Guidelines and Procedures for the StFX Outstanding Graduate Student Research Award

A. Overview:

STFX Graduate Student Research awards (two in total) will be made available

a) One (1) award for the Faculties of Arts and Education;

b) One (1) award for the Faculty of Science.

These may be awarded at the Spring and Fall convocations annually.

The award is valued at $250. 

B. Award Criteria:

Eligible students must have completed a thesis.

The thesis should represent the highest level of scholarship and represent a significant contribution to fostering the understanding of current issues, problems, or interests in the field.

The conclusions of the research should advance theory, knowledge, and/or professional practice.

The scope of the research should be adequate for the problem or issue under consideration.

The thesis should demonstrate a high calibre of writing.

C. Award Procedures:

The thesis should be nominated by the thesis advisor with a letter of support from one other faculty member and an external evaluator. The thesis advisor should ensure that the Committee is supplied with (i) a summary (not to exceed 500 words) concerning the significance of the thesis, (ii) the Table of Contents, and (iii) a representative chapter from the thesis.

External assessors of theses will be requested to indicate on their evaluations whether the thesis meets the criteria for the award.

Nominations and supporting documentation must be received by the Chair of Graduate Studies no later than 15 March for Spring Convocation and 15 October for Fall Convocation.

D. Judges

Nominations will be considered by a committee of judges consisting of:

  1. The Dean of the Faculty in which the student is a degree candidate.
  2. The Chair of Graduate Studies (Chair)
  3. One member from each Faculty offering graduate programmes, selected by the Graduate Studies Committee.

E. Guidelines for Judging:

To be considered for an award, the thesis must normally be judged to be in the top 10% of recent theses in the field.

The judges may solicit an additional external evaluation.

The judges will have access to recent theses in the discipline should it be useful in arriving at a decision.

Judges are encouraged to consider the following questions in reviewing the application:

(1) Is this a significant contribution to the field (e.g., would the thesis rank in the top 10% of Masters theses you have examined)?

(2) Is there reason to conclude that this thesis could be built upon either by the author or by
future researchers? Does it hold long term potential for further systematic investigation?
(3) Is the methodology and theory used appropriate and well applied?

(4) Are the findings, conclusions, recommendations, or emergent questions both clear and significant to the field?

(5) Does the thesis indicate mastery of the literature relevant to the topic?

(6) Does the thesis demonstrate a high calibre of writing?

F. Award

The recommendation of the judges will be forwarded to the Graduate Studies Committee for approval at the appropriate meeting for the approval of degree candidates.

If possible, the candidate will be notified of the Committee’s decision prior to convocation.

Announcement of the award will be made at the convocation at which the candidate will graduate.