08 November 2016

Ellis Joffe Prize for PLA Studies: Accepting Nominations

Dear Colleague,

The National Bureau of Asian Research is accepting nominations for the Ellis Joffe Prize for PLA Studies, an award established to honor the late Ellis Joffe, a renowned China scholar, friend, and mentor to generations of PLA watchers.

Nominations should be received by January 1, 2017.

For more information about the Joffe Prize, please contact JoffePrize@nbr.org.



Professor Ellis Joffe was a revered member of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)-watching community. Born in Shanghai in 1934, he moved to Israel as a teenager where he received his undergraduate training. Later, he earned his Ph.D. at Harvard University under Professor John K. Fairbank. Dr. Joffe’s career included stints as both a journalist and a scholar. Elli, as he was affectionately known, ultimately became a full professor in International Relations and East Asian Studies at Hebrew University. He combined high standards of academic scholarship with the empathetic spirit of a beloved professor. He passed away on January 27, 2010.



In appreciation of his scholarship and mentorship, the American PLA-watching community has established the Ellis Joffe Prize for PLA Studies at The National Bureau of Asian Research. The Joffe Prize will honor Elli’s memory by recognizing a rising PLA scholar who has conspicuously contributed to the enhancement of the field of China security studies and who demonstrates Elli’s traits of grace and civility.

The award will be announced in Spring 2017 and will include a cash prize, publication of an essay by the winner on an important topic in the field, and recognition at the next Carlisle PLA Conference.

Nominations are welcome via email or letter and should be sent to members of the Selection Committee or to NBR at JoffePrize@nbr.org no later than January 1, 2017.



  1. The Prize will be awarded to a rising scholar in the field of PLA studies, which is broadly defined to include all aspects of the PLA, including the PAP. Fields of relevance include all academic disciplines and subject areas germane to the study of military affairs (political science, history, national security, civil-military relations, etc.). Nominees may also be from individuals in the areas of journalism, the armed forces, and the intelligence community.
  1. Nominees should be “rising scholars” who are relatively new to the fields described above, having made major contributions within the past five years. If the individual is from traditional academe, they should not yet have attained tenure.
  1. Nominees should be engaged in publishing open source materials that are available to public examination, including online as well as peer-reviewed publications.
  1. A nominee’s contribution to the field shall be such that he/she offers “conceptual clarity” or a fresh, innovative look at new or existing challenges in understanding China’s security. Quantity of publications is not as important as the quality of publications.
  1. Nominees should possess the qualities of grace and civility for which Elli was renowned in the field.


Nomination process:

  1. Nominations shall be accompanied by a full CV as well as select nominee publications for Selection Committee review.
  1. Complete nomination packets should be sent to: JoffePrize@nbr.org



Dr. Cynthia Watson, National War College (Secretary)

Dr. Paul Godwin,  National War College, retired

LTC Roy Kamphausen (U.S. Army, retired), The National Bureau of Asian Research

Dr. Michael Swaine, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Dr. Larry Wortzel, US Army, retired

Dr. Andrew Erickson, Naval War College and inaugural Joffe Prize winner