IMCN Thesis Award


1. Purpose

The IMCN best thesis award, which is granted yearly, aims at promoting a quality scientific research within the Institute. The winner of the award will receive an amount of € 1,500. Besides the winning PhD thesis, the selection committee can possibly distinguish one or two other theses to underline their high scientific quality.

2. Procedure

The award is granted each calendar year. Applications 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 a member of IMCN officially (« 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 themes. 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 equitably represent the research topics of the Institute. (Co-)Directors of submitted theses may not be members of the selection committee. The jury may decide not to grant the prize.

3. Submissions

Application files must be submitted by the candidates at the Institute secretariat by the end of March. They will 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 supporting letter from the PhD Supervisor and one supporting letter 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 thesis 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 announced on the IMCN web page. 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)