CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award


Graduate program nomination deadline: likely June 2019

Annual Value

an award of $2,000, a certificate of recognition, reasonable travel expenses to the annual meeting of the Council of Graduate Schools


Permanent Resident

Degree Level


These awards are made to individuals who have completed PhD dissertations representing original work that makes an unusually significant contribution to the discipline. Graduate programs may submit up to two nominations: one in Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Engineering and one in Social Sciences. To be eligible, the nominee must have completed her or his doctoral degree requirements in the period of July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2018, inclusive. UBC will forward up to one nominee in each category to the international competition (open to all institutions who are members of the Council of Graduate Schools in the US and Canada).



  • The effective date of degree award, or the completion of doctoral degree requirements and dissertation, must fall in the period of July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2018, inclusive, for each nominee selected.
  • Subject fields (a non-inclusive list of the research areas belonging to the broad fields under consideration is provided below):
    • Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Engineering: Mathematics, statistics, computer sciences, data processing, systems analysis, chemistry, earth sciences, physics, geology, meteorology, astronomy, metallurgy, geophysics, pharmaceutical chemistry; aeronautical, architectural, biomedical, ceramic, chemical, civil, and electrical engineering sciences; environmental health engineering; geological, mechanical, mining, nuclear, and petroleum engineering.

    • Social Sciences: agricultural economics, geography, anthropology, archaeology, economics, education, sociology, government (political science), demography, and psychology. Please note that for purposes of this competition, history is classed within the humanities and is not a field of competition in 2018

  • If a dissertation is multi- or interdisciplinary in nature, a significant portion of the work must be comprised by at least one of the 2018 fields of competition.

Evaluation Criteria

The nominated dissertations should represent original work making an unusually significant contribution to the disciplines. Both methodological and substantive quality will be judged.

Application Procedures

  • Applicants should consult their graduate program for its internal application deadline.
  • Applicants must submit to their graduate program the following:
    • An abstract of the applicant’s dissertation (not to exceed 10 double-spaced pages). Appendices containing nontextual material, such as charts or tables, may be included as additional pages. All pages should be numbered, and each should bear the name of the applicant.
    • Three letters of recommendation evaluating the significance and quality of the applicant’s dissertation work. One of these letters is to be from the applicant's dissertation supervisor, another from a member of the applicant's dissertation committee, and the third from a person of the applicant's choice.
    • The applicant’s curriculum vitae (not to exceed five pages).

Nomination Procedures

The CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award is very competitive - PhD dissertations from universities across North America are forwarded to this competition. UBC graduate programs are strongly encouraged to only forward nominations that are competitive with those from top PhDs throughout North America. A list of recent awardees is available from the CGS website. 

  • The deadline to submit to Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies is 4:00 p.m. Friday, 8 June 2018.
  • Graduate programs may submit up to two nominations: one in Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Engineering and one in Social Sciences.
  • Graduate programs must submit to G+PS the following:
    • nomination form, completing the first section "Information about the Nominee"
    • application materials listed in "Application Procedures" above
  • Each complete nomination package is to be uploaded as a single PDF file (filename: "CGS_Program_LastName_FirstName.pdf" (e.g., nomination file for student Jane Smith from Mathematics would be named "CGS_MATH_Smith_Jane.pdf")) into the graduate program's Workspace G+PS Awards folder

Further Information

Please see the CGS website for additional information.