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Hi everyone,

We’ve been racking our brains trying to think of a good way to celebrate e-IR’s fifth birthday with you. Half a decade online feels like a milestone that’s worth marking!

The website has come a long way since it was first conceived in November 2007. In the early days, it relied entirely on contributions from the co-founders’ friends (who were bullied, bribed and otherwise cajoled into sharing their work!) and a few sympathetic academics who kindly took a chance on us.

Five years down the line, e-IR is maintained by a network of over sixty students and graduates, based in eighteen countries, on five continents. It’s not unusual for six or seven posts to go online in a 24 hour period – and the website regularly attracts over a million page views a month. We hope we’re meeting our goal – to be the world’s leading website for students of international politics.

While the changes over the last five years have been significant, some important elements have remained the same. e-IR is still entirely run by volunteers; our editorial team gives tens of thousands of hours each year to maintain the website. (We even roped in the dad of one team-member, who gave hundreds of hours for free to refresh the site’s design in 2011). Academics still generously contribute articles, blog posts and reviews – and students allow us to publish their essays for the benefit of their global peer group.

Despite (or, rather, because of), these generous contributions, the cost of running the site has rocketed: page views have been growing over 100% annually and our hosting fees have risen accordingly. After exploring several ways to cope with this cost, in 2011 we formed a non-profit company, so that we could sell advertising space to politics and IR departments. A number of prestigious universities now promote their courses on the website for a small charge.  Thankfully this model has proven successful and e-IR is in good shape for the future.

…which brings us back to the matter of a birthday celebration.

As a team, we’d like for our readers be able to share in the website’s success. We think we’ve come up with a good solution:

We’re pleased to announce an e-IR scholarship, to be awarded to a promising student in support of their Masters studies. In 2013, the scholarship – which is open to applications from our readers worldwide – will be worth £1,700 (about $2,500), incorporating £1,000 in direct financial assistance plus an additional £700 worth of books, thanks to generous support from Hurst Publishers, Oxford University Press, Routledge and Sage.

If e-IR continues to thrive, we plan to offer the scholarship annually, increasing the value or quantity over time. We hope it can play a small part in enabling other international politics students to enjoy – and continue – their studies.

If you would like to apply for the scholarship then you will find the relevant details here. If you would like more information, please do get in touch via email, Facebook or twitter.

Thank you for your support over the past five years

Adam Groves             Stephen McGlinchey              and the e-IR Editorial Team
Co-founder                 Lead Editor