly from cancer in 2019, she was at the top of her game both in her personal life and professionally. She was in sight of the end of her PhD on the KGB during the Great Terror, on which she had embarked as a mature student. It was awarded posthumously in 2022.

Increasingly active in KCL’s Department of War Studies, Polly was a founder member of Women In Intelligence Network and lectured about the unequal representation of women both in intelligence itself and in academic publishing. This observation, as I understand it, contributed to the decision to establish a book prize that would encourage women academics in intelligence generally, as well as developing a feminist critique of intelligence studies.

The decision to have the prize in her name made after her death is something she would never have looked for but would have regarded as a huge honour. As it is, the #PollyCorriganBookPrize is a comfort and joy for her family and friends. Needless to say, in the years ahead she would almost certainly have entered one or more of the books that she was already planning on Soviet intelligence, censorship, Russian literature and more.