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Best Second-Year Paper Award

This award is given to the student whose second-year paper has the highest publication potential. The name of the winner is engraved on a plaque by the department’s main entrance. Awards are made on an annual basis and are publicly announced at the Welcome Picnic the department holds at the beginning of each academic year late in August.


All students who successfully completed the second-year paper milestone (PhD Comprehensive Examination) are automatically considered for the Best Second-Year Paper Award. 

Selection Process

A committee composed of the Director of the Graduate Studies and one or two members of the Graduate Committee selects the winner. These members should not have served as readers for any of the papers under consideration. If no Graduate Committee members satisfy this criterion, other faculty members will be asked to serve in selecting the winner.

The winner will be selected based on:

  • The quality of the second-year paper presentation, which is delivered in the fall of the student’s third year of study
  • The overall quality of the final version of the paper, which is submitted by the first week of December during the student’s third year of study
  • The paper’s evaluation form submitted by the two readers who supervised the paper