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MAGS/ProQuest Distinguished Thesis Award

The MAGS/ProQuest Distinguished Thesis Award serves to recognize and reward distinguished scholarship and research at the master’s level. Each recipient of a MAGS Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award will receive a $750 honorarium. In addition, up to $500 will be available to each recipient for travel expenses to attend the Annual MAGS Meeting in April, exact date and location TBA. It is expected that the winner’s institution will cover any travel expenses which exceed the $500 provided by MAGS for the awardee to attend the meeting to receive the award. 

Eligibility Guidelines
  • The thesis must contain original work that makes an unusually significant contribution to the discipline.
  • The thesis must be in a format that conforms to accepted disciplinary standards
  • The thesis must have been accepted as final by the degree-granting institution.
  • Original works accepted by an institution “in lieu of thesis” (such as musical compositions, published books, works of art, computer software, etc.) may not be nominated.
  • The effective date of degree award, or the completion of master’s degree requirements, must fall in the period of July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2017, inclusive. Such degree award or completion is to be confirmed by the institution’s graduate dean or other administrative officer responsible for doctoral degree programs. 
  • Since the intent of the competition is to recognize scholarship by students who are pursuing their first graduate research degree, individuals who received a Ph.D. (or comparable research degree) in any discipline prior to the writing of the master’s thesis are not eligible. However, recipients of a first professional degree awarded prior to the writing of the thesis may be nominated.
2017 Award Year

K-State will select one nominee for each of the two award categories:

1) Humanities and Fine Arts  

The following list, although not all-inclusive, illustrates the fields considered as Humanities/Fine Arts: history; philosophy; language; linguistics; literature; archaeology; jurisprudence; the history, theory and criticism of the arts; ethics; comparative religion; and those aspects of the social sciences that employ historical or philosophical approaches.

2) Biological and Life Sciences

The following list, although not all-inclusive, illustrates the field considered as Biological and Life Sciences: biology; botany; zoology; ecology; embryology; entomology; genetics; nutrition; plant pathology; plant physiology; anatomy; biochemistry; biophysics; microbiology; pathology; pharmacology; physiology; and related fields.  Also included are agriculture, forestry, and related fields.


Graduate program directors should determine the category in which their nominee's work fits best. Depending on the nature of the work, some programs may have dissertations that are fitting for one category and other dissertations that are fitting for a different category. Nominations from fields of study not listed above are welcome for submission so long as the nature of the thesis work fits within one of the two competition categories. The 2018 award categories will be Engineering/Math/Physical Sciences and Social Sciences.

Nomination Materials

Below are nomination instructions based on last year's requirements for the MAGS/ProQuest Distinguished Thesis Award. Requirements for this year's award have not yet been posted by MAGS. We do not anticipate major changes from last year, so the information below is helpful for those who wish to get a head start on a nomination for this year. This page will be updated when the Graduate School receives this year's award information.

  1. Nomination form (Word, PDF
  2. Abstract of the nominated thesis describing the research and its significance (not to exceed 300 words; must include name, thesis title, and name of student author but not the name of the nominating institution)
  3. Support letter from faculty mentor addressing uniqueness and contributions of the thesis and how it is distinguished in the student's field.
Nomination Criteria

Objective selection criteria are not provided by MAGS. The primary criteria presented by MAGS are that, "A thesis must contain original work that makes an unusually significant contribution to the discipline." Thus, the abstract and the letter of support should emphasize the "unusually significant contribution" that is made by the dissertation. Both methodological and substantive quality will be judged.

The abstract should provide a summary of the dissertation work that includes relevant background research, the work's purpose, primary hypotheses/research questions, methodology, results related to primary hypotheses, and conclusions.

We also strongly recommend that the abstract be written in a manner that can be understood by a broad audience. Nominations will be reviewed by individuals with research backgrounds related, though not identical, to the nominee's area of research. Therefore, it is important that the work be summarized in a way that can be understood by individuals who are not experts in the nominee's specific field or area of research. Resources for Preparing a Successful 3MT Presentation may be useful for preparing an abstract for this award.

Nomination Deadline and Award Selection Timeline
May 24
by 5pm
Deadline for Graduate Program Directors to submit nominations to the Graduate School, 119 Eisenhower Hall, or submitted via email to Megan Miller at mmmiller@ksu.edu. Each graduate program may nominate one master's student.
June 30      

One KSU nominee for each award category will be selected by the Graduate Council selection committee.

April 2018

MAGS award winners recognized at MAGS Annual Meeting, exact dates and location TBA; award winners receive a $750 honorarium from ProQuest

Award Cycle and Categories
Academic YearAward Categories
2017

Humanities

Biological and Life Sciences

2018

Social Sciences

Engineering, Mathematics, and Physical Sciences

2019

Humanities

Biological and Life Sciences

Award categories 
Humanities Award Category

The following list, although not all-inclusive, illustrates the fields considered as Humanities/Fine Arts: history; philosophy; language; linguistics; literature; archaeology; jurisprudence; the history, theory and criticism of the arts; ethics; comparative religion; and those aspects of the social sciences that employ historical or philosophical approaches.

Biological/Life Sciences Award Category

The following list, although not all-inclusive, illustrates the field considered as Biological and Life Sciences: biology; botany; zoology; ecology; embryology; entomology; genetics; nutrition; plant pathology; plant physiology; anatomy; biochemistry; biophysics; microbiology; pathology; pharmacology; physiology; and related fields.  Also included are agriculture, forestry, and related fields.

Social Sciences Award Category

The following list, although not all-inclusive, illustrates the fields considered as Social Sciences: agricultural economics, geography, anthropology, archaeology, economics, education, sociology, government (political science), demography, and psychology.  (For purposes of this competition, history is considered with the humanities.)

Engineering, Mathematics, and Physical Sciences Award Category

The following list, although not all-inclusive, illustrates the field considered as Engineering, Mathematics, and Physical Sciences: mathematics, statistics, computer sciences, data processing, systems analysis, chemistry, earth sciences, physics, geology, meteorology, astronomy, metallurgy, geophysics, pharmaceutical chemistry; aeronautical, architectural, biomedical, ceramic, chemical, civil, and electrical engineering sciences; environmental health engineering; geological, mechanical, mining, nuclear, and petroleum engineering. 

 

Questions about the nomination process for this award may be directed to Megan Miller, mmmiller@ksu.edu, 532-6191.