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Canada's Distinguished Dissertation Awards

The CAGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Awards recognize Canadian doctoral dissertations that make unusually significant and original contributions to their academic field. They were established in 1994 and are presented annually. There are two awards: one for engineering, medical sciences and natural sciences; and one for fine arts, humanities and social sciences. The Awards are granted by the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS) and are sponsored by Proquest-UMI (University Microfilms International). They include a $1,500 prize, a Citation Certificate, and travel expenses of up to $1,500 to attend the CAGS Annual Conference (Winnipeg, MB).

Canada's Distinguished Dissertation Awards in detail, external link, opens in new window.

$1,500 prize, a Citation Certificate, and an awards ceremony at the CAGS Annual Conference in Quebec City.


Complete nomination packages must be received by YSGS as a single PDF document from the nominating program, otherwise they will not be reviewed.

  1. A letter from the student’s supervisor or program director describing the reasons for the nomination, and why the dissertation constitutes a significant piece of original work
  2. 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.
  3. An abstract of the dissertation, not exceeding 350 words, written by the candidate in non-technical language;1
  4. An up-to-date c.v. of the nominee.

Please submit required documents to Natasha Mills at

1  The candidate should be aware of his or her nomination for the award and provide the information in 4. and 5.; should this not be possible, the reasons must be given in the letter from the dean.

Member institutions may submit two nominations: one for each award. Each nomination must include:

A letter of support from the Vice-Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies, which also includes the following information:

a) a description of the process used to select the nominee;

b) the name and departmental affiliation of the nominee’s research supervisor;

c) the name and affiliation of the external examiner;

d) the date of the defence and the date of final acceptance of the dissertation by the Graduate School; 2

 This means the date at which the final copy of the thesis, including all required corrections, is submitted to the graduate school.