Outstanding Graduate Researcher Award Guidelines

FSH Guidelines Outstanding Graduate Researcher Award

Purpose: The Faculty of Science and Health Outstanding Graduate Researcher Award honours graduate students of exceptional ability who have made an outstanding contribution to the research effort of the Faculty. The award is made on the basis of the totality of candidates’ research accomplishment during their research degree at DCU. 

The outstanding contribution may include: 

  • Pioneering contribution to the development of the research area
  • Pioneering contribution to interdisciplinary research 
  • Publication(s) in a high impact, leading international journal
  • Presentation(s) at a leading international conference
  • Obtaining a patent for outcomes from research work
  • Developing research collaboration with academic, social or industrial partners
  • Commercialisation or translation of research
  • Contributions to student supervision (project students and beginning postgraduates)
  • Acquisition and dissemination of advanced research skills

Nature of the award: A maximum of two awards will be made in 2023. The award consists of €1,000 and a commemorative medal. The names of the winners will be inscribed on the Faculty of Science Outstanding Graduate Research Award Honour Board.

Mechanism: Candidates must be nominated (other than the candidate) by at least one staff member of the Faculty of Science and Health . Applications will be assessed by a sub-group of the Faculty Research Committee (FRC) to which the FRC may choose to co-opt other than FRC members. Canvassing of the sub-group members will result in disqualification. Where a sub-group member has a close connection with a nominee, e.g., supervisor or joint supervisor, or is himself or herself a nominee, he/she will absent him/herself from all deliberations on the awards. At its discretion, the FRC may nominate replacements for sub-group members absented in this way. The FRC makes the final decision on the awards. It reserves the right not to make an award in any year and to solicit external input where appropriate. An interview/presentation by the applicant may be requested to support the deliberations of the sub-group or FRC. Students may only receive the award on one occasion during their period of postgraduate study. 

Candidate’s must be registered for a higher degree in the current academic year within the Faculty of Science and Health.

The proposer must complete the online nomination form by 5pm on Friday 4th August 2023


  • A completed nomination form. 
  • Letter from the candidate's thesis advisor(s)outlining the candidate’s contribution to the work including their role in the formulation, design, execution, interpretation and publication of the research programme. Letters from additional referees, fellow postgraduate students, etc. may be added at the candidate’s discretion. Please note that, in exceptional circumstances, the FRC may accept this information from another FSH academic who is familiar with the candidate’s work. 
  • Candidate’s curriculum vitae (2 pages max)
  • Publication/conference contributions list
  • Maximum two-page description of the research topic, including a clear, concise description of the following:
    • aim of the work and its relationship to the status of the field 
    • candidate's specific contributions and how they demonstrate exceptional ability and future promise 
    • significant results of the work and how they relate to the specific research area and the broader field. 
  • Other relevant information and details evidencing research excellence (where applicable).

Note: Your application must be completed online by 5pm on Friday 4th August 2023.

Late or incomplete applications will not be evaluated. 


In the selection of award recipients, the sub-group will look for evidence of excellence in the design, execution and dissemination of research, including the strength of the case made by the candidate in terms of the: 

  • Thoroughness of the candidate’s work
  • Originality and independence of the candidate’s contributions 
  • Impact of the work on the international community
  • Depth of understanding of the research topic, the methodologies used, and the relationship of the results to the specific research area and the broader academic, industrial, service and/or social context
  • Scholarship and ingenuity shown by the student in attacking the research project
  • Promise for future substantial achievement in cutting edge research.

Please note that all correspondence with or within DCU, may be the subject of a request under the Freedom of Information Act.