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∼ 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.

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.

Hints

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.

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 € 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.

Conditions

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.

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 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.

Procedure

Candidates should submit to the chair of the jury:

  1. A 400/500-word abstract of their thesis in English, using this template file and including:
    – Title
    – Purpose (research objectives and questions)
    – Theoretical context and scope of the research
    – Design/methodology/approach
    – Main findings
    – Implications and outcomes for theory and/or practice
    – Originality/value
    – References
  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 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.
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: Martina Topić, M.Topic@leedsbeckett.ac.uk.

[download as pdf]

2020 Finalists & Winners

Out of 19 applications from 9 different countries, the Jury, together with a panel of expert reviewers, selected the finalists and the two winners* for the Master Thesis Award for Excellence in the theoretical and in the practical categories

Theoretical Impact Award
  • *Winning thesis in this category* Daniel Ziegele (Leipzig University): “Work stress among communication professionals. A comparative study between Germany and the United States.” – press release / webinar recording
  • Gina Al-Jarkas (University of the Arts London): “An Exploration of the Role of the National Culture and Religion in Public Relations in Saudi Arabia Prior and Subsequent to the “Vision 2030” Plan”
Practical Impact Award
  • *Winning thesis in this category* Sasha Jurchak (Hanze University of Applied Sciences): “Inside an evolving organisation: a framework for assessment” – press release / webinar recording
  • Camilla Bellese (IULM University): “Social Media in Politics: the Development of Digital Leadership”
  • Mara Louisa Bongen (University of Stirling): “Fortuna Düsseldorf and Narrative Branding – Strategic Co-construction of Meaning within Local Society”
  • Anne Manuel (University of the Arts London): “Post-Colonialism and Repatriation in National Museums: Highlighting the Role of Public Relations at a Senior, Strategic Level”
  • Luis Vergara (University of Oklahoma): “Connecting a Global Capability Framework for Public Relations and Communication Management to Organizational and Cultural Socialization”

The EUPRERA BoD, the award coordinator Alexander Buhmann and the jurors congratulate these promising graduates on the outstanding academic work done so far.

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