The Michael K. O'Rourke Best Publication Awards

The Michael K. O'Rourke Best Publication Award is a prestigious award that recognises outstanding achievement in the publication of a postgraduate researcher’s research.

Nominations for the 2018 Award have now closed. 

Five winners will now be selected, one for each College, and each will receive a prize of £400. The winners will be announced at the University Graduate School Awards event on 19 June.

Congratulations to the 2017 Award winners:

  • College of Arts and Law - Samantha Fairclough - 'It doesn't happen ... and I've never thought it was necessary for it to happen': Barriers to vulnerable defendants giving evidence by live link in Crown Court trials
  • College of Social Sciences - Tong Zhu - The direct and indirect effect of urbanization on energy intensity: a province-level study for China
  • College of Engineering and Physical Sciences - William Brittain - Kinetic resolution of alkyne-substituted quartnary oxindoles via copper catalysed azide-alkyne cycloadditions
  • College of Life and Environmental Sciences - Fatima Nasser - Shape and charge of gold nanomaterials influence survivorship, oxidative stress and moulting of Daphnia magna
  • College of Medical and Dental Sciences - Fiona Mackie - The accuracy of cell-free fetal DNA-based non-invasive prenatal testing in singleton pregnancies: a systematic review and bivariate meta-analysis

 Guidance Notes

  • The Postgraduate Researcher must be the major contributor (first or only author) to the publication.
  • Only Postgraduate Researchers who submitted their paper before their final examination are eligible for nomination.
  • The publication may have been through a process of peer review, but if not, there will be a clear indication of the impact of the publication, for example on an International Organisation’s or Government’s policy*.  Impact factors of journals may be taken into account, but peer assessment of the impact value of a publication may be equally important.  A supporting statement by the supervisor will be required to guide the decisions of the judging panels.
  • The date of publication (full publication, ‘in press’ or DoI) must be before the Postgraduate Researcher’s final examination.
  • Nominations are now closed for the 2018 Award. Nominations for the 2019 Award will be accepted from January 2019.

*Please note that published software and software routines will be considered.

 What happens next?

The Director of Research and College PGR Lead in each College will convene a panel to act as judges, but it is assumed that supervisors, co-supervisors and internal assessors will serve as a filter so that only strong candidate publications will reach the College panel.

The overall University award will be determined by the Graduate Research Board.

 If you have any questions about the process, please email