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Thesis and Dissertation Prizes

The Faculty of Graduate Studies will award a maximum of six (6) thesis prizes for exceptional theses defended in a given year (i.e., calendar year January 1 to December 31). Normally three (3) of these will be awarded for Master's theses and three (3) for Doctoral dissertations.

  • The value of the awards will be $2,000.00 for Doctoral dissertations and $1,000.00 for Master's thesis.
  • The deadline for nomination, which must include a report from the nominating program, will be February 1.
  • Only one Master's thesis and one Doctoral dissertation may be nominated by a program in any one year.
  • The thesis or dissertation must have been recognised by the examining committee at the defence as being outstanding before it may be nominated.

Normally a decision of the examining committee to nominate a thesis or dissertation should be unanimous. Where a decision is not unanimous, but the committee wishes to nominate the thesis or dissertation, the written letter of nomination must represent the division of opinion and indicate why, notwithstanding the division of opinion, the thesis or dissertation should be nominated.

It is the responsibility of the Graduate Program Director to prepare the nomination. The submission must include:

  1. a statement from the examining committee expressing support of the thesis or dissertation as being outstanding;
  2. the report of the external examiner where applicable;
  3. a statement from the Chair of the committee, supported by the examining committee, detailing those elements of the thesis or dissertation which make it exceptional; and
  4. a statement from the Graduate Program Director.

The statement from the Graduate Program Director should include:

  1. the criteria used by the program in making its nomination;
  2. the reasons why this particular thesis or dissertation rather than some other thesis or dissertation was chosen;
  3. where applicable, a comparison of the thesis or dissertation nominated this year with previous nominations; and
  4. where a Graduate Program Director nominates a thesis or dissertation for a prize and the recommendation from the examining committee is not unanimous, the statement from the examining committee should be included as detailed in item 5 above.

The Awards Committee of the Faculty of Graduate Studies may seek advice from other members of the University before reaching their decisions.

The decisions of the Awards Committee will be final. The results will be announced at the Spring Convocation each year when the recipients will receive the awards.

Nominations for the Thesis and Dissertation Prizes will be also be considered, if applicable, for nomination for external thesis and dissertation awards such as the CAGS/UMI Distinguished Dissertation Awards and the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools dissertation and thesis awards.

Policy approved by the Faculty of Graduate Studies Council, January 7, 1993; updated and approved by Faculty Council March 6, 2014

Graduate programs submit nominations via email for these prizes, including all supporting documentation, to the Coordinator, Faculty Governance, acting on behalf of the FGS Awards Committee. Please note that the submission of bound copies of theses and dissertations is no longer required, as the Awards Committee may access electronic copies via FGS or the Library. Please submit documentation as one pdf document. Finally, please note that the statement from the examining committee referenced above refers to the Oral Examination Report where the thesis or dissertation is identified as outstanding and may be considered for this prize.