Doctoral Citations for Graduation

Doctoral students are the University's top students, earning the highest degree bestowed by UBC and contributing to the institution and the world through their research. In recognition of the accomplishments of its doctoral graduates, UBC has instituted the reading of doctoral citations during graduation ceremonies.

What is a doctoral citation?

The citation should summarize, in lay language and a maximum of 350 characters, including spaces, the nature of the independent research, the contribution to knowledge made by the candidate in the dissertation, and the intellectual and/or practical value of the work. The citation is read during the hooding for each doctoral graduate at the convocation ceremony. The title of the dissertation is not read out.

How/when do I submit my citation?

All doctoral students who will be awarded their degrees in the next graduation season are asked to please submit their citations (350 characters maximum, including spaces) via the SSC. You can do this when you apply to graduate.

Important: If you are submitting a late application for graduation, please email your citation to

Who writes the doctoral citation?

The candidate writes the citation, and checks it with his/her supervisor before submitting it to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. All doctoral students attending congregation are required to submit a citation. Regardless of whether you choose to attend the ceremony we hope you will send in a citation for our records to document your academic contributions as a UBC graduate student.

It is important that those present at the ceremony are able to comprehend the nature of the research and appreciate its contribution to society, although they may have no specialized knowledge of the field or its technical terms. For this reason, all citations are subject to editing for clarity.

Examples of citations:

John Andrew Smith

Dr Smith showed in the walrus and whale how the production of prostaglandin hormones is regulated by different enzymes in the uterus and placenta before birth. These comparative studies assist us in understanding how the fetus regulates the timing of its own birth in all mammals.

Sylvia Wei Chung

Dr Chung examined how Alcoholics Anonymous helps people maintain sobriety and develop psychosocial well-being. She found a culture in which "veteran" AA members apprentice newer members through ritual, stories and direct instruction, enhancing the success of each. This research illuminates the role of community and mentorship in treating addiction.

Warren James Endicott

Dr Endicott developed an inexpensive and environmentally friendly method to release phosphorus fixed in plant material. He subsequently applied his method to treat agricultural waste products resulting in the capture of phosphorus in a form that can be reutilized thereby reducing the build up of phosphorus in our waterways.

Raymond Solteau

Dr Solteau studied the politics of reusing another writer's language in the early works of Karl Marx. Though Marx’s work has long been analysed in terms of its more explicit political content, Dr Solteau argues that the implicit politics of the form are just as important to Marx's project.

Please visit Doctoral Citations for more examples.