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Dean's Commendations and University Research Medals

Am I eligible?

Dean’s Commendation for Doctoral or Master by Research Thesis Excellence

Where an examiner has recommended that the degree be awarded with or without amendment (recommendation categories 1 or 2), examiners are also asked to indicate whether the thesis is outstanding and deserves a commendation for doctoral or master by research thesis excellence from the Dean of Graduate Studies.

If your thesis is rated by both examiners as worthy of a commendation, you will receive a letter of congratulations from the Dean of Graduate Studies and a record of the commendation will be added to the prizes and awards section of your academic transcript. Theses submitted within four years (doctorate) or two years (master by research), in which at least one examiner has recommended a commendation may also be eligible for a commendation, provided that all examiners have recommended the award of the degree.

University Research Medals

The University awards up to 15 doctoral research medals and up to two master by research medals for the highest quality research theses examined each year.

The medals are presented at the relevant April graduation ceremony in the year following the one for which the medal was awarded, or privately by appointment. Recipients are eligible for V.I.P. seating for three guests.

Selection process for the University research medals

  1. At the end of the year, the Adelaide Graduate Centre prepares a short-list of candidates for medal consideration. In order to be short-listed, students must have:
    • qualified for their award within the calendar year for which the medals are to be awarded
    • completed within four years FTE from the commencement of candidature (doctoral research medal) or two years FTE from the commencement of candidature (master by research medal)
    • have achieved an examiner recommendation of category 1 award degree or category 2 award degree
      (subject to the specified amendments) from all examiners; and
    • been nominated for a University medal by at least one examiner
  2. For each faculty, the Adelaide Graduate Centre prepares a spreadsheet containing the following information about their short-listed candidates:
    • the number of examiners who recommended that the student’s thesis was worthy of a Dean’s Commendation (1 or 2);
    • the number of examiners who recommended that the student’s thesis was worthy of a University research medal (1 or 2);
    • the quality ratings provided by each examiner (from 1, exceptional to 6, flawed) for the following criteria:
      • The thesis as a whole is a substantial and original contribution to knowledge of the subject with which it deals;
      • the candidate shows familiarity with, and understanding of, the relevant literature;
      • the thesis provides a sufficiently comprehensive study of the topic;
      • the techniques adopted are appropriate to the subject matter and are properly applied;
      • the results are suitably set out and are accompanied by adequate exposition;
      • the quality of English and general presentation are of a standard for publication; and
    • any comments made by the examiners in support of a University medal recommendation.
  3. The spreadsheets are sent to executive deans, together with copies of the examiners’ and supervisor’s reports for each short-listed candidate.
  4. With reference to the materials provided, executive deans determine the order of merit list for short-listed candidates in their faculty;
  5. The Dean of Graduate Studies and the Director, Adelaide Graduate Centre will determine the University order of merit list from the faculty rankings provided and the number of doctoral and master by research medals to be offered for the year.

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