Call for Applications: CAGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Awards – Deadline: Feb 17, 2023 (8 AM)

CAGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Awards – PhD

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.  To be eligible, dissertations must have been completed and accepted by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies between 1 January 2022 and 31 December 2022. Winners of this award will be granted a $1,500 cash prize, a certificate of recognition, and an opportunity to attend the 60th Annual CAGS Conference, to be held in Victoria, BC in November 2023.

Application package must include:

  • a letter from the student’s supervisor describing the reasons for the nomination, and why the dissertation constitutes a significant piece of original work (The letter of support must be sent directly from the supervisor to
  • 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

Application deadline: 

Friday, February 17, 2023 at 8:00 am PT (submit your application package to

For eligibility requirements and application procedures, please visit:

Related Awards

Recipients of the following prizes will be selected from the applicants to CAGS/Proquest Distinguished Dissertation Awards:

UBC Dissertation Prize

Three prizes of $1,000 each have been made available annually by the University of British Columbia for students whose doctoral dissertations are of exceptional quality and originality and make a significant contribution to the scholarly field and/or society. One prize will be offered in each of the following fields: social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and engineering, and health sciences. The prizes are made on the recommendation of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and recipients will be chosen from nominations to the CAGS/Proquest Distinguished Dissertation Awards competition.

Nomination and selection of successful candidates will be routed through the CAGS ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Awards. For eligibility requirements and nomination procedures, please refer to the criteria for the CAGS ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Awards available online here: Further information will be circulated as it becomes available.

Martha Salcudean Prize in Mechanical Engineering

PhD students who apply for CAGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Awards will automatically be considered for the Martha Salcudean Prize in Mechanical Engineering. Prizes totaling $1,000 have been made available annually by the Department of Mechanical Engineering, in memory of Professor Martha Salcudean (FRSC, OC, OBC) (1934-2019) for outstanding Ph.D. students in the Department of Mechanical Engineering who have written a strong doctoral dissertation. Professor Salcudean was born in Romania, and was a survivor of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. She emigrated from communist Romania to Canada in 1975, and was a professor at the University of Ottawa before arriving at UBC. Professor Salcudean served as Head of the UBC Department of Mechanical Engineering from 1985 to 1993, and was integral to the growth of the department. She was an internationally distinguished researcher recognized for her contributions to metallurgy and pulp and paper processes.

  • Eligibility : Mechanical Engineering students must have submitted the final copy of their PhD thesis to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022. Note: Students who apply for CAGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Awards will automatically be considered for the Martha Salcudean Prize in Mechanical Engineering and no extra application will be required.
  • Evaluation criteria: The award(s) will be given to the student(s) who has achieved an outstanding academic record as a doctoral student(s), as assessed through the applicant’s submitted materials to the Governor General’s Gold Medal.
  • Value: Each award is valued at $1,000. The prize is contingent on a candidate who is outstanding in the above criteria, and may not be awarded every year.