CAGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Awards, UBC Dissertation Prize, Martha Salcudean Prize – Apply by Feb 20, 2024

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. Winners of this award will be granted a $1,500 cash prize, a certificate of recognition, and an opportunity to attend the 62nd Annual CAGS Conference, to be held in Toronto, ON in November 2024.

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:

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 at 8:00 am PT (submit your application package to


For eligibility requirements and application procedures, please visit:

Students who apply to the CAGS-ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award may also be considered for the following two prizes:

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 Eligibility: 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:

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 Martha Salcudean (1934-2019) was a leading expert in computational fluid dynamics and heat transfer, and the first woman to lead an engineering department at a Canadian university. Born in Romania, Professor Salcudean was a Holocaust survivor and lived under totalitarian communist regimes before emigrating to Canada 1975. Head of UBC Mechanical Engineering from 1985 to 1993, she was  integral to the growth of the department. Professor Salcudean was internationally 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, 2023 and December 31, 2023. 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.

If you have any questions, please reach out to