As part of its brief “to promote, encourage or undertake research and disseminate the useful results of such research” the Mills Archive is once again running a research competition with cash prizes and guarantees of publication. There is no entry fee.

The research must be on a topic connected with a traditional use of wind, water or muscle power. The judges are particularly interested in publishing research related to any aspect of flour milling – ancient, traditional or modern, foreign or domestic. Research on flour mills from the use of querns to modern industrial processing would complement our Internet-based timeline being funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Subjects such as steam power or roller mills are admissible, although the judges must be convinced that they are sufficiently molinological. The work must be original, previously unpublished and written in English.

Two prizes are on offer, and the entries will be judged by a panel comprising two trustees from the Mills Archive Trust, together with one "lay" member selected by them who has mill expertise appropriate to the subject matter. The panel’s decisions are final and it is not obliged to explain them.

The competition is open to anyone over the age of 18 on the date of submission. Researchers must choose which of the two prizes they wish to compete for and inform the judges of the intended title by 1st December 2015.

The Mills Archive Research Prize of £500 is for a major piece of research of about 25,000 words. The winning entry will be presented as a stand-alone individual edition, published by the Mills Archive Trust.

The Mills Archive Research Award of £50 is for shorter research communications of about 5,000 words. The winning entry will be published in a special edition of Mill memories.

Illustrations are not essential for either competition and the work may draw on items deposited in the Mills Archive. Use of the Archive and its holdings is recommended but is not a condition of entry. A public lecture, to be delivered at the Mills Archive in Reading, may be arranged if it seems appropriate.

The deadline for submission of entries to the competition is 31st May 2016.

The full rules of the competition are available on this site and also by request to: The Research Management Board, The Mills Archive Trust, Watlington House, 44 Watlington Street, Reading, RG1 4RJ, UK.