The Annual PhD Awards Dinner

Event Postponed

Please note that this event has been postponed.

Further details will be announced in due course.

Our aim is to celebrate the achievements of our PhD researchers and supervisors and recognise how their research contributes to the overall mission and vision of the University.

The Awards ceremony will also feature the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Final.

Dates and Times

The Annual PhD Awards Dinner will take place on the following date:

Thursday 4 June 2020 7pm Hilton Hotel, Belfast

Award categories

  • Best PhD Thesis
  • PhD Supervisor of the Year
  • Best Festival Presentation
  • Best Festival Poster
  • 3MT® prizes

PhD Supervisor of the Year Award

The Ulster University PhD Supervisor of the Year award, for excellence in research supervision, is given to the individual who has created the most supportive, stimulating and inspirational research environment for PhD Researchers.

There will be one PhD Supervisor of the Year Award for each Faculty and nominations are invited from Research Directors, Postgraduate Tutors, PhD Researchers or Supervisors themselves.

Nominations close 6th April 2020.

Submit your nomination

Criteria, Guidance and the Process


  • Evidence of outstanding results from PhD supervision over a number of years: e.g. Have PhD Researchers from a range of backgrounds been encouraged to pursue a doctorate? What have they gone on to achieve?
  • A pioneering approach to supervision: What has the nominee done above and beyond that which is expected of any good supervisor?
  • Demonstrable enthusiasm for the role and a “going the extra mile” approach to helping PhD Researchers navigate through difficulties - academic or otherwise.
  • Challenging PhD Researchers intellectually and helping them to make substantial contributions to their academic field.
  • Providing additional support and facilities to give greater scope to PhD research.
  • Providing supervision to an exceptional number of candidates over time.
  • Offering constructive employment and career advice post-graduation.


Submissions should consist of up to 500 words of text, specifically addressing the key criteria set out above. Supporting documents can be attached* but should be no more than four sides of A4 in total. If you wish to submit tables, these should be included within your supporting materials, not as part of the submission text.

Supporting Materials

Up to two sets of supporting documents may be uploaded in PDF or Word format, but should in total comprise no more than four sides of A4. Supporting material may include photographs, tables, documents containing statistics, testimonials, supporting research, evaluation or inspection reports, press cutting and promotional material. Please highlight any sections that you believe are particularly relevant.  Powerpoint slides and video files cannot be accepted, however you may submit screenshots.


  • Nominations open in January 2020 with reminders sent in February and March 2020.
  • Nomination forms are to be submitted by 6th April 2020.
  • Doctoral College will send the nominations received to their respective Faculty.
  • Each Faculty will convene a panel to consider the nominations and inform Doctoral College of the winner.
  • Doctoral College will convene a panel of 4 ADRIs, Doctoral College representative and DVC to choose an overall winner to be submitted to the Times Higher Education (THE) Outstanding Supervisor of the Year process.
  • The Faculty PhD Supervisor of the Year awards will be presented at the Annual PhD Awards Dinner on 4th June 2020.

Festival of PhD Research Prizes

The Doctoral College hosts an annual Festival of PhD Research at Ulster where we showcase and celebrate the excellent research carried out by our PhD Researchers.

As part of the Festival we award prizes for oral and poster presentations.  The winners are selected by a judging panel and criteria used will be available on the Festival website.  This year’s prizes are as follows:

  • Best Presentation (Coleraine/Magee)
  • Best Presentation (Belfast/Jordanstown)
  • Best Poster (Coleraine/Magee)
  • Best Poster (Belfast/Jordanstown)


The 3MT® final competition will take place during the awards dinner.

3MT® is an academic competition that challenges PhD researchers to communicate their research and its’ significance, in non-specialist language to a general audience, in just three minutes.

The 3MT® final will see 8 finalists present their research to the audience in just three minutes. The winner and runner-up prizes are decided by a judging panel, while the People’s Choice Award is decided by the audience on the night through a vote. The Ulster 3MT® competition is part of the national competition and the Ulster winner will go through to the UK semi-final stages.

Further details of the competition are at

NB: the 2020 3MT competition is being held virtually.