The SAERA Doctoral Dissertation Award may be made annually to an outstanding PhD thesis awarded by a South African Higher Education Institution in the field of education.
Criteria for an outstanding PhD thesis
- Makes a substantial and original contribution to theoretical, empirical, and/or methodological knowledge in education.
- Shows outstanding research quality, including rigour, transparency and validity/trustworthiness.
- Has potential impact for policy-makers, practitioners, and other research users or provides a significant conceptual and theoretical contribution to its field.
- The study has a transformative intent. There are indications that the research is aimed at advancing theories and methodologies in socially critical ways.
- Evidence of published or submitted research outputs would strengthen the nomination
2.1 The degree should have been awarded during the calendar year preceding (i.e. the award for the year 2020 is for a degree granted during the period 30 April 2020 to 30 April 2021). ‘Degree awarded’ means when the University formally wrote to confirm the award rather than the graduation ceremony.
Process of nomination
Any SAERA member may nominate an outstanding PhD thesis for the award. The following documents must be submitted to az.oc.areasnull@esor by 30 June 2021:
- A completed nomination form;
- A proposer’s statement of no more than 1,000 words in support of the nomination. The statement should clearly indicate how the work makes a significant contribution to education research against the relevant SAERA Doctoral Thesis Award criteria for assessment;
- The examination reports (these may be anonymised if required by the rules of the HEI, and if requested by the examiners);
- Proof of any publications emanating from the thesis that have been accepted for publication or published from the dissertation;
- An electronic copy of the full dissertation.
The evaluation process
The evaluation panel will comprise three SAERA executive members, plus one other member nominated by the Executive Committee. The evaluation panel will examine all the documentation per nominee and make a decision based on how well the thesis meets the criteria.
The SAERA Doctoral Dissertation Award will be awarded at the Annual conference. The recipient will be sponsored to attend the conference, and receive SAERA membership for a year. The recipient will be expected to present his/her work at the conference, and to write a summary of the study to be placed on the SAERA website.