Call for Nominations - John Makepeace Bennett Distinguished Dissertation Award

12.45pm Thursday 30 June 2016

John Makepeace Bennett Award - Call for Nominations

Applications are invited for the John Makepeace Bennett Award for the Australasian Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation.  Applications are due by COB 31st July 2016 for announcement in October 2016.

CORE is delighted to present an award for the best PhD thesis in our field, finalised during the previous 12-month period.

This award was renamed the "John Makepeace Bennett Award" in 2011 in recognition of his enormous contribution to the field.  Information on this outstanding Computer Science pioneer can be found at <>.


Details of the 2016 Application Process are below.

1. All application materials must be submitted as softcopy, including the thesis itself.  All files must be formatted as PDF documents (scanned versions of the paper forms are acceptable as long as they are saved as PDF).  All correspondence will be by e-mail.

2. We require a short statement (no more than 2 pages) from the supervisor of the nominee, indicating why the thesis is worthy of best PhD award. You may choose to address issues such as the "originality", "significance", "innovation", "scale of the work", although these are not prescriptive.

3. We require copies of ALL commentary and evaluation supplied by ALL of the examiners. The supervisor's letter should warrant that we have been sent all copies of examiners reports and that no material pertinent to the examination has been withheld.

4. We require a copy of the thesis itself, in final form.

5. At most one candidate may be nominated per department. We require a letter from an appropriately empowered department representative (either the head or the graduate/research coordinator), indicating that this is the officially sanctioned submission.  Universities with more than one computing department may submit more than one thesis, but you should clearly indicate the name of the department on all documentation.

6. In order to accommodate e-mail size restrictions we request that you place the thesis on a public web site and send a URL to allow panel members to download it directly. Since the examiners' reports, supervisor's statement, and Head's statement are likely to be smaller, you can append these as attachments to the e-mail submission.

7. The candidate need not have graduated, but University's Academic Board or equivalent body must have determined during the period 1 May 2015 to 30 June 2016 (inclusive) that the degree be awarded. The date to be used for this purpose is the date that the University issued a letter or email to the candidate that says (broadly speaking) "Dear XXXX, Congratulations, all requirements for your PhD have now been completed. To attend a graduation ceremony, please complete the attached form..."

8. The closing date for submissions in 2016 is July 31st 2016. Judging will be finalised by October, and the award winner will be invited to ACSW the following January to receive their award. The nomination cut-off date will be strictly enforced to give the panel sufficient time to evaluate the submissions.

9. No thesis may be nominated more than once. In special circumstances, for example, in cases where release of a thesis has been restricted because it contains commercially sensitive results and has been under a formal embargo, the Selection Committee may allow a variation of the eligibility window. Permission for such variations should be sought well in advance of the nominations closing date, and must include clear evidence of the reasons for the dispensation being requested.


As with previous years, these theses are distributed to the panel on a geographical basis, so that judges do not deal with theses from their own state.

Please note that unless we receive all of the items listed above, the submission will be deemed ineligible.


In 2016 the Panel will be chaired by:

Rachel Cardell-Oliver, University of Western Australia


Please e-mail your submissions to:

Alison Handley at CORE ( by 31 July 2016.

Updated:  1 September 2018/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing