CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award


TBA: Graduate Program Nomination Deadline likely June 2022

Eligibility of Citizenship: Canadian, Permanent Residence, and International
Degree Level: Doctoral
Award Status: Closed
Applicant Status: Continuing Students


Quick Facts

These awards are made to individuals who have completed PhD dissertations representing original work that makes an unusually significant contribution to the discipline. The College of Graduate Studies 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 their doctoral degree requirements in the period of July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2020, 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).

Value: Two CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Awards, each consisting of an award of $2,000 and a certificate of recognition, will be presented at the CGS Annual Meeting Awards Luncheon on December 3, 2020, in Washington, D.C. Reasonable travel expenses of award recipients will be covered.


  • The effective date of degree award, or the completion of doctoral degree requirements and dissertation, must fall in the period of July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2020, 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 2020.
  • If a dissertation is multi- or interdisciplinary in nature, a significant portion of the work must be comprised by at least one of the 2020 fields of competition.

Note: The CGS/ProQuest Award operates on a two-year cycle in regard to fields of competition. The fields of competition for 2021 will be Biological/Life Sciences, and Humanities.

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 and 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 on the CGS website.

  • Graduate programs may only submit one nomination to CoGS
  • Applicants should consult their graduate program for their 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 non-textual material, such as charts or tables, may be included as additional pages (not to exceed 10 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)
  • Please submit nomination materials by the deadline indicated above electronically to:
  • The deadline for CoGS to submit up to two nominations to UBC Vancouver’s Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies is 4:00 p.m. Friday, 12 June 2020
  • Only successful nominees are notified

Further Information

Questions? Please contact: or visit the CGS website for additional information.