2019 Doctoral Dissertation Award

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2019 Doctoral Dissertation Award on GLOBAL BIOETHICS

Call for Nominations

The Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV), inside its project dedicated to Global Bioethics, announces an Award for doctoral dissertation in this field.

Nominations are solicited from all PAV’s members and from any other academic institutions; a selection committee drawn from Academics, chaired by the PAV’s Chancellor, will judge the theses.

The winner receives a prize of $ 3.000 U.S., the runner up $1,000 U.S. The winner will also be offered a modest travel allowance to help offset the cost of collecting his/her award in person at the PAV’s General Assembly (Rome, February 25 – 27 2019), should he/she wish to do so.


The applicant should have successfully defended their dissertation and completed their doctoral degree (including all final revisions, if any, and all final paper work) from November 1 2017 to October 30 2018. The dissertation research can be on any topic in the Global Bioethics field, broadly defined, and use any methodology. The thesis must be written only in one of these four languages: English, Italian, French and Spanish.


  • Submission deadline: December 1, 2018
  • Decisions announced: mid-January, 2019

Submission Materials for each Nomination

Submissions must be made by the candidate.

The following four items should be submitted. The summary paper, the letter and the certification must be submitted in English. The complete dissertation may be submitted in its original language (English, French, Italian, Spanish only), as explained under Review Process below.

  1. A summary paper of the dissertation research. The summary paper should be up to 10 double-spaced pages with 12 point Times New Roman font and at least one-inch margins (excluding the title page and the references), and should consist of three sections: Title Page, Body, and References. The Body of the summary paper should provide a comprehensive summary of the dissertation, introducing, for instance, the topic, the research context and questions, the theoretical or contextual framework, the methodology and methods, and the findings. The summary paper should be written for blind review; hence, all identifying information should be removed from the body of the paper and, as necessary, the references. The first page of the Body should include title, an abstract for up to 200 words. The References section should include a list of references formatted in any appropriate style.
  2. A letter from the Candidate with: the title of the dissertation, full author name, email, phone number, address, current institution, advisor name and contact information, degree granting institution, and dissertation completion date.
  3. An official certification, from the University, that declares the applicant has successfully defended his dissertation and completed his doctoral degree (including all final revisions, if any, and all final paper work).
  4. The complete dissertation.

The above three documents should each be formatted as a pdf, and then combined into a single zipped file; this file will be submitted to this email: events@pav.va.

Review Process

Awards submissions go through a rigorous two-phase review procedure. In the first phase, which is anonymous, each dissertation summary is reviewed and discussed by a team of three reviewers. Five dissertations are then chosen for closer scrutiny. In the second phase, a smaller committee reads and discusses the five shortlisted dissertations in great detail in order to make the final decision.

The panel’s judgement will be framed by the following criteria:

  • Research quality, including rigour, transparency and validity
  • Methodological originality
  • Significant conceptual or theoretical contribution to its field
  • (Potential) impact for direct stakeolders, practitioners and other research users

Vatican City, July 25 2018