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About

Each year, the Western Association of Graduate Schools (WAGS) partners with ProQuest to solicit nominees in four award categories. This prestigious regional competition is an important opportunity for institutions to showcase innovation and creativity by their graduate students. WAGS member institutions may only submit one nomination for each of the award categories. We encourage you to take the time to prepare a nomination for any of the four awards!

WAGS/ProQuest Award Categories

Innovation in Technology Award

This award is given for the development of innovative technology in a thesis or dissertation and its utilization for the creative solution of a major problem.  This award recognizes distinguished scholarly achievement at the master's or doctoral level.

Eligibility

Nominees must have successfully defended and submitted the final copy of their thesis or dissertation towards the master's or doctoral degree within the period of July 1. 2020, through June 30, 2021

Nominees must be from a WAGS member institution (UCSD is a WAGS member)

Evaluation Criteria

  • Originality of the study
  • Scope and significance of the study
  • Contribution to the discipline and/or profession
  • Overall quality of the summary and abstract of the thesis or dissertation

Nomination Packet

Nominators will be required to prepare/upload required materials as one PDF document using the following file name convention: "Nominee's Last Name_Nominee's Institution_WAGSInnovation.pdf" and upload it through the 2021-21 WAGS/ProQuest Intake Form for Nominating a UC San Diego Graduate Student.

Required Materials (must be assembled in the same order as listed):

  1. A non-technical summary prepared by the nominee (1000-1500 words) describing the research and how it demonstrates or resulted in the development of innovative technology in the conduct of scholarship.  This summary should be directed to general academic audience of non-specialists.
  2. An abstract of the nominee's research (not to exceed 10 double-spaced pages).  Appendices containing nontextual material, such as charts or tables, may be included as additional pages.  All pages should be numbered, and each should bear the name of the nominee.
  3. Two (2) nomination letters (not to exceed 1 page per letter).  One letter from the department head or major professor and one letter from an additional faculty member.  The letters should include information regarding the significance of the study, the contribution of the study to the program of the degree granting unit, and the broader impact of the innovation on the knowledge base of the discipline.
  4. The nominee's curriculum vitae or resume (not to exceed five pages).
Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award in STEM Disciplines

This award recognizes distinguished scholarly achievement at the master's level in STEM disciplines: biological sciences, mathematical sciences, physical sciences, life sciences and engineering.

Eligibility:

The scholarly product eligible for this competition is a formal written thesis.  If a nominating department offers both a thesis option and a project option, only the thesis is acceptable for consideration for this award. 

Nominees must have successfully defended and submitted the final copy of their thesis towards the master's degree within the period of July 1. 2020, through June 30, 2021

Nominees must be from a WAGS member institution (UCSD is a WAGS member)

Evaluation Criteria

  • Originality of the study
  • Scope and significance of the study
  • Contribution to the discipline and/or profession
  • Overall quality of the summary and abstract of the thesis

Nomination Packet

Nominators will be required to prepare/upload the following required materials as one PDF document using the following file name convention: "Nominee's Last Name_Nominee's Institution_WAGSSTEM.pdf" and upload it through the 2021-21 WAGS/ProQuest Intake Form for Nominating a UC San Diego Graduate Student.

Required Materials must be assembled in the same order as listed:

  1. A non-technical summary prepared by the nominee (1000-1500 words) describing the research and its significance.  This summary is intended for a general academic audience of non-specialists.
  2. An abstract of the nominee's research (not to exceed 10 double-spaced pages).  Appendices containing nontextual material, such as charts or tables, may be included as additional pages.  All pages should be numbered, and each should bear the name of the nominee.
  3. Two (2) nomination letters (not to exceed 1 page per letter).  One letter from the department head or major professor and one letter from an additional faculty member.  The letters should include information regarding the significance of the thesis,  the contribution of the thesis to the program of the degree granting unit, and the impact of the thesis on the knowledge base of the discipline.
  4. The nominee's curriculum vitae or resume (not to exceed five pages).
Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award in Humanities, Social Sciences, Education, and Business Disciplines

This award recognizes distinguished scholarly achievement at the master’s level the Humanities, Social Sciences, Education, and Business Disciplines.

Eligibility:

The scholarly product eligible for this competition is a formal written thesis.  If a nominating department offers both a thesis option and a project option, only the thesis is acceptable for consideration for this award. 

Nominees must have successfully defended and submitted the final copy of their thesis or dissertation towards the master's degree within the period of July 1. 2020, through June 30, 2021

Nominees must be from a WAGS member institution (UCSD is a WAGS member)

Evaluation Criteria

  • Originality of the study
  • Scope and significance of the study
  • Contribution to the discipline and/or profession
  • Overall quality of the summary and abstract of the thesis or dissertation

Nomination Packet

Nominators will be required to prepare/upload the following required materials as one PDF document using the following file name convention: "Nominee's Last Name_Nominee's Institution_WAGSDMT.pdf" and upload it through the 2021-21 WAGS/ProQuest Intake Form for Nominating a UC San Diego Graduate Student.

Required Materials must be assembled in the same order as listed:

  1. A non-technical summary prepared by the nominee (1000-1500 words) describing the research and its significance.  This summary is intended for a general academic audience of non-specialists.
  2. An abstract of the nominee's research (not to exceed 10 double-spaced pages).  Appendices containing nontextual material, such as charts or tables, may be included as additional pages.  All pages should be numbered, and each should bear the name of the nominee.
  3. Two (2) nomination letters (not to exceed 1 page per letter).  One letter from the department head or major professor and one letter from an additional faculty member.  The letters should include information regarding the significance of the thesis,  the contribution of the thesis to the program of the degree granting unit, and the impact of the thesis on the knowledge base of the discipline.
  4. The nominee's curriculum vitae or resume (not to exceed five pages).


Distinguished Master’s Thesis and/or Final Master’s Capstone Project Award in the Creative, Visual and Performing Arts

This award recognizes distinguished scholarly and creative arts’ achievement at the master’s level in Creative, Visual, and Performing Arts Disciplines.

Eligibility:

  • A traditional, formal written thesis;
  • A major capstone paper or creative produce (e.g. collection of poetry);
  • An audio, video, or digital file of a performance, portfolio, or exhibition.

Since many fine and performing arts Master's projects involve a combination of written and artisitc products, both may be submitted for review (if applicable) and considered in the decision for the award.  Nominees must have successfully completed all requirements for their scholary or creative work in the context of degree progression and/or completion.

Typically, this means that a written thesis will have been successfully defended and final copy submitted; their major capstone paper or creative product will have been submitted and evaluated for degree completion; or their performance, portfolio, or exhibition will have been publicly presented and/or evaluated for degree completion, as appropriate within the period of July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021.

Nominees must be from a WAGS member institution (UCSD is a WAGS member)

Evaluation Criteria

  • Originality of the study
  • Aesthetic Merit
  • Technical execution
  • Potential to reach beyond the original academic audience through future performance, exhibition, or publication

Nomination Packet

Nominators will be required to prepare/upload the following required materials as one PDF document using the following file name convention: "Nominee's Last Name_Nominee's Institution_WAGSCreative.pdf" and upload it through the 2021-21 WAGS/ProQuest Intake Form for Nominating a UC San Diego Graduate Student.

Required Materials must be assembled in the same order as listed:

  1. A non-technical summary prepared by the nominee (1000-1500 words) describing the research, artistic approach, inspiration and/or major influences, and its significance.  This summary is intended for a general academic audience of non-specialists.  For those submitting projects that involve a public performance or exhibition, we encourage a video recording of the event as well, so that the scope and impact of the event can be considered.
  2. An abstract or example of the nominee's research or project (not to exceed 10 double-spaced pages).  Appendices containing non-textual material, such as charts or tables, may be included as additional pages.  All pages should be numbered, and each should bear the name of the nominee.
  3. Two (2) nomination letters (not to exceed 1 page per letter).  One letter from the department head or major professor and one letter from an additional faculty member.  The letters should include information regarding the significance of the thesis and/or project, the contribution of the thesis and/or project to the program of the degree granting unit, and the impact of the knowledge base of the discipline.
  4. The nominee's curriculum vitae or resume (not to exceed five pages).


Award Details

The 2021-2022 recipient for each award will receive $1,000, a Certificate of Award, and travel expenses for the recipient to attend the WAGS Annual Conference and Awards luncheon to be held in Denver, Colorado on March 20-23, 2022.

Nomination Packet

  • Nominators are required to prepare/upload required materials as one PDF document
  • Required materials must be assembled in the same order as listed in the Nomination Packet Section on the Official Award page, 
  • Check specific award type for additional nomination criteria

Nomination Procedure

  • Graduate Departments/Programs can each submit up to two nominations for each award ( to be confirmed)
  • All nominations must be submitted to the 2021-21 WAGS/ProQuest Intake Form for Nominating a UC San Diego Graduate Student  no later than August 25, 2021 at 5:00 p.m PST.
  • The Graduate Division will review all submissions and select one application to nominate for each award category. (to be confirmed)
  • Each WAGS member institution may submit only one nomination for each of the four award Categories.  
  • Awards will be determined by WAGS in December 2021. 

Deadline

The submission deadline for all nominations is August 25, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. PST.

Past Recipients

List coming soon!




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