Education Scholarships

ISG/SUTA Outstanding Thesis Award 2005
Call for Award Application

The Iranian Studies Group at MIT (ISG) and the Sharif University of Technology Association (SUTA) invite applications for the ISG Outstanding Thesis Award 2005. We look for outstanding theses around the globe that address important issues related to contemporary Iranian society in the following priority fields:

Business Administration and Management
Civil Society and NGO Management
Disaster Management
Expatriate Communities
International Relations
Political Science and Sociology
Public Health
Regional Development
Sustainable Development and Environment
Women’s Studies

Outstanding theses in other areas will be considered. The emphasis of the awards is on graduate thesis (Master’s and Doctoral), but outstanding undergraduate theses will be considered. Nominations should be submitted no earlier than midnight, July 1, 2005, and no later than October 1st, 2005. For information on submissions, see below.

The goal of the thesis award competition is to encourage academic excellence in Iranian studies and to identify emerging young scholars of great potential. The thesis award creates incentives for pursuit of theses addressing issues of crucial importance to contemporary Iranian society, and provides candidates with an opportunity to have their intellectual contributions judged by panels of faculty members across the globe.

ISG and SUTA will jointly administer the thesis competition, and forward theses in each category to a panel of judges that is comprised of outstanding faculty members in the field of thesis submission.

Questions about this competition may be addressed to: Outstanding Graduate Thesis Award Committee, ISG/SUTA


To be eligible for the 2005 ISG/SUTA Outstanding Thesis Competition, Master’s or Doctoral-level theses must have been completed in the time period from July 1, 2004 to September 30, 2005. Authors must have successfully defended their thesis or received the final approval and all required sign-offs on their thesis document by the time of the application. Applicants from all of the above fields of study, or applicants working on dissertations in the specified areas. There are no citizenship requirements for this award, although prize disbursement for applicants currently living in Iran will be subject to certain restrictions described later in this document.

Submission Process

All papers and supporting documents must be received by October 1, 2005. Any documents received after that date and/or submissions without all of the appropriate documentation will not be reviewed.

ISG encourages submissions from all countries. However, theses must be submitted either in English or in Farsi (Persian). The following information and documentation should be submitted to by the due date.

§ Completed Application Form

§ A 2-8 Page Summary of the Thesis in English (Microsoft Word) (PDF)

§ An electronic copy of the complete dissertation (in English or Persian) in Microsoft Word or Portable Document Format (PDF) with the applicants name and contact information clearly featured on the first page.

§ A one page statement of purpose (in English) outlining why the applicant believes this thesis is an important contribution for a better understanding of contemporary Iranian society or expatriate communities should be attached as a Microsoft Word document (or PDF)

By submitting the application, applicants agree to give the Iranian Studies Group the permission to reproduce the dissertation abstracts in its publications.


Applicants will receive notification of the receipt of the application via email.

Reviewing Process

For each category, a panel of faculty members and experts will review each submitted thesis. Their evaluations will be used to select those papers that merit more detailed assessment as final candidates for the award. The dissertations of the finalist candidates will be reviewed by the Thesis Award Selection Committee, which will make the final choice. As this is an award competition, no reviews will be provided.

Announcement of Winners

The winners of the thesis award competition will be announced in December 2005. There will be no individual notification of the status of any competitor until the official announcement in December.


1st Prize $1,000 + ISG/SUTA Award Letter (One Prize)

2nd Prize $500+ ISG/SUTA Award Letter (Two Prizes)

3rd Prize $250 +ISG/SUTA Award Letter (Four Prizes)

4th-10th Prizes ISG/SUTA Recognition Letters


ISG and SUTA are barred by the U.S. OFAC Iranian Transactions Regulations – 31 C.F.R. Part 560 from transferring any funds to persons or legal entities in Iran. As such prizes for applicants that currently reside in Iran cannot be sent to Iran and will be deposited in accounts of their choice.

For More Information Contact:
Outstanding Graduate Thesis Award Committee
Iranian Studies Group
Massachusetts Institute of Technology