Deadline for applications
27 February 2018

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EUPRERA (European Public Relations Education and Research Association) has run  the Master Thesis Award competition since 1995. EUPRERA, PRCA (Public Relations and Communications Association) and ICCO (International Communications Consultancy Organisation) together want to honour and reward Masters theses (MSc, MA and MPhil) that make a significant professional/practical or academic contribution to the field of Public Relations in Europe.

Aim
The award is a celebration of PR academia and of the role performed by European Higher Education Institutions in the evolution of knowledge of this field.

Rewards
There are up to two categories of thesis awarded each year. The winner of each category will receive a certificate and they will also be invited to present their thesis at the EUPRERA Annual Congress, the main gathering for public relations scholars in Europe. Travel expenses and accommodation will be paid (up to € 500 each winner). The supervisor of the winning theses will receive an “Honours Diploma”. Winners, supervisors and their universities will be featured on the EUPRERA website for one year, linked directly to the University’s website.
Shortlisted applicants, their supervisors and their universities will be featured on the website during the pre-announcement period, and be invited to attend a 1-2 day workshop  depending on sponsoring. All  nominees will receive a “Merit Diploma”.

Conditions
All theses that research problems within the PR academic field and that contribute to the consolidation and/or evolution of the Public Relations body of knowledge will be eligible for entry. All eligible theses should have been assessed and classified by the University of origin up to 13 months before the date of submission of the abstract to the jury and never have been a candidate to this same award. The theses, at the time of application, must be accompanied either by a statement from the supervisor of the applicant, jury or other body of the University of origin, indicating the date of completion and/or assessment.
The award may comprise two categories*:

  • Practical Impact Award
    Theses following an applied research approach in which research is undertaken to solve practical problems rather than to acquire knowledge for knowledge sake.
  • Theoretical Impact Award
    Theses following a basic experimental research approach,  and theoretical work undertaken to acquire new knowledge without looking for long-term benefits other than the advancement of knowledge.

*The jury reserves the right to vary the award categories according to applications received.

Requirements
The applicant will complete an application form and submit this with their thesis  abstract and supervisor statement (see details in “Procedure”).

Jury
There are two institutional bodies involved in the procedure:

  • The Abstract Committee (EABC): responsible for analysing the submitted abstracts; the EABC will be composed of 3-5 academics from Universities across Europe; each submission will be evaluated by at least 3 members of the EABC; each submission shall have a clearance from at least 2/3 of the EABC members assessing it.
  • The Jury (EAJ): will be composed of a selected number of members from Universities across Europe; the supervisors of masters theses for which the abstract was accepted for submission will also be invited to join the jury.

The manuscripts are to be submitted to double blind review by two independent jurors. The composition of the jury is to be known only by the Board of EUPRERA to ensure  independence.

Procedure

  • Candidates should submit to the EABC:
  1. A 400/500-word abstract of their  thesis in English, which should include:
    • Title and research question
    • Research objectives
    • Theoretical context and scope of the research
    • Research methodology
    • Main findings (results, analysis and discussion)
    • Implications and outcomes for theory and/or practice
    • Research evaluation
  2. The fully completed application form
  3. A statement from the supervisor, jury or other body of the University of origin, indicating the date of completion and/or assessment.
  • The EABC will consider the general quality and eligibility of the abstract (topic within the PR field) and feedback to candidates.
  • Accepted applicants will be asked to submit within one month:
    • A 10 page summary of the thesis in English (an expanded abstract) and the original Table of Contents in English.
    • A copy of the original thesis (in the original language).
  • Each thesis submitted to the EAJ will be blind reviewed by two jurors following a common criteria list (to be distributed by the coordinator). The jurors, using this common criteria list, will score each entry and produce a two paragraph report.
  • Scores are averaged and the winner determined.
  • The results are communicated to the EUPRERA Board and every applicant is contacted either to inform them they are in the shortlist or not, and to receive feedback from the EAJ. The shortlist as well as the winner(s) are announced.

Timeframe and deadline
The timeframe will be structured as follows:

  • February 27: Deadline for submission of abstracts and formal documentation.
  • April 30: Abstracts assessment finished. Communication of the results to the authors and supervisors of the accepted abstracts.
  • June 1: Submission of 10 page summary, other formal documents and original theses.
  • July 15: Results of the jury and presentation of the results to the Board.
  • July 20: Feedback to the applicants and information on their inclusion in the shortlist. Publication of the shortlist on the website.
  • September 1 or at least 1 month before the congress: Winner is informed and travel arrangements are made.

Contact
Potential applicants should not hesitate to contact the chair of the jury for additional information. Enquiries and submissions should also be directed to the chair of the jury: Alexander Buhmann, alexander.buhmann@bi.no.