CAGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Awards


Likely in February 2024

Annual Value

$1,500 plus travel expenses to CAGS conference in November 2023


Permanent Resident

Degree Level


The CAGS-ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award recognizes Canadian doctoral dissertations that make unusually significant and original contributions to their academic field. They were established in 1994 and are presented annually by the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS), with sponsorship support provided by ProQuest. 

There are two awards: one for engineering, medical sciences and natural sciences; and one for fine arts, humanities and social sciences. Winners of this award will be granted a $1,500 cash prize, a certificate of recognition, and an opportunity to attend the 61st Annual CAGS Conference, to be held in Victoria, BC in November 2023.



  • A dissertation in any discipline in engineering, medical sciences and natural sciences completed and accepted by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies between 1 January 2022 and 31 December 2022.
  • A dissertation in any discipline in the fine arts, humanities, and social sciences completed and accepted by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies between 1 January 2022 and 31 December 2022.

Note: To be eligible, dissertations must be disseminated in full text format via the ProQuest Dissertation & Thesis Global database (PQDT Global), prior to jury selection.  This will be arranged for UBC's nominees in late March.


Nomination Procedures

Each UBC graduate program may nominate one dissertation to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies by 4:00 pm PT on 24 February 2023. A complete nomination package must include the following:

  • a letter of support from the graduate program, which also includes the following information:
    • a description of the process used to select the nominee
    • the name and departmental affiliation of the nominee’s research supervisor
    • the name and affiliation of the external examiner
    • the date of the defence and the date of final acceptance of the dissertation by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
  • a letter from the student’s supervisor or program director describing the reasons for the nomination, and why the dissertation constitutes a significant piece of original work
  • a copy of the external examiner's pre-defence report.  The examiner’s report must be dated and signed or otherwise authenticated by the Dean of Graduate Studies.
  • an abstract of the dissertation, not exceeding 350 words, written by the candidate in non-technical language
  • an up-to-date c.v. of the nominee

Submitting nominations to G+PS:

Graduate programs are to submit all nomination materials as electronic, rather than hard-copy, files.  Graduate programs are to upload their files to their UBC Sharepoint folder (within the umbrella folder ‘Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies – Programs – Folder Structure”)(named “FACULTY – DEPT“; e.g., “ARTS – PSYC”).

Please follow our file naming conventions:

  • For a dissertation in engineering, medical sciences or natural sciences ("NSE"):


ex. CAGS_NSE_EECE_Smith_Nancy.pdf

  • For a dissertation in the fine arts, humanities and social sciences ("SSH"):


ex. CAGS_SSH_CNER_Blackstock_Norman.pdf


Adjudication Procedures

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will convene an adjudication committee which will nominate one dissertation in each category to the national competition.

Further Information

For further information, please visit the CAGS website.

Questions about this award opportunity should be directed to Joanne Tsui (


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