∼ applications for the 2022 edition will be possible in autumn ∼
EUPRERA (European Public Relations Education and Research Association) has run the Master Thesis Award competition since 1995. EUPRERA wants to honour and reward master theses (MSc, MA and MPhil) in any language that make a significant professional/practical or academic contribution to the field of public relations in Europe.
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.
The winners on the of the 2020 EUPRERA master award Sasha Jurchak and Daniel Ziegele presented their insights followed by a Q&A and hints on how to produce a distinctive master thesis in the webinar “Best master thesis winners & hints”: watch the recording.
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 € 350 for each winner).
Shortlisted applicants, their supervisors and their universities will be featured on the website during the pre-announcement period. All nominees will receive a “Merit Diploma”.
Winners, supervisors and their universities will be featured on the EUPRERA website for one year.
All theses in any language 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.
The applicant will complete an application form and submit this with their thesis abstract and supervisor statement (see details in “Procedure”).
There are two bodies involved in the procedure:
- The Abstract Committee: responsible for analysing the submitted abstracts, it will be composed of 3-5 academics from universities across Europe; each submission will be evaluated by at least 3 members of the committee; each submission shall have a clearance from at least 2/3 of the committee members assessing it.
- The Jury: 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.
Candidates should submit to the chair of the jury:
- A 400/500-word abstract of their thesis in English, using this template file and including:
– Purpose (research objectives and questions)
– Theoretical context and scope of the research
– Main findings
– Implications and outcomes for theory and/or practice
- The fully completed application form
- A statement from the supervisor, jury or other body of the University of origin, indicating the date of completion and/or assessment.
The committee will consider the general quality and eligibility of the abstract (topic within the PR field).
Accepted applicants will be asked to submit within one month:
- A summary of the thesis in English (expanded abstract, 2000-3000 words), using this template file.
- A copy of the original thesis (in the original language).
Each thesis submitted to the chair of the jury 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 statement.
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 whether they have made the shortlist. 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.
- March 30: Abstracts assessment finished. Communication of the results to the authors of the accepted abstracts.
- May 1: Submission of 10-page summary (Eng), table of contents (Eng), original thesis.
- August 5: Results of the jury and presentation of the results to the Board.
- August 15: Feedback to the applicants and information on their inclusion in the shortlist. Publication of the shortlist on the website.
- August 15 or at least 1 month before the congress: Winner is informed and travel arrangements are made.
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: Martina Topić, M.Topic@leedsbeckett.ac.uk.
Out of 24 applications from 9 different countries, the Jury, together with a panel of expert reviewers, selected the finalists for the 2021 Master Thesis Award for Excellence in the theoretical and in the practical categories
Theoretical Impact Award
- Johanna Maria Muller (Quadriga University of Applied Sciences): Employee Activism in Corporate Communications
- Jeanne Link (Leipzig University): Ethical dilemmas in digital communication – An empirical investigation of ethical decision-making processes
- Jana Brockhaus (Leipzig University): Internal perception and positioning of communication management in companies: An empirical case study and a conceptual framework
- Kars Van Weeren (Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) / University of Stirling): Representation of the triple bottom line: A mixed method approach to CSR communication of renewable energy companies
- Iris Lopez Wyld (Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) / University of Stirling): Sexual Violation, Weinstein and Speaking Out: The role of public relations and media in legitimising accounts of sexual violation
- Frederike Scholtze (ZHAW University of Applied Sciences Zurich): The Dynamic of Organizational Crises: Influence of Crisis Development and Communication on Consumer Reactions
- Paulina Solka (Leeds Beckett University): Forgive and forget? The influence of corporate reputation, environmental attitude and CSR-based consumer-company identification on awareness and perceived effectiveness of environmental initiatives in the automotive industry
- Diana Boca (University of Arts of London): Online Corporate Shaming and its Impact on Reputation – a study of the Fossil Fuel Industry in the United Kingdom
Practical Impact Award
- Cella Cojocaru (University of Arts of London): Cause-Supportive versus Cause-Exploitative Marketing: A Critical Evaluation of UK-Based Young Digital Consumers’ Responses in Relation to the Use of Cause-Related Marketing for Branding Purposes
- Denis Simunovic (IULM University): Communication measurement and evaluation maturity: logics and implications for performance improvement
- Clara Heroux Rhymes (London School of Economics and Political Science): Put your students before your public image”: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Strategic Communications in the University of Warwick Rape Chat Scandal
- Helen Sewell (Leeds Beckett University): Which key elements of CEO interpersonal communication influence corporate performance in the financial sector?
- Jennifer Harvey (University of Stirling): Public Sector communications professionals: Understanding organisational coalitions and effective communications
- Michael Cassar (University of Stirling): Friends, foes or something in between? Exploring the relationship between public relations practitioners and journalists in Malta
The EUPRERA BoD, the award coordinator Martina Topić and the jurors congratulate these promising graduates on the outstanding academic work done so far.