IMCN Thesis Award



1. Purpose

The IMCN best PhD thesis award, which is awarded yearly, aims to promote high quality scientific research within the Institute. The winner of the award will receive an amount of € 1,500. In addition to the winning PhD thesis, the selection committee may also recognize the exceptional quality of one or two (or exceptionally more) PhD theses to highlight their scientific quality.

2. Procedure

The best PhD thesis prize is awarded each calendar year. Nominations are submitted by the candidates themselves. Thesis supervisors who consider that a student performed high quality research are invited to encourage him/her to submit an application.

In order to be eligible for the award, applicants must comply with the following requirements:

  • at least one of the co-supervisors must be an official active member of IMCN (« membre affecté »),
  • and the PhD thesis must have been publicly defended during the previous calendar year.

Complete applications must be submitted by the end of March following the defense year, and the winner will be selected by the end of April/beginning of May. The IMCN Executive Board appoints the selection committee members in order to cover the Institute’s research topics. The selection committee is composed of a President (Emeritus Professor if possible), the IMCN research vice-president, and one member coming from each IMCN division in order to fairly represent the research topics of the Institute. (Co-)Directors of submitted theses may not be members of the selection committee. In case the IMCN research vice-president is in this situation, (s)he will be replaced by the IMCN technical vice-president, or, if the latter is similarly impeached, by the IMCN president, unless all members of the IMCN directing board are in this situation. The jury may decide not to grant the prize for a specific year if a high-quality candidate cannot be identified.

3. Submissions

The application must be submitted by the candidates to the Institute secretariat. The application deadline is fixed for 31 March (12PM). The application must include

1. a hardcopy of the doctoral thesis (+ pdf file sent to the secretariat) ;

2. a motivation letter (1 page max.) written by the applicant in which he/she states what he/she believes to be the qualities of the thesis and the reasons why his/her work deserves to be awarded ;

3. a short CV (5 pages max.) listing scientific publications by categories (journal papers, book chapters, conference proceedings) as well as patents if relevant ;

4. the thesis report (communicated to the PhD Graduate following the public defense) ;

5. one letter of support from the PhD Supervisor and letter of support from an expert outside of UCL; these letters should comment on the quality and the impact of the thesis work in comparison with the average of other theses belonging to the same research field ;

6. a short note from the chairperson of the PhD jury to confirm the exceptional nature of the candidate in comparison with others that year ; this note should be sent confidentially by the chairperson directly to the institute Research Vice-Chair (VPR).

4. Quality criteria

The quality of the candidate’s PhD thesis will be evaluated based on the creativity and innovative character of the research and the contribution of the PhD work to the enhancement of the scientific knowledge, by considering various criteria, such as

  • quality of the scientific publications in terms of high-impact scientific journals ;
  • impact that the doctoral research may already have on its discipline (invited talk to international conferences, …) ;
  • contribution of the PhD thesis to technological progress and/or societal advances ;
  • methodological originality ;
  • candidate’s vision of his/her contribution to aforementioned elements ;
  • pedagogical quality.

These quality criteria will be demonstrated by the recommendation letters, the publication list and their impact, the thesis report, the motivation letter, and the quality of the text of the thesis.

5. Announcement of the results

The IMCN PhD thesis award will be granted during a special ceremony being part, in principle, of the PhD Student’s Day. The president of the selection committee will present the award and explain the motivations that guided the choice of the selection committee. The results will be also announced on the IMCN web page after the official ceremony. In the following days, all candidates will be informed of the results by e-mail.

IMCN Secretary :
Bâtiment Lavoisier - room B.108
Place Louis Pasteur, 1 – bte L4.01.06
1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

Tel : +32 (0)

Modification du règlement approuvé par le Conseil C22 - 21 septembre 2021

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