ECSR Prize for Best PhD Thesis – An award to be given each year!


Rules and Guidelines for the submission of entries for the ECSR prize for
“ECSR Dissertation of the Year”

The thesis must have been examined and been deemed to have passed between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2017. However, the doctorate need not have been officially conferred during this period.

Each ECSR full member institution can nominate ONLY ONE candidate for the prize. The candidacy must come via the ECSR official contact person or the Head of Department (or equivalent) of each member institution. Only full member institutions can nominate candidates for the prize, and the thesis nominated must have been submitted at that institution or at an affiliated university that grants the PhD.
The prize will be awarded to the best theoretically based empirical study in sociology.

Submissions for the Prize should be made in PDF format to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 15 February 2018.

The submission must comprise (as three separate PDFs in attachment):

  1. a very brief and factual letter from the Contact person or head of department of the member institution at which the doctorate was conferred;
  2. an abstract in English of no more than 2000 words, outlining the main arguments of the work. The abstract should outline:
    a. the subject of the thesis;
    b. its main findings and arguments;
    c. its principal conclusions;
  3. the table of contents of the thesis, in English.

These documents will be used to select a short-list (usually of not more than five candidates). The authors of the short-listed theses will be asked to provide an electronic copy of their complete thesis by the 15 of April 2018, so that the jury can make a decision regarding the assignation of the Prize.

The Jury

The shortlisting will be made by the Executive Board of the ECSR consortium. The selection among the short-listed theses will be made by a jury that comprises a chair (appointed among the members of the ECSR board) plus two external members appointed among the member institutions. Where there is a short-listed thesis in a language in which the members of the jury lack appropriate competence, the ECSR Board will recruit an additional member with appropriate competence.

Prize Announcement

The winner of the prize will be announced by the 30 of June 2018. If it is deemed that no thesis reaches an acceptable standard, the committee may decline to award the prize in any given year. The successful candidate will be awarded a prize of 500 Euro. The candidate will receive the prize at the ECSR's annual General Conference in 2017. Expenses to attend the prize giving will be paid for by the ECSR.

Winners of 2017

Due to the exceptionally high quality of two PhD Theses this year, the Prize is shared by two nominees:

  • Mareike Bünning, thesis title Parental leave for fathers: Consequences for men’s work and family life
  • Lars Leszczensky, thesis title Tell Me Who Your Friends Are? Disentangling the Interplay of Young Immigrants’ Host Country Identification and Their Friendships with Natives

Former winners

Year Name Thesis title
2016 Antonie Knigge Sources of sibling similarity. Status attainment in the Netherlands during modernization
2015* Mathieu Ichou The origins of academic inequalities: a contribution to the study of the academic trajectories of children of immigrants in France and England
2015* Valentina Di Stasio Why education matters to employers. A vignette study in Italy, England and the Netherlands
2014 Jenny Torssander Equality in death? How the social positions of individuals and families are linked to mortality
2013 Nicoletta Balbo Family, friends and fertility

* Due to the exceptionally high quality of two PhD theses in this year, the prize was shared by two nominees.