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Emerald and EFMD outstanding doctoral research awards

International recognition for doctoral research in responsible management.

Rewarding doctoral research that addresses the grand challenges

We’re proud to support the global research community through an award programme that recognises exceptional doctoral research that addresses the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SDGs are an urgent call for action by all countries to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face including poverty, inequality, climate change, peace and justice.

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The last year has been extraordinary and challenging on a global scale. We’ve seen unprecedented change and disruption to our lives and the society we live in. There has never been more need for positive change.

This is why we’re pleased to announce the launch of an award in partnership with the EFMD that supports the work of doctoral students whose research can create positive impact on a local and global scale in the area of responsible management.

How does it work?

We champion the work of those who share our goal of contributing to a more ethical, responsible, and sustainable way of working. We’re offering a prize and two runners up prizes for the best doctoral research from the last three years that addresses areas relating to responsible management.

Submit now if your doctoral research covers any of the following areas that contribute to a more responsible world:

  • Food poverty and security
  • Sustainable supply chains
  • CSR and greenwashing
  • Reducing inequality
  • Responsible and ethical marketing
  • Business continuity and disaster recovery
  • Innovation and digital economy
  • Social responsibility
  • Responsible economics

You don’t need to submit your full thesis to enter, but you need to succinctly summarise the most important parts of your research. Entries will be judged by leading scholars working in the field of management.

If you’ve completed your doctorate within the last three years, apply now!

The prize

The winner will receive:

  • A cash prize of £1,000.00
  • A certificate
  • A published interview on the Emerald website
  • An opportunity to work directly with our partners Editage to create a bespoke and engaging research summary

Runners up will receive a certificate and a published interview on the Emerald website.

How to submit

  1. You will need to apply online using this application form
  2. The following documents are required electronically:

    Research Summary: A paper that summarises your doctoral research in no more than 2,000 words. Please state whether or not your doctoral research has been published and/or will be published in any form (conference paper, article, peer reviewed journal, etc). Please use the Research Summary template.  

    – Letter of recommendation/reference from a supervisor/senior faculty member: the letter should state why your supervisor feels that your work is outstanding and what impact it will have. For shortlisted applicants, further contact may be made with the referee.

Submission deadline

The deadline for submission is 17 September 2021. Entries submitted after this deadline will not be considered for the award.


To be eligible for the awards, the research must address an issue that is of importance to one of the subject areas listed.

The awards are open to those who have completed and satisfied examination requirements for a doctoral award, between 15 Jan 2018 and 28 February 2021, and have not applied previously for one of these awards.

Judging criteria

Entries will be judged on the following criteria:

  1. Originality and innovation
  2. Appropriateness and application of the methodology
  3. Quality of data/research
  4. Significance/implications for theory and practice.

Shortlisted applicants may be required to answer further questions as appropriate from the judging panel. If suitable, winners will be invited to submit a paper, sole or co-authored, from their research within six months of winning.

Please note that the decision of the judges is final. Unfortunately, due to the large number of submissions, we are unable to provide individual feedback.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need to submit my full thesis?
No. You do not need to submit your full thesis. The judges’ decision will be based on your ability to succinctly summarise the most important parts of your research in relation to the judging criteria.

Am I eligible to apply if my thesis is not in English?
Yes. You can apply provided that your application, research summary and reference letter are all in English.

Am I eligible to apply if my viva date is scheduled for after 28th February 2021?
No. However, this is an annual award and you can apply next year.

I have already published a paper based on my research. Am I still eligible to apply?
Yes. You can apply whether or not you have published a paper from your doctoral research. If you have published, please provide details in your Research Summary.

What should be included in my ‘Research Summary’?

Using the Research Summary template, complete the following details

  • Why your research contributes to a more responsible world and any applications in practice if applicable
  • What is original and innovative about your work
  • The methodology you applied
  • Your data and how they led to your findings
  • Details of any papers published or presented based on your thesis research.

What should be included in the 'Letter of recommendation/reference from a supervisor/senior faculty member'?
NB. This should be from your doctoral supervisor, or any member of the committee / judging panel deciding on your thesis, depending on how your doctorate is conferred in your country or university.

It should answer the following three questions:

  1. What is outstanding about the thesis?
  2. What is the substantive contribution to the field?
  3. Is the data of good quality and how difficult was it to obtain?

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