SAERA Doctoral Dissertation Awards

SAERA Doctoral Dissertation Award 2023

Dr John Bhurekeni

Congratulations to Dr John Bhurekeni – Awarded the SAERA Doctoral Disseration Award 2023.

The SAERA Doctoral Dissertation Award may be made annually to outstanding PhD theses awarded by a South African Higher Education Institution in the field of education.


1. Criteria for an outstanding PhD thesis

1.1 Makes a substantial and original contribution to theoretical, empirical, and/or methodological knowledge in education.

1.2 Shows outstanding research quality, including rigour, transparency and validity/trustworthiness.

1.3 Has potential impact for policy-makers, practitioners, and other research users or provides a significant conceptual and theoretical contribution to its field.

1.4 The study has a transformative intent. There are indications that the research is aimed at advancing theories and methodologies in socially critical ways.

1.5 Evidence of published or submitted research outputs would strengthen the nomination.

2. Eligibility

2.1 The degree should have been awarded 3 May 2023 and 31 July 2024. ‘Degree awarded’ means when the University formally wrote to confirm the award rather than the graduation ceremony.

2.2 The nominee must be a South African citizen receiving a degree from a South African University. 

3. Process of nomination

3.1 Any SAERA member may nominate an outstanding PhD thesis for the award. 

3.2 The nominee will be invited to present their research at the annual conference.

3.3 The following documents must be submitted to by 1st August 2024:

a. A completed nomination form; 

b. 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; 

c. The examination reports (these may be anonymised if required by the rules of the HEI, and if requested by the examiners); 

d. Proof of any publications emanating from the thesis that have been accepted for publication or published from the dissertation;

e. An electronic copy of the full dissertation.

4. The evaluation process

The SAERA executive will appoint a review panel, consisting of the deputy president of SAERA , two executive members of SAERA and two non-executive members of SAERA. The review panel will then make a recommendation of the award to the full executive of SAERA.

5. Award

The SAERA Doctoral Dissertation Award will be awarded at the annual conference. 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. The recipient will be sponsored to attend the conference and receive SAERA membership for a year.

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